Boat Race protester Trenton Oldfield must leave UK

Trenton Oldfield swam between the Boat Race crews in the Thames

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A man who disrupted last year's University Boat Race by swimming in front of the crews has been refused leave to remain in the UK.

The Home Office said Trenton Oldfield's presence in the country was not "conducive to the public good".

The Australian was jailed for six months after being found guilty of causing a public nuisance.

He said: "It's crazy that I have to prove my desirability rather than they have to prove my undesirability."

Mr Oldfield added the move was "fundamental and extremist".

A Home Office spokesman said: "Those who come to the UK must abide by our laws.

Trenton Oldfield appeared at Feltham Magistrates Court on 23 April Trenton Oldfield said inequality was increasing across much of the world

"We refused this individual leave to remain because we do not believe his presence in this country is conducive to the public good."

Mr Oldfield, who has a British wife, Deepa Naik, who is expecting a child, said he had appealed against the decision.

In an interview posted on YouTube, Mr Oldfield said: "The British government sees me as apparently a threat to national security and a person with undesirable qualities who has poor associations.

"They want me out of the country. Not necessarily to go to Australia they just want me to leave."

He said he did not want to return to Australia as he did not feel comfortable living on Aboriginal land and that the country was still under the control of the Queen. He added his family was European so he wanted to live there.

"Imagine this idea that if you're an immigrant to a country you can't protest, that you're somehow different," he said.

"I thought citizenship and being part of a country or living in a place was that you participated in all those parts of daily life."

"The separation that immigrants shouldn't be allowed to protest and if they do we're going to take away their rights is really quite a worrying precedent," he added.

'Delay and disruption'

In his hearing at Isleworth Crown Court, Mr Oldfield said his actions were a protest against elitism and inequality.

Sentencing Mr 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," she said.

Mr Oldfield interrupted the 158th boat race between Oxford and Cambridge in April last year. The race was eventually won by Cambridge.

Olympic rower Sir Matthew Pinsent, who was on a launch with umpire John Garrett behind the crews, told the court that Mr Oldfield could have been killed.

However in a column for The Observer last year, Sir Matthew wrote: "Look, I want to live in a country where protest is possible. However unwelcome it was, I still value the freedom to do that."

Their launch was followed by 25 motorised boats carrying officials, police, sponsors and camera crews.

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