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Boat Race protester 'risked death'

The Olympic rower Sir Matthew Pinsent told police that a protester who disrupted this year's University Boat Race on the Thames could have been killed, a court heard yesterday.

Sir Matthew, assistant umpire at the race in April, made the written statement after Trenton Oldfield, 36, was plucked from the path of the Cambridge and Oxford boats. Mr Oldfield, from east London, denies causing a public nuisance.

Isleworth Crown Court heard that Sir Matthew said: "The risk for the swimmer was great; he could have been killed if he had been struck by an oar or the rigging which is metal. If he had been hit by an oar or boat he could have cracked his skull … fallen unconscious and drowned."

The case continues.