Naked rambler could face jail over ASBO breach

Stephen Gough is charged with breaching his ASBO. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Stephen Gough is charged with breaching his ASBO. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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NAKED rambler Stephen Gough has been charged with breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) banning him from going nude in public places just a day after it was imposed.

The order was issued at Southampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday stating that he must “wear sufficient clothing in public to at least cover his genitalia and buttocks”.

But the 54-year-old, of Chamberlayne Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, was charged this morning with breaching the order.

Gough will appear before Southampton magistrates this morning, and could be jailed for breaching the order that covers all of England and Wales and is effective until May 10.

He has served several prison terms for refusing to be dressed in public places, including courtrooms.

Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire police jointly applied for the order as they say Gough has caused “much offence nationwide”, as well as to clarify the legal position.

Roger Trencher, force solicitor, said yesterday: “Hampshire Constabulary sought an anti-social behaviour order 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 pleased with the court’s decision to grant the anti-social behaviour order.

“Any breach of the order could result in a prison sentence for Mr Gough.”

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