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Beaks reject "jolly good wheeze" defence and order 23-year-old to pay £500 costs...

A man who cycled naked through a community speed watch in Suffolk has been given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 costs.

Alexander Purser, aged 23, who works at Suffolk Ski Centre, was driving through the village of Acton near Sudbury last June when he "spotted a community speed watch group in a lay-by on the side of the road," reports The Sudbury Mercury.

After reaching his home, he took his clothes off and got on his bike, wearing nothing more than his glasses and trainers and rode back to the speed trap, saying afterwards that he "wanted to see if he could reach 30 miles and hour on his bike naked while travelling through the speed trap".

Last month, he told Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court: "I thought it would be fun, both for me and the people manning the speed watch."

Some locals failed to see the funny side, however, with calls made to the police regarding the naked cyclist, who was riding close to the village school.

One, Brenda Bailey, told the court: "There are a lot of young children in that village and I am sure they wouldn't want to see somebody cycling naked."

Another witness, Wayne Bird, said: "I saw a male on a bike with absolutely nothing on, not even a pair of socks. It was like he was having a slow stroll on his bike. I found it very disgusting, knowing all the children were just about to come home from school."

Police visited Purser at his home, where he admitted being the naked cyclist and claimed he had checked his watch before setting out to make sure that pupils hadn’t left school yet, saying that it would have been "totally inappropriate" to have performed his ride with children on the streets.

Appearing for Purser, Paul Booty told the court that the defendant had not meant to cause alarm or distress, telling magistrates that the episode “was a jolly good wheeze - marvelllous fun.”

That view was shared by 61-year-old Vincent Humphries, co-ordinator of the speed watch group, who said: "It's not every day you see something like that. I was laughing. It didn't offend me at all."

Magistrates, however, disagreed, ruling that it was "likely Purser was aware his actions would have caused alarm or distress."
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

17 comments

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surreyxc [49 posts] 5 years ago
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so was he charged with speeding or being naked.

it is a real worry that anyone can have children, there should be some kind IQ test before they are allowed to procreate. Yes they are so right the human body is disgusting and shameful, and anyone naked must of course be raging pervert, theses people and their mindset are the real worry in society. If someone wants to run round in the nod good luck to them, I would be more concerned by road rash.

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37monkey [138 posts] 5 years ago
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 20 Think of the children? What is so bad about seeing a naked person? Child or adult we should be able to look at a naked person without getting upset or embarrassed. I think this says more about the people that complained than it says about the young man who was having a bit of fun.

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surreyxc [49 posts] 5 years ago
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can I retract on the grounds of grammatical errors, the shame, the shame!

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surreyxc [49 posts] 5 years ago
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"...not even a pair of socks" lol - tool

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timlennon [210 posts] 5 years ago
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It was inappropriate whether or not there were children nearby.

Nevertheless, a £500 fine, 18 month discharge? Good Lord - you'd think he'd run someone down and killed them whilst on his phone ...

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a.jumper [846 posts] 5 years ago
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surreyxc wrote:

so was he charged with speeding or being naked.

naked. Speed limits apply only to motor vehicles and community speed watch can't penalise speeders anyway.

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surreyxc [49 posts] 5 years ago
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why inappropriate?

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timlennon [210 posts] 5 years ago
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surreyxc wrote:

why inappropriate?

Riding around stark naked is likely to offend the sensibilities of old ladies and Daily Fail readers. Children are most likely to point and laugh, I would have thought.

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petescales [28 posts] 5 years ago
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But hundreds of the buggers doing it through Brighton is perfectly acceptable and given a police escort!

Certainly made the union conference I was at at the time a little more interesting.

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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 5 years ago
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timlennon wrote:

It was inappropriate whether or not there were children nearby.

Nevertheless, a £500 fine, 18 month discharge? Good Lord - you'd think he'd run someone down and killed them whilst on his phone ...

Nah, motorists who run down and kill people only get about a £50 fine, a few hours unpaid work and a smack on the wrist. Inappropriate, Hmm i don't know. A bit odd maybe but no harm done. A £500 fine, jesus c'mon! Drivers don't get that for the most heinous driving offenses

in fact.. .That view was shared by 61-year-old Vincent Humphries, co-ordinator of the speed watch group, who said: "It's not every day you see something like that. I was laughing. It didn't offend me at all."

It's the spin put on the article which worries me. It mentions him close to a school, i mean what has that got to do with it unless they are trying to insinuate some kind of inappropriate act with kids. That's slanderous if nothing else. Well, he won't do that again will he  21

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Mat Brett [620 posts] 5 years ago
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stuartpeck1 wrote:

It's the spin put on the article which worries me. It mentions him close to a school, i mean what has that got to do with it unless they are trying to insinuate some kind of inappropriate act with kids. That's slanderous if nothing else.

It's not.

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readikus [5 posts] 5 years ago
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They forgot to mention what he used to indicate  3

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bikeylikey [204 posts] 5 years ago
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timlennon wrote:
surreyxc wrote:

why inappropriate?

Riding around stark naked is likely to offend the sensibilities of old ladies and Daily Fail readers. Children are most likely to point and laugh, I would have thought.

What's wrong with offending the sensibilites of people who are that narrow minded and screwed up? Sensibilities like that need offending, it's almost a duty. Why should the rest of us have to suffer for barmy repressed fearful old gits like this?

There are on the whole more sane people on here than sitting on magistrates' benches or operating the speed checks. What's wrong with children seeing a bare bum? Or willy? As has been said, they'd think it was a right laugh, they're not yet as screwed up as these old gits. Get a life, ff's sake.

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jazzdude [71 posts] 5 years ago
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I'd like to know what he was charged with as being naked in public is not a criminal offence. If you can be charged with offending someone then I should be complaining to the police every time I go out as there are plenty of people who offend me by just being generally stupid and inconsiderate - particularly old people who think the sight of a naked person is offensive.

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robjordan [6 posts] 5 years ago
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The link to the original article from the Sudbury Mercury states that he was "convicted of using threatening words or behaviour, likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress". As other have stated, simple nudity is not an offence, but this tin pot magistrate seems to have found a tenuous connection to a common law offence.

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whizzkid [73 posts] 5 years ago
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£500 costs, thats about 350 more than the going rate for killing a cyclist in a time trial, two similar cases last season refer.

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OldRidgeback [2616 posts] 5 years ago
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My kids would've been laughing. A lot of the kids round our way would've started chucking stones at the bloke. Who needs protecting?