Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Naked rambler Stephen Gough appears nude via video link from prison

Stephen Gough Image copyright PA
Image caption Ex-Royal Marine Stephen Gough has spent most of the past eight years in jail

A man known as the naked rambler made legal history after appearing nude via prison video link at the Court of Appeal.

Stephen Gough lost an appeal against a conviction for the breach of an Asbo.

He appeared from Winchester Prison where he is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for breaching the order banning him from being naked in public.

His counsel Matthew Scott argued Gough should have been allowed to appear naked at the original trial.

Lady Justice Rafferty refused Gough's appeal.

Clive Coleman, the BBC's legal affairs correspondent, said Gough, 56, almost certainly made legal history by appearing in his natural state.

'Nothing intimidating'

Gough was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of breaching the Asbo in October 2014 and sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment.

He had refused to put on clothes as he left Winchester Prison after being imprisoned for a previous breach.

At his trial, the judge refused his requests to appear naked and he was tried in his absence.

Mr Scott argued at the Court of Appeal the judge should have made arrangements to allow the trial to take place with the defendant present, but naked.

On the video link, he appeared seated and naked at the prison, with his lower half obscured by a table.

Gough was dubbed the naked rambler after completing a nude trek from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2003.

He has faced repeated convictions and prison spells totalling about eight years.

He has previously argued there was nothing intimidating about him appearing "in his natural human state".

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