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Oldfield loses right to stay in UK

Boat Race protester Trenton Oldfield has been refused leave to remain in the UK after the Home Office decided his presence was not "conducive to the public good".

The Australian, who disrupted last year's University Boat Race by swimming into the path of the crews, was jailed for six months for his actions.

Oldfield, who was watched by millions of television viewers as he halted the annual race on the Thames between Oxford and Cambridge universities, was found guilty at London's Isleworth Crown Court of causing a public nuisance.

During his trial, Oldfield told the jury the race was a symbol of elitism and that London was blighted by inequality.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Those who come to the UK must abide by our laws. We refused this individual leave to remain because we do not believe his presence in this country is conducive to the public good."

Oldfield, whose British wife Deepa Naik is expecting a child, told the Guardian he had appealed against the decision.

He said: "No one was expecting this. I have a tier one visa, as a highly skilled migrant, and I was sentenced to less than a year. The lawyer said I had nothing to worry about because it was less than a year. It feels to me that this is a very vindictive decision, very political and very much an overreaction."

He added: "Before bringing their verdict, the jury asked the judge if she could be lenient. The probation officer recommended a non-custodial sentence. The sentence was excessive, but the judge also said I have contributed positively to life in this country."

Sentencing Oldfield in October last year Judge Anne Molyneux said he had ruined the race for everyone: "You caused delay and disruption to it and to the members of the public who had gone to watch it and to enjoy the spectacle of top athletes competing."

Adding that Oldfield's actions had endangered his life and those of others, the judge said: "Your offence was planned. It was deliberate. It was disproportionate. It was dangerous."


From Belfast Telegraph