Naked Rambler comes to the end of the road at ECHR

Stephen Gough, the Naked Rambler has lost his case. Picture: Andrew Milligan
Stephen Gough, the Naked Rambler has lost his case. Picture: Andrew Milligan
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THE European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has rejected a final legal challenge brought by a man known as the Naked Rambler, who had claimed he had a right to be nude in public.

Former Royal Marine Stephen Gough argued that his repeated arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for public nudity breached his human rights.

But ECHR judges ruled last October that Mr Gough’s treatment did not breach his right to a private life or freedom of expression, and yesterday they refused him permission to appeal against that decision in Strasbourg court’s highest Grand Chamber. Gough, 55, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, has walked naked throughout the United Kingdom, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, and is a well-known campaigner for his right to appear nude in public – even though his actions have often landed him in prison.

He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years at Winchester Crown Court in October after he walked out of the city’s prison wearing only his boots and socks following a previous jail term.

Gough brought the case after being arrested for breach of the peace in Perth, in July 2011, having by that point spent five years and three months in detention since May 2006.

Having been arrested on a public road leading from HMP Perth he later appeared in court naked to plead guilty to breaching the peace and rejected the sheriff’s warnings that he would be held in contempt if he did not put some clothes on.

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