HIS days of walking the streets of Great Britain naked are over for now after a court granted an application to give Stephen Gough an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO).
The activist, known as the Naked Rambler, appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court this afternoon where an interim order was made to prevent him from being naked in public in England and Wales, until May 10.
The 53-year-old was seen in Basingstoke on Monday and Tuesday this week, and appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court after being charged with an offence relating to being naked in public in Andover on February 11. When he arrived at court naked on Tuesday, he was charged with a second public order offence and was subsequently arrested.
The former Royal Marine, who has been in and out of prison almost continuously since 2006 for appearing naked in public, was released on bail and left the court naked to begin his journey back home to Eastleigh. He told The Gazette: “The human body is not indecent, shameful or offensive.”
But now Mr Gough will be forced to put his clothes back on after Hampshire Constabulary successfully applied for him to be subject to an ASBO which means he will have to cover his “genitalia and buttocks.”
Roger Trencher, force solicitor, said: “Today, Hampshire Constabulary sought an ASBO because Stephen Gough has caused much offence nationwide, and he has used a considerable amount of police time in England, Wales and Scotland.
“This is because he insists on rambling naked. He refuses to be deterred by the criminal law. He believes the law is uncertain on the issue of public nudity.
“We applied, in consultation with Eastleigh Borough Council, for an ASBO to bring some clarity to the situation. We hoped the court would agree that, because of the public offence that has been caused and the police time used, it is in the public interest that Mr Gough be required to wear clothing sufficient to prevent the offence.
“We sought an order for him to wear sufficient clothing in public to at least cover his genitalia and buttocks.
“The Constabulary and many residents of Hampshire are please with the court’s decision to grant the ASBO. Any breach of the order could result in a prison sentence for Mr Gough.”