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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 16:43 GMT
Naked rambler jailed for contempt
Stephen Gough
Stephen Gough did not leave his prison cell
Naked rambler Stephen Gough has been jailed for three months for contempt of court at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The 48-year-old was not in the courtroom to hear the sentence as he remained in a cell after refusing to put his clothes on.

Gough was jailed for a contempt charge which dated back to December 2005.

Sentence had been delayed after his lawyers challenged four separate contempt findings. Appeal court judges rejected his appeal earlier this month.

Gough had claimed that to appear in court naked did not amount to contempt.

His counsel said Gough believed that to be naked in public was a fundamental freedom and that nakedness was an aspect of his personal autonomy.

He is not an unintelligent man. Has he been able to read the appeal court decision?
Sheriff Katherine Mackie

He called for the findings of contempt and the penalties imposed to be quashed.

However, his arguments were rejected by five appeal court judges.

Following that decision, Gough had been due to appear before Sheriff Katherine Mackie on Friday for sentence.

However, defence lawyer John Good told the sheriff that his client was in the cells and was refusing to dress for his appearance.

Sheriff Mackie said: "He is not an unintelligent man. Has he been able to read the appeal court decision?"

'Matter of regret'

Mr Good said his client had seen the ruling, but maintained his position.

The sheriff said the decision of the five judges clearly showed that her initial finding of contempt had been correct.

It was a matter of regret, she said, that Gough persisted in his contemptuous behaviour.

Gough has spent nearly 19 months in Saughton Prison since May 2006.

On each occasion he has refused to wear clothes when released at the end of his sentence and been arrested when he entered a public area.

SEE ALSO
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