Naked Rambler costs us £500,000

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Gough was sentenced to his longest stretch 657 days, at Perth Sheriff Court last month (Picture by Kilnburn)

The Naked Rambler has cost the Scottish taxpayer half a million pounds.

Stephen Gough has racked up the eye-watering total by being almost permanently in prison over the last six years.

The ex-Marine refuses to wear clothing – even while appearing in the dock.

And the mammoth bill could keep on rising as every time Gough is released, he is rearrested for being in the buff.

BREACH OF THE PEACE

According to The Sun, he has chalked up 17 convictions for Breach of the Peace for remaining resolutely starkers since beginning a nude walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2003.

He is currently serving a 657 day sentence, his longest yet, handed down by Perth Sheriff court last month.

Sheriff Richard McFarlane said to Gough: “Can you help me as to when this ridiculous cycle of offending will stop?

“A lot of deserving causes could benefit from the unnecessary cost you are putting the country to.

“Your conduct is verging on the selfish because of the costs.

“I am asking – no pleading – you to consider your position and how it is denying public money to others.”

WASTE

Gough has been trying to reach John O'Groats since 2003 (Picture by Asterion)

The newspaper estimates it costs around £35,000 a year to house the average prisoner but said that as Gough spends much of his time behind bars segregated from other prisoners the cost could be more.

The total bill also takes into account legal aid bills, court costs and wasted police time.

The Taxpayers Alliance slammed the bill. Chief executive, Matthew Elliott, said: “£It is unbelievable that this ongoing case has been allowed to waste so much taxpayers’ money.

“A sensible solution has to be found, sending the naked rambler back to prison benefits no one.”

Divisional commander for Perth and Kinross, Chief Supt Roddy Ross, said: “We have tried to reason with himand have asked him to desist from his current behaviour

“But he wants to exercise his right to ramble naked.”

RIDICULOUS

Labour Justice spokesman James Kelly said: “It is ridiculous that one man should be responsible for such a drain on scarce public resources due to his own selfishness.”

When appearing in court, Gough always denies the charging, saying theat to force him to don clothes is a breach of his rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

At his last court apperance he said: “I am not indecent. Ordinary people have prejudices.”


1 COMMENT

  1. He is committing no crime, The court are just frightened of losing face so they perpetuate this ridiculous situation. Forums on sites such as facebook and 38degrees are growing with support for Steve. Something will have to be done soon before the public take action! If the court want to get out of this cycle, all they have to do is release him over the border in England!! Simple…….

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