Strange but true: naked cyclist cleared on appeal
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Strange but true: naked cyclist cleared on appeal

by Conal Andrews at 11:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, General
 
A cyclist who was fined several hundred dollars for riding without clothes has had the penalty quashed by a judge, who ruled that his nudity had not met the test of offensive behaviour.

Nick Lowe was stopped by police on March 15th last year after a female motorist had complained to them. She saw him cycling in his birthday suit on Akatarawa road near Upper Hutt in New Zealand and immediately reported him.

When challenged by police, Lowe said he was willing to cover up, and subsequently put on a G-string.

He was convicted of offensive behaviour and hit with a fine of $200 plus $130 in legal cost, but refused to pay. He appealed that decision to the High Court in Wellington. Justice Denis Clifford today issued his ruling and concluded that the incident did not meet the test of offensive behaviour.

“Justice Clifford says there were various levels of offensiveness when it came to nudity and suggested cycling on a country road could be considered less offensive than, for example, walking naked along a public footpath,” explained Close Up, New Zealand's most popular daily current affairs programme.

The complainant had described his behaviour as ‘quite concerning’.

While Justice Clifford allowed Lowe's appeal, he said "this judgement does not mean that nude cycling cannot constitute offensive behaviour.” He said that the circumstances would have to be weighted up by the courts in other instances.

Lowe, a 40 year old builder, had described himself as a ‘natural athlete.’ The judge noted that the ride had taken place on World Nude Bike Day, and indicated that it could possibly be seen as an expression of support.

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