Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'Naked rambler' Stephen Gough jailed for flouting Asbo

Stephen Gough
Image caption Stephen Gough denied behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress

A "naked rambler" has been jailed for flouting an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) banning him from being naked in public.

Stephen Gough, 54, denied breaching the order minutes after it was imposed by Southampton magistrates, by leaving court wearing only boots and socks.

But he offered no defence and was given an 11-month sentence.

He was not allowed to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court for his trial because he had refused to wear clothes.

Simon Jones, prosecuting, said the naked rights activist was arrested after leaving the magistrates' court on 28 February while holding the order, which stated he must cover his buttocks and genitalia.

'Not tolerated'

The court heard Gough, of Chamberlayne Road, Eastleigh, refused to take clothes offered to him by police.

Jurors returned a guilty verdict in less than 10 minutes.

Following sentencing, Anton Allera, senior district crown prosecutor, said: "We hope that these convictions will reassure members of the public that his behaviour will not be tolerated."

Gough has previously been convicted of nine public order counts of going naked in public in Hampshire.

Judge Sarah Munro QC said Gough, who had been remanded in custody while awaiting trial, would be eligible for release from prison on 14 August.

Gough, a former Royal Marine, has now been sentenced to more than six years in prison for his belief it is his human right to be naked in public.

He has received 28 convictions, mainly in Scotland, for being nude.

Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire Police had jointly applied for the Asbo in February.

Gough gained notoriety between 2003 and 2006 when he twice walked naked from Land's End to John O'Groats and was the subject of a TV documentary.

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