Judge quashes nude cyclist’s conviction

A CYCLIST who rode naked through his home village has had his conviction overturned.

Alexander Purser, of Vicarage Lane, Acton, was fined £500 and given an 18-month conditional discharge after being convicted of disorderly behaviour at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court in June.

On Friday, the 23-year-old made a successful appeal at Ipswich Crown Court to have his conviction quashed and, speaking after the case, claimed the prosecution was a “waste of money”.

“It should never have gone this far,” he said.

“I estimate that around £15,000 has been spent on this case and it is a shame that so much time and public money has been wasted.”

Mr Purser, who denied causing alarm or distress as he cycled through Acton wearing only a pair of glasses on June 7 last year, said he was annoyed with what had happened.

“The police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have been very ill-spirited,” he said.

“I have been found innocent on appeal and am very pleased that a higher court did the right thing.

“This money could have been spent on something else. It could have paid a nurse’s salary for a year.”

Mr Purser added that he believed he was viewed as a “soft target” and had been “inconvenienced hugely” by the case.

He said he had decided to cycle naked through the village “for a laugh” after seeing a community speedwatch group in a layby as he drove along Waldingfield Road.

He went home, removed his clothing and cycled back past the group naked, while attempting to clock 30mph on his bike.

A number of phone calls were made to police about Mr Purser’s behaviour with residents worried children at the nearby Acton Primary School may see him.

Mr Purser admitted cycling naked through the village when he was visited by police on August 25 last year.

A spokesman for the CPS said: “Having given careful consideration to all of the available evidence in this matter, the CPS decided that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution for an alleged offence committed by Mr Purser was in the public interest.”

The spokesman said that Mr Purser was entitled to appeal and that this had not been contested due to “evidential problems”, before adding that the cost of bringing the case to prosecution was around £1,000.

A spokesman for Ipswich Crown Court confirmed that Mr Purser’s conviction had been overturned.