Protester denies Boat Race public nuisance charge

Rosa Silverman
Wednesday 23 May 2012 21:42

The swimmer who brought this year's Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race to a dramatic halt has denied causing a public nuisance.

The annual contest on the Thames was stopped for about half an hour after Trenton Oldfield was spotted in the vessels' path as crews battled towards the finish.

Although he admits his actions, he contests whether they amount to a public nuisance, Isleworth Crown Court in west London heard.

The 36-year-old Australian will stand trial on 24 September. Until then, stringent bail conditions mean he is effectively banned from going anywhere near the Diamond Jubilee or Olympic events, the Henley Royal Regatta or Royal Ascot in late June.

Judge Anna Guggenheim, QC, told him he must not go within 100 metres of any road used for the passage of the Olympic torch during the relay, nor within 100 metres of any Olympic venue during the Games. He is also barred from entering the City of Westminster on days when Jubilee events are taking place.

The judge said she was imposing the conditions "to prevent the commission of further incidents of a similar nature to that which the defendant, while contesting whether it amounts to public nuisance or not, admits took place on 7 April."

Mr Oldfield, of Myrdle Street, Tower Hamlets, east London, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea.