What happened to the Naked Rambler

Stephen Gough, a.k.a. The Naked Rambler, the man who walked the length of the UK naked twice made headlines for years, but what has happened to him?

In 2003 Steve completed his first walk from Lands End to John O’Groats (which is the entire length of the British Isles) naked. His walk was to protest against what he saw as antiquated attitudes to the human body. He was arrested 14 times during the walk but always released as police realised that being naked is not a crime in the UK. Afterwards his boots were bought by the Land's End visitor centre museum and put on display.


Steve and Mel setting off on their walk

Mel buying provisions on route

In 2005 he repeated the walk this time accompanied by his girlfriend Mel Roberts. By now attitudes to nudity had changed in the UK and the pair passed through the country with barely any trouble. Many supporters joined them and walked naked with them for parts of the way. It was only in Scotland (which has a different legal system) that they encountered any serious trouble.

Steve was given a date to appear in court in Scotland and was released on condition that he stayed clothed. This is when his real troubles started. Always one to push the boundaries he flew to Scotland for his court appearance and removed his clothes during the flight. His reward was a spell in jail because, although it is not illegal to be naked anywhere in the UK it is illegal to break a court’s bail conditions.


Steve and Mel sample the hospitality in and English pub

These boots were made for walking

And so, ever since, Steve has been on the treadmill of serving a short prison sentence, being released (naked of course), re-arrested, sent to court (naked of course) and then back to jail for contempt of court (because he is naked). Using this device the Scottish legal system has managed to keep a man in jail for several years for an offence which is not an imprisonable offence.

With each turn of the loop each side of the standoff seems to become increasingly determined not to loose. It seems that the only hope of release for Steve would be to contract a serious enough illness to be sent to his home country (England in this case) as they did with the Lockerbie bomber.


A bit of sight seeing on the journey

Another shopping trip
Please support the Facebook campaign to Free the Naked Rambler

Comments

MaryB
Anyone wishing to send Steve a Christmas card can send it to: Stephen Gough Human Rights Political Prisoner No. 81590 Segregation Unit HMP Perth 3 Edinburgh Road PERTH PH2 8AT

Keith
This is just another example of how stupidly the law can be interpreted or used and how depressingly narrow minded people are to bring this to court in the first place. They should be held to account for misuse of public money, meanwhile criminals in the real sense of the word walk off with a warning. It is about time the establishment woke up to the real world that trying to hide nudity, as opposed to pornography ,from children leaves them ill prepared and even more exposed to the corruption of their minds as they grow up. Any adult who is offended is probably the product of such a narrow minded upbringing!

Debbie
Guess he should have followed the court's orders until he left Scotland. I have no pity for him. He put himself in jail.

MaryB
[Debbie said] …He put himself in jail. Of course he did but I think that is the whole point of what he is trying to achieve. I believe that he sees himself as a progressive campaigner and is challenging the law just as the Suffragettes did to get votes for women. If Steve helps human beings to lose their fear of the human body that would be no bad thing.

Ian
So they let out the lockerbie bomber to please gaddaffi but they keep an innocent man in jail at huge cost for simply being clothesfree, I know these judges have "principles" to uphold but common sense thay have not, if he was released he would wander naked back to England and be out of their hands.

David Pledge
The madness, corruption and hypocrisy of the Scottish courts in this issue is, in my view, beyond belief! The waste of public money is a scandal and a disgrace, but the abuse of Steve Gough's human rights is absolutely unforgivable. Eventually, he will be remembered as a brave campaigner for freedom. I hope he does not give up his struggle, and that eventually, his human rights will be enforced, perhaps by a higher court, possibly in Europe. But perhaps the best thing would be for public pressure to rise in his favour. I wish someone in the media with genuine respect for freedom would make a new documentary about this Scottish farce!

dupierreux
Courage Steve Imagines les "hommes de loi" nus au tribunal!!

Louis
Our thoughts are with you both and wish you good luck

Richard Foley
It's simply ridiculous and just goes to show how much the implementation of the law is a personal interpretation. If the police didn't take such an intense interest in Gough, and/or the judge instructed them not to bring him back in again, to waste yet more time, money and resources, he'd be a free man. Instead, the authorities continue to abuse their powerful position to bully this single harmless man, to the continuing detriment of individual freedom in the modern world. R. http://www.naktiv.net

Ewen
Its now a game of who will break first, Stevens commendable beliefs of the right to be naked or the Scottish police rights to arrest him, unfortunately I do not see either breaking in a hurry. Why don't they just drive him naked to the border in the privacy of a police van and let him ramble to freedom to a more sensible, relaxed England. I feel I would like to campaign on his behalf, but to whome? Any suggestions? Can I visit him in Prison? E

JAC
Good for him for sticking to his principles, but, as a former CA defense attorney, you need To follow a Judges orders. The only real solution is to get out of the country, clothed. What's the point of spending years in prison? You don't win a thing. We all have our rights and freedom we value so highly, but, it's their system, and they tend to do what they want with it. Best to stay out of it.

Pete Knight
Yes Steve could keep his clothes on and gain his freedom, at least freedom from his cell, but he still wouldn't have the freedom to be himself. The point isn't about getting him out of jail, it's about gaining acceptance for nudity. You can also write to the justice minister who released Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who was convicted of killing 270 people, to get him to release an eccentric Englishman who hasn't harmed a soul. Write to: Kenny MacAskill MSP The Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP Please be polite, but ask that Steve be released on compassionate grounds.

Zack Pendic
I really Was impressed by the screening of the Naked Rambler 4th Dec 2009, he really put a smile on my face! But on a more serious note thank you Steve for being an inspiration, showing up the rest of us for not standing up for what we believe in. Does any body know if Steve is still in the klink or has he been released?

MaryB
Yes Steve is still in prison. You can also write to Kenny MacAskill asking for his release here: kenny.macaskill.msp@scottish.parliament.uk Please be polite.

Steve Castle
I am appalled that Steve Gough is still in prison especially as he did not commit a crime in the first place. He clearly is a man of courage and conviction. All the best Steve.

tony and vera
keep up the fight you are a man of courage www.naturistholiday.co.uk

Tom V
Steve has been told that he could spend the rest of his life in prison if he doesn't change his dress code: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/cover-up-or-face-life-in-jail-naked-rambler-is-warned-1865690.html

blondie
not being funny but why all the hassle? it's not as if his dangly bits are really dangling, I've seen better on the beaches in Spain.

Anne
What a load of rubbish. We came into this world naked and it is the narrow minded people and judges in Scotland who have a problem. He isn't causing any problem to anyone and for those who don't like it, they don't have to look !! He isn't a sex fiend or a murderer and is just doing what he feels is right, there are more perverts in our country and Scotland running around with their clothes on, so come on you narrow minded judges, let him free. He deserves a medal for walking naked in all weathers. It is far worse to be on any foreign beach and see the 'posers' in their little seedy trunks and gold medallions than Steve. IN that group I would also count David Beckham and more recently Ronaldo in their underwear poses, doesn't do anything for me. Carry on Steve, there is nothing wrong with nudity. We came across a nudist beach in Majorca a couple of years ago and stripped off, it was most exhilarating.

eddie h. stacey
why can,t people have the right to be naked in public is amazing to me. there is nothing wrong with a person going naked in public. being naked is healthy i support public nudity. i love being naked as much as possible. our rights as a free people need to be so we can go naked if we wish to.

anne boland
Anyone know how I can get in touch with a Steve site to send my support? Anne from Holland

Bernard
Steve was released after serving his latest term on 29 October 2010. He left HMP Perth nude and so was re-arrested for "breach of the peace" once again. He appeared nude in the sheriff's court on 2 November where he pled not guilty and was remanded until a trial later in November. The cases continue... (His address remains as in the posting at the top of these comments).

Graham Thomas
This should be one of the warnings from "our" legal system regarding the pomposity of those who believe it is their right to control us. Others are the arrest of a woman for reading out a list of Iraq deaths & the use of anti-terrorist laws against citizens breaking administrative law. The breach of the peace charge used against Steve is old common law intended for local minor anti-social behaviour. It is not and should never be, intended to threaten a man with life imprisonment. He should try and obtain a judgment along the lines of the recent one which found a child killer was entitled to his family life....Steve surely is!

birdface
The scottish police are being pedantic and pathetic.People should respect how others choose to live. Steve seems to be a respectable man who is standing up for what he believes in, whilst the Scottish police are being ignorant to the ever changing social attitudes involving subjects such as nudism. The Scottish police do not understand that in many places in the world it is becoming increasingly popular and acceptable to be a nudist. The Scottish police are in their own 'bubble' of deluded beliefs from the begining of the last century, and are trying to keep it from popping. Whilst steve's jail sentence is sound by legal terms, it seems totally pointless and is probably being held onto to prevent a law changing to allow nudity in Scotland. If this law were to change it would make the higher ranking police and judges look like fools, which frankly, they do already. Steve should be released without any crimnal record, because the only crime he commited is a breech of peace, following an offence he did not commit.

jashe
most posts seemingly from sympathizers only, but this from (what disparagingly called) moral majority: this story originally hit me as something bizarre of course but also something quite deviant – don’t know why someone should even explain, still: Nudity is OK in special camps, but society as a whole doesn’t approve – what we have here is a legal circus, someone acting completely abnormally but the law too vague here to do anything, no measures taken because of loopholes, legal wrangling – What want to say: some posts say, “we are born without clothes” etc – yes, also (more or less) without teeth, without hair, and so on – as the child evolves, clothes are normal in same way we do our hair, instead of unkempt, we need dentists etc – the whole history of civilization argues against this bloke (and now his sidekick, duped into foregoing her feminine modesty -- such public nudity takes away wonderful sexual mystique – she a pretty girl but loses all her charm for me when loses modesty) – ancient Egyptians, even in severe heat, Greeks Romans and everybody, wore clothes in public, and as if saying: hey buddy we know something you don’t! – in short, the real issue here is overlooked, this is simply unbridled VANITY, someone (now 2) having nothing else to contribute in society, except showing off their naked bodies to the world, because have no other talents, and to get into the News! in a word sensationalism, compared to, necessarily, espousing a cause -- in the old days, he would have been kept, not in a jail but in a mental institution, for what (most of society would say) is crazy and obscene – not that the human body is bad per se, but has its place, and should not be imposed on the unwilling and those who still have some sense of Christian decency.

Mike Smith
I want to congratulate Steve on his winning of an important battle on what might be called "The Long Road to Waterloo" where Napoleon aka Tony Blair was finally defeated.

Brian
If you want to support Steve, please sign these two petitions: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Free_the_Naked_Rambler_Stephen_Gough/ and http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2221949-free-naked-rambler-stephen-gough-now-10-yrs-in-pr . Forward these addresses to everyone you know, and spread the message on Facebook and Twitter! See also the Facebook group "Free the Naked Rambler Stephen Gough" http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=247410229402 Brian p.s. A few relevant quotes... "The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time." - John Stuart Mill "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric." - Bertrand Russell "I'd rather be in prison expressing my freedom, than outside suppressing it" - Steve Gough

Jane Talbot-Weiss
I love Steven Gough, if only we all brought up our children to believe that nudity is not evil and the human body is to be revered not stigmatised, the World would be a better place.Why can't intelligent people understand the difference between nudity and sexuality, which are two very different things.

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