A rambler who strolled naked across a Leeds beauty spot has won a year-long battle against his conviction for a public order offence.
Naturist Nigel Keer, 42, has been appealing against the charges since magistrates found him guilty of causing distress to a woman who was walking her dog on Otley Chevin last October.
And yesterday a judge at Leeds Crown Court told him that the charges would be dismissed because it was unlikely that Mr Keer’s naked walk had caused anyone any distress.
The court had heard that Mr Keer was arrested by off-duty police officer PC Mark Buxton, who said he saw a woman appear “distressed” when she had noticed Mr Keer rambling on the Chevin on October 11 last year.
But Mr Keer had denied the claims, and said naturism “is about body freedom and in a way it is a mild protest against the expected social norms of wearing clothes every day.”
Sitting with two justices, judge Guy Kearl said PC Buxton, who said he had been shocked by the incident, would not have been able to determine if the woman was distressed.
He said that the police officer’s reaction to seeing Mr Keer could also be considered “extreme given his experience.”
Dismissing the charges, he added: “This behaviour was not carried out in front of a school or in the street in a town centre. It took place on moorland in broad daylight.
“In view of the location of this incident, the time of day and the reaction of others as we have found it to be, we do not consider that anyone was likely to be harassed by this behaviour or intimidated or distressed.”
The judge said there were no sexual motives behind incident, adding: “He was not deliberately flaunting himself or seeking attention or jumping out and doing what is colloquially called flashing.”
As reported in the YEP, Mr Keer has taken part in three naked world bike rides alongside other naturists.
Speaking after the case, Mr Keer said that he was delighted to have finally fought off the charges.
He said the allegations had led to him being out of work for a number of months.
Mr Keer added: “I’ve kept up the naturism, but I’ve been a bit more careful now.
“It’s a bit cold to be doing anything at the moment, but once the weather warms up, I’ll be back out there.”