Stephen Gough : biography
Stephen Gough (born c. 1959), also known as Steve Gough and the Naked Rambler, is an activist, and a British former Royal Marine. Daily Mail, 13 January 2010 In 2003-2004, he walked the length of Great Britain naked. He did it again in 2005-2006, but was arrested in England and in Scotland. He subsequently spent six years in prison, having been repeatedly rearrested for public nudity within a short period, each time he was released. He spent most of his sentences in Saughton and Perth prisons, in Scotland.
Gough is from Eastleigh, Hampshire, and is famous for walking the length of Great Britain from Land's End to John o' Groats in 2003–2004 with nothing on except boots, socks, rucksack and sometimes a hat, after having quit his job as a lorry driver. He has been arrested and imprisoned numerous times during the course of his ramble.
His second Land's End to John o' Groats ramble was in 2005–2006 and accompanied by his girlfriend Melanie Roberts. He was arrested twice in England but almost immediately released. On entering Scotland there were further arrests — the current total being over 20 including contempt of court after he appeared naked before a judge. He served a three-month sentence in HMP Edinburgh. The walk was resumed on 12 February 2006, and completed shortly after on Monday 20 February the same year.
His website claims that ordering him to wear clothes for his court appearance "breached Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights" - Right to a Fair Trial. He claimed that Articles 3 and 5 to 11 have been repeatedly breached by the authorities since he and Melanie arrived in Scotland.
He was involved with the public nudity advocacy group The Freedom to be Yourself.
Six years in prison
Gough was arrested again on 19 May 2006 at Edinburgh airport after removing his clothes during a flight from Southampton to Edinburgh and refusing to get dressed., BBC News, 18 May 2006 On 25 August 2006 he was given a seven month jail sentence. The Scotsman, 26 August 2006 On 9 April 2007 Gough was cleared of charges related to his refusal to dress upon being released into Saughton Prison car park in Edinburgh. The ruling judge, Isobel Poole, found that there was no evidence of "actual alarm or disturbance", adding "I can understand this conduct could be considered unpleasant to passers-by had there been any but there is a lack of evidence to that effect.", BBC News, 10 April 2007 In November 2007, Gough lost his appeal against contempt of court convictions for refusing to wear clothes during his 2005 trial and had another 3 months added to his sentence.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7120889.stm, BBC News, 30 November 2007
In January 2008, after spending most of the previous 20 months in jail (being rearrested for nudity each time he was released and each time he appeared in court), Gough was released and told that if he went for three months without appearing naked in public he would not be returned to jail for outstanding convictions; two hours later he left the court naked and was immediately re-arrested and subsequently returned to jail.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7196711.stm, BBC News, 18 January 2008 Gough served his time in Barlinnie Prison and was released on 14 October 2008, when he was again immediately arrested for leaving the prison naked. On 14 November, he was cleared of that offence on the grounds of insufficient evidence, but appeared in the dock naked and was rearrested in the foyer of Glasgow Sheriff Court.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7730371.stm, BBC News, 14 November 2008 On 18 December he was convicted of a breach of the peace and sentenced to a further 12 months., BBC News, 18 December 2008
In July 2009, Gough, once again standing in the dock naked, was jailed at Perth for a further 12 months for breach of the peace. Sheriff MacFarlane was told that the bill for dealing with Gough had cost the public an estimated several hundred thousand pounds. The court heard how Gough had finished a previous jail term at Perth Prison and was released to enjoy freedom for the first time in several months. However, his freedom lasted less than 30 seconds after he walked naked from the prison door to Edinburgh Road. Gough was also sentenced to four months for refusing to dress before the trial., BBC News, 16 July 2009
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