A naked rambler has been cleared of causing alarm following a cliff-top walk.
Police in Dorset mounted a major operation to keep a close watch on 20 naturist walkers who took part in a charity event in June. The force chopper was also deployed.
However, magistrates in Weymouth dismissed charges against Bernard Vivian Boase of Kingston upon Thames. He had been arrested and charged under the Public Order Act 1986, which makes it an offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
Officers who arrested Mr Boase argued that it was his refusal to put clothes on during the walk that constituted the offence. Magistrates disagreed, saying there was insufficient evidence to convict.
As well as mobilising the police helicopter, ten officers on the ground kept a keen eye on the nude men. Mr Boase, 63, a member of Naturists UK, was not in court to hear the outcome of the case.
Mr Boase is a proponent of ‘free-range’ naturists who take their pursuits beyond the confines of their home and closed clubs. He is among a group which regularly hikes naked in the Lake District and has also taken part in naked cycle rides. He also supported Britain’s most famous naked rambler Steve Gough during his time in jail in Scotland.
The Dorset walk, along the county’s famed Jurassic Coast, was to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society.