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Naked rambler was in the buff in town
8:00am Sunday 3rd March 2013 in News
THE Hampshire man known as The Naked Rambler has been charged with being naked in public in Andover.
Stephen Gough was due to appear in the dock at Basingstoke magistrates’ court this week after being charged with the offence on February 11.
But he arrived naked at court on Tuesday and was promptly charged with a second public order offence and was arrested.
The 53-year-old former Royal Marine has been in and out of prison almost continuously since 2006 after walking the length of Great Britain in the buff.
On Tuesday morning his hearing was conducted in the police cells in Basingstoke because district judge Philip Gillibrand would not allow Mr Gough to appear in the court room naked.
Judge Gillibrand told the court afterwards: “I expect every defendant who comes into court to be clothed in some form. My view is that we are all in it together and I won’t make exception for anyone, not even Mr Gough.”
Mr Gough, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, was released on bail to appear at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on May 10 – and he then began the long journey back to his home town of Eastleigh, where he is from.
He said people in Basingstoke had shaken his hand when they saw him or had taken photographs.
Explaining why he refuses to wear clothes he said: “It’s to raise awareness about the huge contradiction that the human body is not indecent, shameful or offensive.
“If that’s the case, why am I getting arrested all the time? If all I’m doing is walking and being what I am, how can that harm anyone or offend a reasonable person?”
He admitted that he does tire of trying to make the point, but added: “It’s important for us all that contradictions are made apparent.”
With temperatures outside at around four degrees on Tuesday, Mr Gough admitted: “I’m freezing,” adding: “I keep warm by walking fast.”