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Schoolboy cycled naked down country road

Joseph Hendry, who wanted to star at the Tour de France, threw his clothes into a bush because he was hot.

Naked rider: Joseph Hendry
© Central Scotland News Agency

A schoolboy who cycled naked down a country road, claiming he was practising for the Tour de France has been placed on the sex offenders' register.

Joseph Hendry pedalled his bike along a road in Gargunnock, Stirlingshire while only wearing a beanie hat. The 17-year-old fantasist said he had thrown his clothes in a bush because he was hot - and had wanted to "try out" naked riding as part of his training for the Tour.

An 11-year-old girl, who saw Hendry on his bike, gave evidence from behind a screen at Stirling Sheriff Court on Monday about the incident, which happened in August 2009.

She said she saw Hendry while out walking her dog. The girl said: "I saw him cycling ahead of me on his bike, and he was wearing a beanie hat, T-shirt and jeans. He rode round a corner, and came back a minute wearing no clothes but his hat.

"I had thought it was a woman at first because he looked like he had breasts. He came and stopped to chat to me. After about two minutes he cycled off. I turned around and walked quickly back home."

She added: "I was quite shocked. I had never seen anybody naked before. Hendry claimed in evidence that he tried talking to the girl while he was naked to make the situation "seem normal"

He said: "I had been cycling all day because I wanted to compete in the Tour de France. It had been very hot. I just wanted to try it, and thought it would be funny, so I hid my clothes in a hedge.

"When I saw the girl I panicked. I didn't want to cycle past her really fast and freak her out. I tried to act as if I had my clothes on to try and make the situation seem normal."

Hendry, a sixth-year pupil at Stirling High School, said he had given up his "dream" of competing in the Tour de France, and had stopped riding since the incident. Hendry, of McNeill Crescent, Gargunnock, was found guilty of public indecency after a three hour summary trial.

Steven Maguire, defending, said Hendry was an "immature little boy". Sheriff Wyllie Robertson deferred sentence for background reports and ordered his name to be placed on the sex offenders' register.

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