...a load of bollocks to me.
A Suffolk man has discovered to his cost that the courts do not consider cycling naked through sleepy villages a "fun" activity for a Monday afternoon. Alexander Purser, 23, was driving through Acton, near Sudbury, on 7 June last year when he "spotted a community speed watch group in a lay-by on the side of the road". He went …
...a load of bollocks to me.
Ever been to Acton? It's as villagey as Slough on a bad day.
Nakedness causing alarm or distress in kids?
Only if they bust a gut from the laughing.
Icky, yucky, disgusting things. Anyone with one should be locked up!
....get his sprockets caught in his chain!
Doesn't really compute. Strangely enough, the man from the community speed trap gave the best answer. All really rather fully and nothing to get worries over. Everyone else screaming paedo and generally going into headless chicken mode. Do they really believe children haven't seen naked people before and do they really believe bringing them up in such a repressive way is good for them? My kids would kill themselves laughing and taking the p**s out of him.
Britain is really going backwards.
You said it all - which sort of makes this post pointless... Oh!
. . .that when our kids were really little it wasn't the simplest thing to do by just getting in the bath as well. I had no idea that being nekkid would traumatise the little dears - even though small children tend to spend most of the summer with no clothes on.
We are going backwards, we will end up a neo-religious freakshow state just like america.
It's a limp penis, WTF is wrong with the world that seeing a limp penis go past can cause distress? It's just another part of the human body!!!
Seeing Community Speed watch groups would give most people more "distress" than a penis!!
Actually seeing a Community Speed watch group would give me the willies.
In this case maybe, but there surely would have been bedlam if it were an upstanding member of the community.
Oh no, what if they were ever to see a naked body? It would undoubtedly destroy them forever. OMG! They all have bodies of their own! What if they were to see themselves naked?
Clealy, we must stab all their eyes out at birth, for their own protection.
Many comments will no doubt focus on a village apparently stocked with Mary Whitehouse clones, so I'd like to say 'well done, that man' to Alexander.
If more people were willing to inject a bit of fun (risque or otherwise) into life, we'd all be a lot, lot happier. So, Alexander, have a pint on me.
Something caught in the spokes?!
Beat me to it.
First time I'd left the PC all morning............
What about the children?! Won't somebody please think of the children!?
Criminalised for a harmless wheeze.
That sums up the U.K. Humourless, joyless, politically correct morons.
How about petitioning for a "Wooster defence" for minor offences?
The defence will only be applicable for the wheeze if successfully implemented, so trying and succeeding to knock off a policeman's helmet will be OK but hitting the policeman in the attempt won't be.
...we still can't get our beach towels on the loungers before the Germans.
Humour-less *and* inefficient. Not a good combination.
It is not illegal to be naked in public -- but if you appear naked in public you're likely to receive some sort of legal reprimand.
Perhaps it's time the courts stopped being so fucking prudish and put a stop to this nonsense?
That'll be down to the cobbled streets.
A "a community speed watch group in a lay-by on the side of the road" failed to have a sense of humour?
Who'd have thunk it, eh?
"The co-ordinator of the speed watch group, Vincent Humphries, tended to agree. The 61-year-old told the court: "It's not every day you see something like that. I was laughing. It didn't offend me at all.""
I'm not clear what law he broke; contrary to most people's opinions and moral judgements, being naked is not a crime in the UK.
... he didn't have a helmet?
Actually, since a little known update in the law a few years ago, being naked in public is tantamount to being a criminal act.
Basically, the law was changed so that you could be done for knowingly allowing your genitals to be on view so that it may cause alarm or distress. It doesn't matter is no-one is there to be alarmed or distressed or if anyone is, just that there could be.
Where on earth do they get that figure from?
I was a little surprised to see our local youth cricket team taking to the field completely stark bollock naked apart from pads/gloves etc. (no boxes though!)
There families around and no-one seemed to take any offence at all.
If you were to ask the children what they thought of the naked cyclist they would probably just find it funny. The only reason they would take offence is if an adult taught them to take offence - That's the real crime.
Presumably £500 is the price a judge considers the going rate for a naked young man.
A friend of mine even goes as far as to say that "Prudery is child abuse with good intentions".
We have a wealth of evidence of this and a dearth of evidence to the contrary despite trying to find it. There is even a long-standing $1,000 reward for anyone who can write an essay making a valid case for harm to children from nudity. This has yet to be claimed.
It is a pity the article didn't say which law he is supposed to have broken and I can't think of one despite knowing quite a bit about how laws are applied to nudity.
Your reference to "alarm or distress" leads me to believe that you are referring to Section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003:
A person commits an offence of 'Exposure' if-
(a)he intentionally exposes his genitals, and
(b)he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.
Firstly note the "and" - it is not enough that he "exposes his genitals". The important part is his intentions. The prosecution has to prove that he intended to cause alarm or distress - yet his declared intention was to cause amusement and it would appear he succeeded, certainly as far as his intended audience of the community speed trap is concerned. Also we could look at the reactions of people commenting on this article, including those with children - these kinds of reactions are typical of the majority of people - 88% according to a survey we conducted to support our campaign to get the SOA worded as it is. That same survey showed that just 7% thought nudity was 'disgusting' and only 2% thought it 'criminal'. So has this guy been convicted based on the opinion of just 2% of the population?
A flasher who singles someone out, approaches them then exposes himself to them is doing so in order to get a reaction that he hopes will be that of alarm. S66 is aimed at that kind of offence and that is very different from a guy trying to create a bit of harmless fun. His intention was to amuse and the likelihood was that he would amuse, just as the World Naked Bike Ride does every year in cities all over the world. Sadly all it seems to take is one or two 'Mary Whitehouse' characters to give him a criminal record!
I am very puzzled by Stephen's comment. There is no statute or common law such as he refers to. He may be thinking of s.66 Sexual Offences Act 2003 but thanks to a lot of very hard work by British Naturism and others it only applies to aggressive nudity. There must be INTENT to cause alarm or distress.
The defendant believes that he was convicted despite winning the arguments in court but s.5 Public Order Act 1986 is an offence so poorly defined that it is a bigots charter. An appeal is being considered.
NB. We were not directly involved in the case but we have been corresponding with the defendant.
Malcolm Boura, British Naturism.
Paraphrased: "If we don't like it, or we think that somebody else might not like it, then it is illegal".
Has he been placed on the sex offenders' register?
See my reply to Sir Runcible Spoon above.
> wearing nothing more than his specs and a pair of trainers
He should have had his helmet on, too. Though the report contains a curious set of priorities:
"I saw a male on a bike with absolutely nothing on, not even a pair of socks" Hmmm, so that would've been OK, then - depending where the sock(s) were worn?
or it didn't happen
<Paris because she's plastic>
Is it just me or is the most disturbing thing about this is the fact people look at a naked cyclist and think "OH MY GOD IT'S A PEADO! HE'S OBVIOUSLY GOING TO RAPE 100 CHILDREN BEFORE LUNCH!"
How did they make the connection between a naked adult harmlessly cycling around and child molesting? Who actually thinks like that? What else makes them think of child abuse?
It's not like lycra cycling shorts leave anything to the imagination.........
A tall skinny guy with a long beard ran naked throught the crowds with a burger in his hand shouting "Has anyone seen my pickles" nobody managed to stop laughing long enough to get offended and the few children who saw it were laughing the hardest.
Some people need to take the pole out of their ass and grow a sense of humour.
"Some people need to take the pole out of their ass "!!!!
That must be illegal, cruelty to animals. Wonder how many people do own an ass and stick a pole in it.
'naked' and 'discharge' in the same headline and no-one spotted it?
Oh come on people. Keep up!
Why 500 pounds costs - who decided that nonsense?
The poor guy can't even afford clothes!
He'll either have to sell his bike or his body now!
Shouldn't the callers be done for abusing the system?
Quite funny - a good wheeze indeed - reminds me of some of the 'less than fully clad' antics that happened at Uni - thank heavens no one in Bath found that offensive - I am fairly sure I was served and ate a kebab naked from Marmaris just above the Puteney bridge weir!
On a more serious note whilst I think the fine was unnecessary I am SO glad they did not find a way to put this guy on the register.
What utter rot, how could it possibly harm children? In what way would they be harmed by the sight? What is it about the naked human form that is so harmful to children?
"What is it about the naked human form that is so harmful to children?"
This is England. The majority of us still haven't got over the embarassment of having been born in bed with a (more or less) naked woman...
Paris becasue, well, it's compulsory for any post containing the words "naked" and "woman" in the same sentence...