August 14, 2000 12:13pm
Naturist Appears in Court Naked
(LONDON) -- A man campaigning for the right to be naked was thrown out of court Monday after he appeared before magistrates sporting only his bushy beard and a backpack.
Vincent Bethell, a 28-year-old naturist, was due to face charges of disorderly behavior after being arrested for walking naked through London on Sunday. Judge Terence English ordered Bethell to get dressed and reappear on Sept. 4, ``hopefully with your clothes on because the courts will not deal with you if you go through this nonsensical charade.''
Bethell has vowed not to put his clothes back on until British law is changed to allow public nudity. He faces a fine of up to $1,500 for his naked walk in the upscale Kensington neighborhood.
Bethell, who recently collected his unemployment benefit with no clothes on, is well known to police. He has carried out more than 15 naked protests, including stripping off outside Scotland Yard police headquarters in London and perching naked on top of a lamppost outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London for two hours.
He remained unrepentant.
``Being human is not a crime - people should not be punished,'' he said as he left court. ``I'm remaining naked until it's legalized, but after me walking around for a few weeks it may be considered acceptable. I'm doing everything naked.''