Isobel Williamsdraws in the public seats of the UK Supreme Court, with the court’s permission, and records her impressions on her blog page at isobelwilliams.blogspot.com. In 2015 Isobel travelled to Winchester Crown Court on two separate occasions to cover Stephen Gough’s appearances before Judge Keith Cutler CBE, after the Naked Rambler had breached his ASBO conditions that resulted in his subsequent arrest and imprisonment. Unlike the Supreme Court, there are many restrictions on reporting upon events in Crown courtrooms in England and Wales including a ban on sketching. Court artists therefore have to use their memories and Isobel records her frustration in this article ‘Drawing The Line’. Earlier that year, Isobel had the chance to do some life drawings of the Naked Rambler after he was released from prison and she caught up with him in a safe house somewhere in Winchester. Her story and record of that event can be viewed on her blog The Naked Rambler and raw Clare.
IN THE NEWS
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Acquisitions in 2016. The NЯO received two new Naked Rambler cushions to add to our art collection. The “Naked Rambler at the Mountains of Madness” cushions are based on a painting by Glen Vaudrey and can be viewed on the Arts & Crafts page shorty.
Click Here for a short video. Stephen Gough uses a quotation from Edmund Burke a politician elected to Parliament by the constituents of Bristol on Thursday November 3rd 1774, to explain why, in his key note speech, the philosophy of living byone’s ownjudgement.
Annual HMP Edinburgh to Upper Hindhope Naked Walk to Freedom. October the 5th 2015 was the inaugural date after Ian Beveridge, a long time Stephen Gough supporter, suggested the idea on a blogger’s page in 2014. For the full story see the Commemorative Walk
The European Court of Human Rights, sitting on 12 June 2018 as a committee of international judges, composed of Kristina Pardalos (President), Ksenija Turković and Tim Eickem (Judges) and Renata Degener (Deputy Section Registrar), presided over the fate of the Naked Rambler in his long awaited ASBO appeal, officially listed as ‘Stephen Peter GOUGH against the United Kingdom’. Their decision (as far as we can tell) went unreported in the British press. It was only after several people had been in touch via emails and on social media, asking about Stephen Gough’s current situation and his whereabouts, that we were compelled to investigate the case further and take a closer look at all the details freely available online.
The ASBO application was lodged with the Court on 9 January 2015. Stephen Gough’s appeal took 3 years and 5 months to come before the committee. No wonder then, that this one passed silently under the British newspapers’ radar. Gough was represented before the Court by Mr Mike Schwarz of Bindmans LLP, a lawyer practising in London, who has covered the Naked Rambler’s trials and tribulations on a few other occasions. The United Kingdom Government were represented by their Agent, Ms Amanda Hennedy-Goble, a barrister also based in London.
Briefly, Stephen Gough alleged that the imposition of the ASBO on him breached his Human rights under Article 10 of the Convention. He argued that its only purpose was to circumvent the maximum penalties permitted for public nudity by the Public Order Act and that, as a result, it did not pursue a legitimate aim. He further argued that it was neither necessary nor proportionate since it conferred no further powers on the police to deal with his behaviour and constituted a blanket prohibition on public nudity, removing any police and prosecutorial discretion. And as a consequence of the imposition of the ASBO it was an automatic prosecution and imprisonment indefinitely and in conditions akin to solitary confinement.
The Government argued that Stephen Gough did not raise any new issues of substance compared with the previous Human Rights court case brought by himself in October 2014. A full list of which is available in the old court documents found here.
In paragraphs 50 to 75 of this new European Court of Human Rights decision located here, the court declares that the claim of Stephen Gough against the United Kingdom - Mark II, ‘manifestly ill-founded [and] unanimously declares the application inadmissible’. A sad ending to our rambling tale. Or is it? Time will tell!