Anti-elitist protester Trenton Oldfield jailed for six months for scuppering Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race
4:50pm Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
An anti-elitism protester who dived into the Thames to disrupt this year's Boat Race has been jailed.
Trenton Oldfield, 36, from Whitechapel, "risked his life" on April 7 this year when he swam in front of the two boats as they pulled neck and neck as the race approached Chiswick.
The race was stopped after four-time Olympic gold-medalist Matthew Pinsent, acting as an official, spotted Oldfield's head bobbing in in the water just feet from the oars.
Oldfield said he was protesting against inequality in Britain, but more specifically against the government's public spending cuts, which he said were "worse than in Dickens's time".
Appearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday Oldfield was given a six month jail sentence for causing a public nuisance.
The Oxford/Cambridge University boat race is the biggest event on The Thames' calender.
Mechanical problems have led to the race's cancellation in previous years but this was the first time in its 158-year history that it had been disrupted by a 'bather'.