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Naked Rambler Told To Stop Rambling Naked Across British Countryside

It's a blow for naked ramblers everywhere.

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Stephen Gough, more famously known as the Naked Rambler, has lost a court battle to carry on roaming the countryside without being arrested and put back in prison.

The European Court of Human Rights told Gough, 54, from Hampshire, that his conduct "goes against the standards of accepted public behaviour".

PA Archive/Press Association Images Andrew Milligan

Gough, a former Royal Marine, pictured above after completing a 900-mile walk from Land's End to John o' Groats in 2003, has been rambling naked for years. He was first arrested in 2003 for breach of the peace, the start of a long list of arrests and convictions that have seen him spend more than five years in prison.

He was jailed for a further two-and-a-half years earlier this month after walking out of prison naked after being detained for breaching an ASBO. He refused to wear clothes in the courtroom.

Gough took his case to the ECHR on the basis that the law infringes his right to freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act.

Getty Images / Jeff J Mitchell

But the court said: "Article 10 does not go so far as to enable individuals, even those sincerely convinced of the virtue of their own beliefs, to repeatedly impose their antisocial conduct on other, unwilling members of society."

According to the BBC, Gough said after the verdict: "How can nature expressed in human form be indecent?"

Getty Images Jeff J Mitchell

"How can any sane person be offended at seeing the human body? Today's decision from the ECHR is a disappointment.

"I expected them to take the wider view. They have not. Then again, what great endeavour ever succeeded without having to surmount many obstacles that stood in its way.

"Why should it be any different for me? I have no choice but to continue."

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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