Stephen Gough, a former Marine who has been dubbed the Naked Rambler for his insistence on his right to walk naked across Britain, enjoyed six steps of freedom yesterday.
Gough was freed after 20 months in prison by a sheriff who gave him
the chance to end his “vicious circle” of release and rearrest, but was given warning that he would be rearrested if he failed to cover up when let out of the back door of Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Gough emerged into the rain wearing only a
rucksack and an untidy beard. After he had taken only six steps in the nude, police took Gough into the back of a van and rearrested him. He will appear in court on Monday.
Naked rambler Stephen Gough has been warned he could spend the rest of his life in jail unless he puts on some clothes. Gough, who has become notorious for trying to walk around the UK naked, was arrested within seconds of being freed from Perth Prison
on 17 December.
He was found guilty yesterday of breaching the peace by walking naked in the street and refusing a request by police to put on some clothes. On the past two occasions when Gough has been released from jail, officers from Tayside
Police were waiting at the prison gates to re-arrest him.
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Gough he would not have to be crystal ball gazing to realise that the same process would occur again and again and again .
Gough – who has
spent the bulk of the past seven years in jail for identical crimes – yesterday turned down an offer to walk free on condition that he get dressed.
Foulis told him he would consider granting him bail to go back to his warmer home county of
Hampshire if he agreed to put some clothes on, but Gough said he would not. A number of your recent convictions have arisen in similar circumstances, the sheriff said. You have more or less been apprehended when you have been released from
prison. I suppose it doesn't need an expert in crystal ball gazing to anticipate that if I impose a custodial sentence then in so many months a similar scenario will arise. When the day comes for you to be released from a prison establishment, you will
be apprehended and the same process gone through again.
Gough said he accepted it was potentially the case that he could remain in jail forever – apart from the few seconds of freedom he enjoys every six months or so.
trial, he compared himself to the African-American civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks, and said he believed his behaviour was reasonable . Gough said: Essentially, this is about individual freedom and people's tolerance to other people being
different. I understand a lot of people will disagree and have strong feelings about it. Walking the amount of miles I have, through towns and cities, it is on the whole a very small moral minority who act in an irrational way. I believe I am behaving in
a reasonable way.
Gough was allowed to conduct his own defence in open court while completely naked and the sheriff said he would consider whether that was a contempt of court when he is sentencing. He warned Gough that he could be jailed for
upwards of 18 months.
Naked Rambler Stephen Gough has been jailed for another 657 days after enjoying less than 60 seconds of freedom.
He was arrested outside Perth Prison almost immediately after he was released from his previous 21-month sentence, itself a
continuation of the sentence now stretching back more than 5 years to May 2006.
He was found guilty of breaching the peace and being in contempt of court. he has now been behind bars in Scotland for much of the past decade. He was found guilty of
breach of the peace after a 'trial' at Perth Sheriff 'Court', which was initially held up while court staff found a sheet of brown paper for him to sit on for hygiene reasons .
Gough appeared naked in the court dock and was also found
guilty of contempt of 'court' for failing to display the decency required by the court process.
He claimed that arresting him for walking around naked was a breach of his human rights and his right to freedom of expression. Repeated arrests
But 'Sheriff' Michael Fletcher rejected Gough's defence and found him guilty of conducting himself in a disorderly manner by walking naked, refusing to put clothes on, and breaching the peace in Manson Terrace, Perth, on 20 July.
Fletcher said: The court expects people to come here in a decent state of dress. That has been explained to you in the past. I gave you the opportunity to dress yourself.
Stephen Gough, nicknamed the Naked Rambler, has vowed to continue walking around Britain with no clothes on after tasting his first day of freedom after being jailed by Scotland for 6 years.
Former marine Stephen Gough has spent the vast
majority of the past decade behind bars because of Scottish intolerance and injustice.
He initially earned the title Naked Rambler by walking unclothed from Land's End to John O'Groats after quitting his job as a lorry driver.
He was spoken
to by police immediately after his release, but was then allowed to go on his way in an apparent shift in Tayside Police force policy. On the last few occasions he has been immediately arrested by officers waiting for him at the gates, but yesterday he
was given the go-ahead to walk off despite being naked.
Following his release he said: My opinion is that the police have thought 'the guy's not going to give up so let's have a think about it.
He revealed that he had spent the vast
majority of his time in solitary confinement in maximum security Perth Prison - although he said life inside flew by.
The Naked Rambler Stephen Gough has been arrested three days after he was released from prison.
Gough, a former Royal Marine who hikes across the country naked, was arrested in Townhill, Dunfermline, by policemen from Fife Constabulary.
He was released from Perth Prison on Tuesday, having spent the past six years in the Scottish jail.
A spokesman for Fife Constabulary said he was arrested following complaints from members of the public and has been charged with a supposed
breach of the peace.
The Naked Rambler's supporters on Facebook have made an official complaint to the Fife Constabulary
Re Arrest of Mr Stephen Gough on the afternoon of 20th July 2012 whilst in the course of
peacefully eating his lunch unattired
I refer to the ruling on Breach of the Peace, in 2001 in the High Court of Justiciary, where Lord Coulsfield held that breach of the peace required conduct severe enough to cause alarm to
ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community and that mere annoyance or irritation were insufficient .
Misapplication of the legislation governed by this ruling would in itself constitute Breach of
the Peace by any individual(s) conducting such misapplication. Fife Constabulary is hereby on notice to provide indisputable evidence, including a physical witness, of serious disturbance to the community .
In this regard,
this message is being copied to Professional Standards and constitutes a formal complaint.