Rosa Parks with Dr Martin Luther King

Rosa Parks with Dr Martin Luther King

The man known as the Naked Rambler has been told he will be arrested again and again if he continues to refuse to wear clothes in public.

The warning came from Sheriff Lindsay Foulis who remanded Stephen Gough into custody for psychological and psychiatric reports after finding him guilty of breaching the peace near Perth Prison on 17 December when he stepped from the jail wearing nothing but a smile and was promptly rearrested. Mr Gough had been serving a sentence for a similar offence.

Representing himself in court, he refused the sheriff’s offer of bail if he put on clothes to return to his home in Hampshire. He conducted his case naked in the court.

Mr Gough has been in and out of jail for the last seven years as he pursues his campaign to be allowed to walk unclothed. He completed a journey on foot from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2003 despite several brushes with the law en route.

Now, the 50-year-old former Royal Marine has been told he risks spending the rest of his life in prison if he continues his behaviour. Sheriff Foulis said: “When the day comes for you to be released from a prison establishment you will be apprehended and the same process gone through again.

“This is what has happened over the last while and if I impose a custodial sentence that is a scenario which is likely to arise again and again and again.”

The Naked Rambler, who has faced the stiffest opposition to his activities north of the border, compared his campaign to that of US civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, whose defiance in giving up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, and the subsequent boycott campaign, are viewed as a crucial stage in black emancipation in the States.

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