Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Naked rambler cleared of breach

Naked Rambler
The sheriff said police had no reports from upset members of the public

A man who became known as the naked rambler has been cleared of a breach of the peace charge after leaving prison in Glasgow with no clothes on.

Stephen Gough, 49, had just served a prison sentence for a similar offence when he was arrested last month for walking out of Barlinnie Prison naked.

Sheriff Margaret Gimblett said there was "insufficient evidence" that a breach of the peace had occurred.

Gough was later re-arrested in the foyer of Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The former marine, from Eastleigh in Hampshire, has twice walked naked from Land's End to John O'Groats.

He was charged with breaching the peace after refusing to put his clothes back on outside Barlinnie Prison on 14 October.

The sheriff said: "The police acted so quickly that there wasn't a breach of the peace.

"He was only 5ft or 6ft away from the prison gates.

"I accept that they were given warning that Mr Gough was coming out of prison with no clothes on and that they knew of his reputation but I don't think that's enough."

The sheriff said the two police officers had no reports from members of the public who had been upset.

The evidence that was presented to the court does not amount to a breach of the peace
John Good
Jim Gough's lawyer

The court heard that two officers, Pcs James Clark and Amanda Daly, were outside HMP Barlinnie, waiting for Mr Gough's release.

Pc Clark said: "As soon as the gate was open the male was released into the public domain and he was completely naked.

"I approached him and asked him if he was willing to put on clothes and he said 'no' so I informed him that he was under arrest for a breach of the peace."

PC Daly added that there were members of the public in the area at the time.

She said: "There are houses that overlook the prison and there's no restricted access to the car park.

"There was a Royal Mail van, delivery drivers and people going to and from their work inside the prison who could all see the male."

But Mr Gough's lawyer, John Good, told the court: "The evidence that was presented to the court does not amount to a breach of the peace.

"The nature of that charge is that members of the public have to be placed in a state of fear and alarm and be disturbed or upset by it and we have heard no direct evidence of this."

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