Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

Case Against Steve Gough Dismissed

Melenie Roberts has announced that Oxford Crown Court and Nottingham Magistrates Court have dropped their respective charges against Steve Gough. More details can be found in BBC article “‘Naked Rambler’ freed on bail after Oxfordshire charge dropped.” Facebook users can also gain more news by going to Free Steve Gough. Ms Roberts adds that Steve is now with Oblone film crew.

This is good news, and we shall be studying the arguments used at Oxford Crown Court to see if they have any value elsewhere.

16 Responses to Case Against Steve Gough Dismissed

  • The cases were not dismissed in court as the headline implies, and no arguments were presented in court when the charges were dropped. Actually, it was the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), not the courts, which decided to discontinue those two cases. This was presumably done after an internal review looked at the specific details of the two cases and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to make it likely that a conviction could be secured. It does not mean that either the CPS or the courts accept that Steve is innocent of any offence – merely that they are under a duty not to waste public resources by pursuing cases where the prospect of a conviction is uncertain. Let’s remember that only last week the judge in Oxford Crown Court rejected Steve’s application for his case to be dismissed and said that it should proceed to trial. And it’s notable that the CPS has not dropped the charges against Steve in three other cases where they presumably feel that the prospects of getting a conviction are stronger in the light of the facts of those cases. It’s a bit soon to celebrate Steve’s escape from the clutches of the law. There’s still a long way to go before his claimed freedom to be naked is recognised by the legal system, if it ever is.

    • Thanks for the clarification Chris, and you’re right, we can’t go dancing in the streets just yet. This sounds very much like the Scottish ‘Not Proven’ where the accused is innocent but not innocent. Although Steve Gough and NAG come at it from different directions, we do want the same thing. It is a pity that the CPS has withdrawn their evidence from Oxford Crown Court, as that would give direction to the Magistrates’ courts as well as the CPS. Do you know if any of the remaining three are in the Crown Court?

  • The Facebook group has the message: Stephen has “arrived” !! 🙂

    Presumably this means that he has finally arrived home.

  • Oh good, does that mean we’ll never hear of him again?

  • Some years ago I went to court with a case brought against me by the Police and CPS. I had previously studied the prevailing law at the time and realised I had a good test case. When I got to court (representing myself), The case was ajourned so the CPS could gather more evidence. My last statement to the court was that, I didn’t want the CPS to drop the case, as I needed clarification to continue my business, which would be severely affected by the outcome.

    The CPS promised that they wouldn’t drop the case, but three weeks later they did exactly that. This left me in a position where the law was not clarified and I ran the risk of being harassed by the Police continually, which I was! The CPS knew that if I won the case it would open the flood gates for others to follow, which is what they were afraid of.

    I believe that CPS have dropped this case so that everything remains the same and they can continue to harass any genuine Naturist at any time in the future, just to put them off what is our right, to live a free life.

  • I think you are quite right Baretracker. One thing that Steve (and others) have clearly shown is that the police are now abusing their powers of arrest to routinely harrass naked people who are not acting illegally, and are causing no problems nor harm to anyone. Furthermore, it is clear that the CPS deliberately raised the charge against Steve to ‘outraging public decency’ in order to detain him; they stated that a public order offence would not be pursued because it did not carry a custodial sentence, and they must have known that they did not have the evidence for the higher charge. PAOF2, we will continue to hear from Steve and more importantly those of us who care about our civil liberties will continue in the campaign for naked freedom. You will be hearing from many of us! We have a choice here. We can fight for our freedoms or we can allow them to be taken from us. I will be fighting. This is so precious to me that they will only take it away over my dead body (and I mean that literally). Roger Coupe

  • It would give more clarification for the case to have gone forward, but there is a growing catalogue of cases which have been dismissed against very rare cases which have succeeded, in England, ignoring magistrates courts where they make up their own law…. This catalogue in itself is very telling. With so many cases dismissed, dropped etc, there appears to be growing evidence of institutional prejudice against naturists, based not on the law but on the beliefs of those in the police and CPS who assume it must be stopped in any way they can, using any law they can. And still they can’t ….., so long as people do not accept cautions and appeal from magistrates courts. Unfortunately, untold anguish may be caused individuals and families caught up in this prejudice, before cases are dropped. Accused people often lose jobs over it amd may even find themselves on the sex register if they don’t stand up for themselves. In many ways, the police and CPS win every time, but gradually they lose credibility.

    However, public opinion is what is crucial in the long game, if we are not to find new laws enacted against naturism.

  • I agree Skidbladnir.
    As an example of the impact of the police and CPS losing credibility, I cycle each week with a group who know about my naked activities and who have heard about Steve; none of them are at all inclined to go naked and up to now they had been pretty sceptical, seeing it as one of my (many) quirks … Now that they have found out about the injustices suffered by Steve two of them are incensed and have become firmly committed to the movement! OK it is just 2 so far but if we all recruit 2 then we treble our numbers, so 3.5 million naturists in the UK become more than 10 million …… By the way the leamington spa and nottingham cases have I believe been dropped also.

  • Last few days to hear Steve Gough on BBC Radio Oxford, Bill Heine programme from sunday 10th feb :-
    item starts at 1hr 34mins and lasts 25 mins

  • It has been reported that Steve has been out walking from his home. He has been arrested and released again in Southampton.
    It is becoming increasingly apparent that the police and courts are gradually coming to the realisation that genuine naturists are no threat to the public.

  • He may have been released, but only after spending the night in the cells. Even then he wasn’t released by the Police, but by the Magistrates Court & was only released on bail to reappear before the courts on Tuesday. Threat or not, he is still being sanctioned.

  • I heard the news re Steve and Southampton while I was out walking naked today (yes it was quite cold!) with Richard around the seven sisters and on the south downs. We encountered groups of cyclists, families, individuals, altogether well over 100 people. Everyone greeted us warmly, gave us the thumbs up, and smiled. Several very positive comments were made; the best perhaps from a (german?) tourist who told us we were real men! The public don’t feel fear, alarm nor distress, they don’t feel threatened by us, we seem to bring them joy. Nakedness is rapidly becoming an accepted part of our culture, and the police and courts are just beginning to catch up. We all know how best to help them along …..

  • Today 28th February, Stephen Gough received an ASBO!!
    This means that it will open the door for every Police biggot to arrest a genuine NATURIST and take them to court as a public nuisance. I don’t know enough about the ASBO regulations, but once you are given one, you are at the courts mercy to comply or suffer the consequencies as THEY think fit, including imprisonment. This will destroy the idea that being naked in public is not an offence. Watch this space and hope! Better still lets act to support OUR RIGHTS.

    • That is disappointing news. ASBOs were never intended for this kind of thing. Calls for action are easy to make, sadly – as we know from experience – too few people are prepared to act in whatever capacity and prefer to leave it to others. I find, however, your analysis very pessimistic without a solid foundation to base it on. Let us not automatically assume the worst.

  • Steves asbo bans him from being naked in any public place in england and wales. steve has never been convicted of any offence in england and wales, despite many failed attempts, but the basis for the asbo was that he had “caused offence” and wasted a huge amount of police time! So now if the police waste their own time pursuing us for not breaking the law, we get an asbo!

  • I was thinking along the same lines myself

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