Councillor cleared of indecent exposure to child

A naturist councillor has been cleared of exposing himself to a nine-year-old girl - but landed a restraining order barring him from being nude where he could be seen at home.

Cllr Peter Goody, of Glengall Road, Woodford Green, who has served the Snaresbrook ward for 35 years and was deputy leader of Redbridge Council from 1999 to 2000, faced magistrates on Tuesday, where he told the court he had been a practising member of the British Naturists for 25 years.

The 62-year-old was suspended from the Redbridge Conservative group after being arrested at his home in July 2010.

The court heard that Mr Goody had been trimming a hedge in his garden, which backed onto a public footpath, when a girl stopped on her bike to stroke a cat.

The tearful nine-year-old appeared through video link at a previous hearing, claiming Mr Goody had repeatedly flashed his genitals at her. She demonstrated the action by flapping her T-shirt.

But Mr Goody told the court on that particular day he had chosen a pair of loose fitting swimming trunks which kept slipping down, and he had to bend over to pull up.

“This pair of swimming trunks were quite loose, which I chose because it was a very warm day.

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“I sleep naked, I get up naked, and I only really put on clothes to leave the house,” he added.

But prosecutor Olcay Sapanoglu said the girl said he had pulled his trunks up and down repeatedly, moving his genitals from side to side.

“She cycled off but stopped and looked around because she couldn’t quite believe that people were allowed to do that in public,” he added.

Summing up the evidence, Waltham Forest magistrate Rafael Salasnik said: “It is not disputed that his trunks did fall and expose his genitals, it is also not disputed that the complainant child saw his genitals.

“We are concerned that Mr Goody’s behaviour was reckless in knowing that the trunks could fall down, and could be observed by members of the public.” Mr Goody was cleared of indecent exposure, but was handed a restraining order, preventing him from being naked anywhere in his home that could be visible to the public until further notice.

Speaking to The Recorder after the trial, Mr Goody said he had no plans to change his lifestyle, but the restraining order would prevent him from practising naturism in his house.

“I am greatly relieved, but this is effectively a ban from being a naturist.

“I am hoping the Conservative party will invite me back and I can return to my job of serving the community.”