A rambler convicted of a public order offence after strolling through a beauty spot naked told a court he believed naturism was a “protest against social norms.”
Nigel Keer, 42, appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Friday (Sept 21) to appeal against the conviction after magistrates found him guilty of causing distress to a woman who was walking her dog on Otley Chevin.
The court heard Keer, a committed naturist, was arrested by an off duty police officer after he saw a woman appear “distressed” at seeing him taking the naked tea-time stroll.
Keer, from Cottingley, gave evidence at the hearing in which he claimed that the woman did not exist and that the officer, PC Mark Buxton, swore at him and told him to “get a life”.
Keen’s barrister. Dr Michael Arnheim, asked him what he thought the point of naturism was. He replied: “It is about body freedom and in a way it is a mild protest against expected social norms of wearing clothes every day, and I enjoy it.”
Keen told the court he had taken part in three ‘naked world bike rides’ and had appeared alongside other naturists in an art installation by the Spencer Tunick, a photographer reknown for large-scale nude shoots.
Keer said he had taken part in all those events without any negative reaction from the public. Keen said he kept score of the number of positive reactions versus adverse reactions he received on his stroll and the score was 15-0 in his favour.
PC Buxton also gave evidence, describing the woman’s reaction: He said: “She was walking her dog and constantly looking behind. She was worried or upset about something and her general body language didn’t look as though she was comfortable.”
He added: “I can remember being shocked and a little outraged and at the time a little surprised at my own reaction.” The case was adjourned until October 8.