The British wife of Australian boat race protester Trenton Oldfield says the couple have to fight his impending deportation because the government’s decision is impacting on their five-month-old daughter.
Mr Oldfield on Monday will appeal the UK government’s decision to refuse him a spousal visa on the grounds his presence in Britain is “not conducive to the public good”.
The 37-year-old swam into the path of the Oxford and Cambridge rowing crews as they raced down the Thames in April 2012 and was subsequently jailed.
“It would be devastating to be torn apart for a peaceful protest which our baby and I had no part in,” Mr Oldfield’s wife Deepa Naik said.
“It is difficult not to see this as collective punishment and without any sense of proportionality for the perceived ‘crime’.”
Ms Naik said her husband had served his prison sentence, paid the Crown’s costs and worn the consequences of having a criminal record.
He didn’t appeal the judge’s verdict and adhered to all the restrictions placed on him, she said ahead of Monday’s immigration tribunal hearing in London.
“(But) it is now impacting on our baby — we have to fight this.
“Enough is enough.”
Mr Oldfield, originally from Sydney, has lived in the UK for more than a decade.
He said he disrupted the boat race in 2012 to protest against elitism and inequality.
His lawyer, Stephanie Harrison QC, has said she’s never seen a case where someone with a six-month conviction for a public order offence has been tested over the “public good”.