Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Naked rambler ordered to cover up

'Naked Rambler' Stephen Gough has served several prison terms for refusing to get dressed in public places

Naked rambler Stephen Gough has been issued with an interim anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) banning him from going nude in public places.

The order was issued at Southampton Magistrates' Court which states that he must "wear sufficient clothing in public to at least cover his genitalia and buttocks". The order is effective for all of England and Wales until May 10 and if Mr Gough, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, contravenes it, he could be imprisoned.

Mr Gough has served several prison terms for refusing to get dressed in public places, including courtrooms.

Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire Constabulary jointly applied for the order as they say Mr Gough has caused "much offence nationwide" as well as to clarify the legal position.

Roger Trencher, force solicitor, said: "Hampshire Constabulary sought an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) because Stephen Gough has caused much offence nationwide and he has used a considerable amount of police time in England, Wales and Scotland.

"This is because he insists on rambling naked. He refuses to be deterred by the criminal law. He believes the law is uncertain on the issue of public nudity. We applied, in consultation with Eastleigh Borough Council, for an Asbo to bring some clarity to the situation.

"We hoped the court would agree that, because of the public offence that has been caused and the police time used, it is in the public interest that Mr Gough be required to wear clothing sufficient to prevent the offence.

"We sought an order for him to wear sufficient clothing in public to at least cover his genitalia and buttocks.

"The constabulary and many residents of Hampshire are pleased with the court's decision to grant the anti social behaviour order. Any breach of the order could result in a prison sentence for Mr Gough."