A NATURIST has been found guilty of harassing a woman on a nudist beach in Studland.

Ron Hodson, 60, of Boyd Road, Poole, was given a 15-month conditional discharge at Blandford Magistrates on Wednesday.

He was found to have caused harassment to a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after asking her inappropriate questions about dogging and suggesting she have sex with her husband on the beach.

The female victim, who was clothed, told the court she was "appalled" by the conversation he struck up with her.

The court heard that Hodson had sat down next to the woman uninvited with nothing on but a jacket.

She said: "I was alarmed by his presence and there were children of primary school age very nearby.

"He told me to take my swimming costume off and then he stripped off his top so that he was stark naked."

But the court rejected the more serious allegation against Hodson that he went on to perform a lewd act just a few feet away from her.

Karen Spooner, chair of the magistrates, told him: "We find her to be a credible witness but we don't find beyond reasonable doubt that you were guilty of indecent exposure. We accept you could have been removing sand from your genitalia."

Hodson argued in his defence that the claimant had kept her back to him and was unable to see what he was doing.

Kenneth Sharpe, mitigating, said Hodson denies performing a lewd sex act. He added: "The claimant feared the worst and her mind over-reacted."

Mr Hodson told the court: "I was simply talking to her like I talk to a myriad of people down there.

"I had been for a swim and needed to remove sand from around my scrotum. It's a naturist beach - that's what happens."

But magistrates decided his general behaviour should be deemed as threatening.

Mr Hodson was also ordered to pay £150 in costs.