Boat race swimmer Trenton Oldfield banned from Olympic torch route

 

The swimmer who brought the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race to a dramatic halt was today banned from the Olympic torch route and from visits to Windsor before the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Trenton Oldfield, 35, caused the annual contest on the River Thames to be stopped for around half an hour after he was spotted in the vessels' path as crews battled towards the finish.

Today the self-confessed anti-elitist swapped his wetsuit for more formal attire when he appeared before magistrates who imposed a series of strict bail conditions.

These were put in place after prosecutors referred to a website "purportedly generated" by Oldfield which set out an apparent "manifesto for civil disobedience" and allegedly sought to encourage others to "commit similar acts" to the Boat Race demonstration.

Dressed in a crumpled suit and tie, Oldfield spoke softly to confirm his name, date of birth and address at Feltham Magistrates' Court in Middlesex.

The Australian protester, who took to Twitter following his arrest to speak out against elitism, showed no emotion as he sat beside his legal team while the indictment was read out.

"You are charged, on April 7 of this year in the River Thames near Chiswick Eyot, with causing a public nuisance by swimming into the path of the University Boat Race and causing it to stop," he was told.

Oldfield entered no plea and was granted bail.

Restrictions prevent him from entering the City of Westminster on May 9 for the state opening of Parliament and forbid him from going into the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead before his next court appearance on May 23.

During this time a number of pre-Jubilee events are due to take place in the borough.

A further bail condition bans Oldfield from using or being within 100 metres of roads which form part of the Olympic torch route until the same date.

The 158th Boat Race on April 7 was labelled "possibly the most dramatic in history" by organisers after Oldfield created unprecedented disruption. It was the first time in its history that the event was disrupted by a swimmer.

This year's contest also saw an Oxford crew member break an oar and the team's bowman Alex Woods collapse after crossing the finishing line. He was later treated in hospital.

Oldfield sparked scenes of chaos when he swam towards the boats as they were neck and neck between the two and three-mile marker.

Former rower and assistant umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent was said to have alerted fellow adjudicators before the race was stopped and the swimmer, who narrowly avoided the blade of an Oxford oar, was pulled from the river. He was taken away on a police launch and arrested.

The race was restarted nearly half an hour later, with Cambridge powering on to victory.

Oldfield, who lives in a run-down block of flats in Myrdle Street, east London, later defended his anti-elitist stance online, claiming he had always "fought from within".

The demonstrator posted a series of messages the day after the race saying: "With the severe deficit in democracy new sites of protest unfortunately have had to be found" and "if its jail time, so be it".

He added: "Still waiting for someone to show me when elitism (seeing oneself above another) hasn't lead to oppression and tyranny?"

It was not the first time the Boat Race has been temporarily halted.

In 2001 the competition was stopped by the umpire just over a minute after the start, following repeated warnings to both crews to move apart and then a clash of blades for which Oxford was blamed. When the race got going, Cambridge rowed to victory.

Oldfield, who appeared relaxed during the half-hour hearing, made no comment as he left.

Chairman of the bench Alison Stone told the activist he will next appear at Isleworth Crown Court on May 23 at 10am.

PA

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
News
people
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor