Naked rambler held after denying walking past children’s play park

Naked rambler Stephen Gough was arrested in Townhill, Dunfermline. Picture: PA
Naked rambler Stephen Gough was arrested in Townhill, Dunfermline. Picture: PA
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NAKED Rambler Stephen Gough was remanded in custody last night as it emerged police received complaints because he had no clothes on as he passed a children’s play park.

The former Royal Marine, 53, was arrested on Friday afternoon in Townhill, Dunfermline, with prosecutors claiming he refused to put on clothing or move away from the park.

Gough, from Eastleigh in Hampshire, who found fame walking naked from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, had only been released following six years in prison last Tuesday.

He appeared naked, apart from brown walking boots and a pair of white socks, from custody at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court yesterday to face a single charge of breach of the peace.

Gough, who had waved to gathering crowds as he entered the court building from the G4S van, was handcuffed to an embarrassed looking security officer as he made his way to the dock.

It is alleged that on Friday at Cairncubie Road in Townhill, Dunfermline, he committed a breach of the peace by conducting himself in a disorderly manner and walking naked in a public place. It is also claimed he was close to a children’s play park at the time, and refused to put on clothing or move away from the park.

Sheriff Mungo Bovey, noticing there were no defence lawyers in court, asked: “Mr Gough, you are representing yourself?”

Gough replied: “That’s right.”

When asked why, he replied: “I’ve had bad experiences in the past.”

Sheriff Bovey said: “You are charged with committing a breach of the peace. What is your attitude to that charge?”

He replied: “Not guilty”.

Kyrsten Buiest, prosecuting, said she would be seeking custody dates.

She said: “I expect him to be applying for bail but we would oppose that.” Gough said: “I’m not applying for bail.”

Sheriff Bovey set a trial date for 23 August with a pre-trial review on 10 August. Gough was then led back down to the cells.

Gough had been spoken to by Tayside Police when he was released from Perth Prison last Tuesday, but allowed to go on his way in an apparent shift in force policy.

When released, the former lorry driver admitted there was a chance he could be re-arrested at any time.

He said: “It is nice to be standing here feeling the breeze.

“I haven’t been outside a building in the last six years and it is nice to smell the flowers and see the greenery.

“I was kept in solitary all the time. I got half an hour in the evening to have a shower and walk up and down the hall when they had been locked away.

“I am going to head south and see what happens. I haven’t seen my kids for ages.

“It’s not all free and easy for me as I might get arrested at any moment.”

Gough, who has received 17 convictions in ten years, walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2003. He went on to be arrested and jailed on a number of occasions for walking naked, and refusing to get dressed in court.

His former partner, Alison Ward, 47, who lived with Gough and their two children in Vancouver, British Columbia, said
at the weekend she was “amazed” that he had been
arrested again.