Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 16:50 UK

Naked rambler is back behind bars

Naked Rambler
Gough has spent most of the past three years behind bars

The man known as the naked rambler has been jailed for a year after refusing a sheriff's offer to walk free from court if he put on clothes.

Stephen Gough, 50, was told he could go home and visit his mother if he agreed to get dressed for the first time in six years. He declined.

Perth sheriff Richard MacFarlane said he had no choice but to jail him.

The former lorry driver from Eastleigh in Hampshire was jailed for 12 months for a breach of the peace.

Standing in the dock naked, Gough compared himself to other martyrs from the past.

He said: "People who have brought great change often have to go to prison first. People often have to go to prison for many years before others see the light."

However, Sheriff MacFarlane, after being told the bill for dealing with Gough was several hundred thousand pounds, said: "Would you like to estimate how much it has cost as a drain on the public purse to keep you in prison?

If you have strong convictions then you must endure hardships. It is what I must endure. I am becoming more sure of myself rather than the other way round
Stephen Gough

"You don't care about the public purse or the public generally.

"Don't you want to go back to Eastleigh and reunite with your mum? It just lacks logic. I just don't understand it. What a waste of three years."

Gough, who was shielded from public view with the aid of screens, said: "I heard a figure of £200,000 a few years ago, so I imagine it's way above that."

Gough had denied breaching the peace by walking naked in public in Edinburgh Road, Perth, on 18 June but was found guilty following the trial.

He was also found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to four months for refusing to dress prior to the trial.

'Serving your country'

The court heard how Gough had finished a previous jail term at Perth Prison and was released naked to enjoy freedom for the first time in several months.

However, it lasted less than 30 seconds after being rearrested while walking naked from the prison door to Edinburgh Road.

Gough said: "I am continuing my stand. I am doing what I think is right. I am trying to put what I believe in deeply, into action.

"If you have strong convictions then you must endure hardships. It is what I must endure. I am becoming more sure of myself rather than the other way round."

Sheriff MacFarlane replied: "What have you achieved since October 2003? You are an unemployed lorry driver. Would you not be serving your country better by getting back behind the wheel and doing your job?

"You only spent a matter of minutes at liberty before being lifted. Would you accept bail on condition that you must remain fully-clothed in public?"

Gough said: "No I would not." He has a number of convictions for being naked in public during repeated walks between Lands End and John O'Groats.



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SEE ALSO
Naked rambler cleared of breach
14 Nov 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Naked Rambler free for six steps
18 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Naked rambler jailed for contempt
30 Nov 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Naked rambler cleared by sheriff
10 Apr 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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