The naked rambler, Stephen Gough, has been told he will spend the rest of his life behind bars if he continues refusing to wear clothes in public.
Stephen Gough on his naked ramble from Land’s End to John O’Groats with his then girlfriend Melanie Roberts
The former Royal Marine, who became notorious for his naked hike from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2003, has spent much of the past seven years in prison for repeatedly appearing nude in public.
He was yesterday found guilty of breaching the peace when he walked naked from Perth prison in December after finishing a 12 month sentence for the same offence. Mr Gough was warned he will continue to be jailed every time he steps out of prison without any clothes on.
The 50-year-old, who conducted his own defence while appearing in court completely naked, turned down an offer to walk free yesterday on the condition that he got dressed.
Perth Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Gough she would consider granting him bail to go home to his “warmer” house in Eastleigh, Hampshire, if he agreed to put some clothes on. The former lorry driver refused the offer and was remanded in custody.
Ordering psychological and psychiatric reports, the Sheriff said: “When the day comes for you to be released, you will be apprehended and the same process gone through again.”
Mr Gough said he accepted he could “potentially” remain in jail forever and added: “This is about individual freedom.”
The father of two has spent most of the past seven years in Scottish jails after stripping off on a flight to Edinburgh. Since then he has declined to wear prison uniform or to appear clothed in court, resulting in further custodial sentences for contempt.
Mr Gough completed his first naked ramble across Britain in 2003. He was arrested 15 times during the journey and spent 140 nights in jail, mainly in Scotland where the authorities take a stricter approach to public nudity than in England and Wales. He finished his second hike with his then girlfriend Melanie Roberts three years later.
It was while returning to Edinburgh to appeal against contempt of court convictions in Scotland that he undressed on board an early morning flight from Bournemouth airport.
By Heidi Blake
Published: 7:00AM GMT 13 Jan 2010
Source: The Telegraph