THE Hampshire man known as 'the naked rambler' has told a court he might keep his clothes off until he dies.

Stephen Gough faces another spell in prison for being nude in public but could be out by Christmas, Winchester Crown Court heard today.

Appearing in court for the 40th time, the 56-year-old was sentenced to 200 days in jail for breaching an anti-social behaviour order barring him from public nudity.

Gough, of Chamberlayne Road, Eastleigh, was arrested on September 11 at a bus stop in Twyford, the hearing was told. He was wearing nothing but hiking boots and socks.

Representing himself naked in the dock, Gough said: "I'm not against wearing clothes. I'm not naked because I think wearing clothes isn't a good thing - it's just if I'm trying to make the announcement, if you like, that the human body is not indecent. I'm not for or against wearing clothes."

He added: "I'm standing for what I believe to be true and thus can go on until I'm dead.

"If you've got a conviction you just do it."

Gough went "off the rails" when he started his naked travels in 2003, said the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Keith Cutler.

He declined to apologise when offered the chance by the judge, who said his years in the criminal justice system had incurred "vast public expense".

Sentencing Gough for the incident in Twyford, Judge Cutler said: "The amount of distress and upset that you caused was, it must be said, of limited nature, because the police dealt with you speedily and properly."

Gough had already served 97 days in Winchester Prison as he was held for sentence, the court heard.

"You may be released from Winchester, as far as I'm concerned, next week," the judge added.

Gough also told how he had put clothes on to visit his children, a son and a daughter, in a bid to avoid arrest during the journey.

He said he stripped off on arrival.

Judge Cutler said Gough could apply to amend his ASBO in ways he could "live with".

Ordered to pay the victim surcharge and criminal courts charge, Gough said he had "barely" any money.

"Barely's the word," Judge Cutler said.