The Naked Rambler, Stephen Gough, has lost his case at the European Court of Human Rights where he claimed he had a right to be naked in public. He had argued that his repeated arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for being naked in public
and his treatment in detention violated his rights.
The court unanimously found there had been no violation of Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. Naked Rambler Stephen Gough has lost his challenge in the European Court of Human Rights of the
sentence was one year, nine months and 18 days. The ECHR ruled:
The applicant's imprisonment is the consequence of his repeated violation of the criminal law in full knowledge of the consequences, through conduct which
he knew full well not only goes against the standards of accepted public behaviour in any modern democratic society but also is liable to be alarming and morally and otherwise offensive to other, unwarned members of the public going about their ordinary
The court described Gough's case as troubling but ruled that relevant and sufficient measures had been taken against him by the police and legal authorities which saw him arrested in 2011. They were meeting a
pressing social need in response to repeated anti-social conduct by Gough. The ECHR stated:
Even though, cumulatively, the penalties imposed on the applicant undoubtedly did entail serious consequences for him,
the court cannot find in the circumstances of his case, having regard in particular to his own responsibility for his plight, that the public authorities in Scotland unjustifiably interfered with his exercise of freedom of expression. Accordingly, no
violation of Article 10 of the Convention has been established.
Offsite Comment: Stephen Gough and the European Court
British Naturism very much welcomes the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that nudity is a means of expression and that Article 10 of the European Convention of Human rights applies to nudity. This is a preliminary analysis of the court's
ruling regarding Stephen Gough. The judgement only considers some aspects of the case, and there are no surprises, but it does establish some points of law that are important for Naturism and the fight against prudery and body-shame.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has sparked a national sex debate when it dismissed popular radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi claimed he was fired because his participation in consensual BDSM had come to light.
Two men who stripped off to take a dip in the sea in Northern Ireland were threatened with a criminal record and warned that they might be added to the sex offenders' register.
Pictures that emerged online of the event show a naked man standing in
Belfast Lough in County Down, hands over his private parts, with two police officers speaking to him as he made his way towards the shore.
Campaigners said it is absolutely monstrous that the police have decided to pass the case to the
public prosecutor's office, who has yet to decide whether the two men should be charged with indecent exposure.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland made offensive posts on Facebook to warn other innocent people that they will take equally nasty
actions against people caught skinny dipping. The police threatened:
NOT a good idea, we are treating this kind of behaviour extremely seriously and will be continuing to take action against anyone who decides to do
There are young children in these areas too. You could end up with a Criminal Record and placed on the Sex Offender Register.
Speaking on the incident a spokesman for British Naturism called the
police threats absolutely monstrous . Andrew Welch, the volunteer organisation's national spokesman, said:
The law is very clear that being naked in public is not a crime. It has to be proved by a complainant that the nude
person intended to cause somebody alarm or distress.
Welch noted that it is absolutely monstrous that the pair might be put on the sex offenders' register, calling the threat almost medieval and pointing out that if they
were added it could 'harm their whole careers .
Offsite Comment: Skinny dipping is not a crime. Dive in
Council officials in Magaluf, Spain have ordered the closure of the bar where a British girl was filmed performing blowjobs on 24 men in return for a cocktail.
Local police say they have identified Playhouse as the bar where the video was taken.
The owners of the bar have been hit with a €55,000 fine they have been told to pay along with the bar crawl entertainment firm Carnage.
Both Playhouse and Carnage have also been told they must shut for a year unless they can successfully appeal
against the council decision. A council killjoy explained its knee jerk reaction:
The town hall has shown it is acting in a scrupulous legal fashion. We've acted only when a full and conclusive police report was in
place. We haven't acted on the spur of the moment based on the sole evidence of a video posted on the Internet.
I think the message is clear. The town hall won't tolerate activities of the kind featured in the video under any
circumstances. We will use all the laws we have available to us to ensure there is no repetition.
Valerie Dodds, who performs under the name Val Midwest, got into trouble for posting naked photos on the Internet. She said on her website it was revenge for students, alumni and teachers of the school who criticized her when she announced her porn
After receiving a 45 day jail sentence, she announced plans to appeal the decision, but bad news, she is in now in jail. It appears from the valmidwest website that she was effectively bullied into abandoning her appeal by
the threat of more charges.
Six weeks' porridge for public nudity and trespassing (mainly in areas to which the public are admitted) at 3 a.m. outside a few churches and on a school playing field. Compare that with
small fines in the civilised world for streaking at rugby and cricket internationals.
Lincoln, Nebraska, must be a grade A shithole - and nobody would have heard of the place but for the crackpot reaction to the Midwest girls.
The Naked Rambler has been jailed for 16 months for public nudity after a trial in which he was denied access. The Jury took two minutes to find Stephen Gough guilty of breaching order designed to prevent him appearing nude in public
Stephen Gough was
not allowed into court to address the jury because he refused to put on any clothes. Recorder John Williams told Gough:
I'm afraid there is going to be a revolving door in and out of prison, because you are intent on
flouting these orders and there is absolutely no way you are going to comply with them.
Your refusal is that you genuinely feel that it is some way in breach of your rights, but unfortunately the courts are of the view that they
are not. I would like to hope that when you leave prison you will not leave in the state that you are today, but I know that is a vain hope.
The judge had earlier told the jury:
He would like to
address you as naked as the day he was born, but I will not let him do that.
Comment: Good on the Naked Rambler, more public nudity would be a good thing
We're continually being exposed to sexualised nudity, but it's rare to see a middle-aged man naked in public. During the day, before the watershed, we see hundreds of advertisements for gorgeous, semi-nude women moaning in ecstasy
because they are enjoying their yoghurt or shampoo. Go and stand in any gym, cafe or shop with a TV on, and count the seconds until you see cleavage. For more than 40 years, the Sun newspaper has been publishing pictures of nipples that readers can gaze
at over breakfast. Why is it OK to hint at highly sexualised nudity all day long and then persecute a normal man for getting naked as he goes about his business?
A 19-year-old aspiring porn star who got in trouble with the law by sneaking onto the campus at Lincoln Pius X High School and posing for naked pictures on the football field got jail time for the stunt.
Lancaster County Judge Thomas Fox gave her
45 days in jail. Last month, he found her guilty at a bench trial of trespassing and public nudity for the May 13 late-night photo shoot, during which she posed with her breasts exposed outside Aldrich Field, lying nude on the turf and sitting naked on a
concrete bench. Fox handed down the 30-day sentence for trespassing, plus 15 days for public nudity.
But Valerie Dodds filed notice of appeal soon after her sentencing hearing and was released on a $75 bond later in the day.
performs under the name Val Midwest, posted the photos on the Internet and said on her website it was revenge for students, alumni and teachers of the school who criticized her when she announced her porn career.
Christine Loseke of the City
Attorney's Office said Dodds has shown absolutely no remorse for what she's done and that giving her a fine would be a slap on the wrist. She said: I think she deserves jail for what she did.
Her case next will go to Lancaster County
District Court where a judge will consider her appeal.
Update: A couple of thoughts
1st January 2013. From Alan
It seems to me that the woman from the prosecutor's office wants Valerie Dodds punished for thought crime - a certain feistiness in defending her action and a failure to be remorseful : a bit like the inquisition demanding that a heretic recant.
There's also no sign of any curiosity about what motivated Ms Dodds to pose on the school playing field and outside various Catholic churches. let alone to insert a rosary into a bodily orifice. I suspect there may be some unhappiness behind the bravado,
and 45 days' porridge isn't going to help her.
Another aspect of this case is that only Valerie Dodds was prosecuted. At least one other person must have been equally guilty of trespassing, or there could have been a crew of
photographer, video cameraman. The moving spirit behind the Midwest sites is known to be Shane Harrington, ex-husband of Melissa Harrington, AKA Melissa Midwest. The worst case scenario is that this hapless young woman doesn't really control the
website and that its boasts about the site landing her in jail are dropping her deeper into the shit. In any case, for the prosecutors to come down like a ton of bricks on a girl of nineteen, while making no apparent effort to identify or prosecute the
people making the films has about it a nasty whiff of misogyny.