EARLIER this week he was spotted in Basingstoke, and today Stephen Gough, known as the Naked Rambler, is back in the news as officers attempt to use a new legislation to force him to put his clothes on.
For years the infamous activist has fought for the right to be naked in public, and has spent much of the last seven years in prison because of this.
The Gazette spoke to the 53-year-old on Tuesday after he appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court for an offence relating to being naked in public in Andover on February 11. When he arrived at court naked, he was charged with a second public order offence and was subsequently arrested. But he was released on bail and strolled out of court still naked to begin his eight-hour journey home to Eastleigh.
Now this afternoon officers have gone to court to seek an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) to force Mr Gough to “cover up his buttocks and genitalia” once and for all. They have applied for the order to be granted in the courts following consultation with Eastleigh council.
Passers-by stopped and laughed in disbelief as Mr Gough strode into Southampton Magistrates’ Court today carrying a backpack and wearing nothing but socks and a pair of walking boots. He was due to arrive for the ASBO hearing at 9am, but finally reached the court at midday, after walking from his home.
Police officers held up a brown blanket to shield Mr Gough as he entered the building.
*Watch The Gazette’s interview with Mr Gough below, as he walked through War Memorial Park in Basingstoke on Tuesday.
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