THE man known as the Naked Rambler has walked free from court after charges were dropped.

Stephen Gough was walking naked from the Scottish border to his mother’s home in southern England when he was arrested in Carterton, West Oxfordshire, on December 4, last year.

The 53-year-old, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, spent Christmas in custody while his defence team contested charges of outraging public decency.

Their applications were dismissed, but at Oxford Crown Court yesterday a barrister for the Crown Prosecution Service said it had decided to charge him with the lesser offence of using insulting words or behaviour, which he denied. No evidence was offered and the case was dropped.