Radio Sandwell News

Olympic bottle throw: Man 'wanted Usain Bolt to lose'

2013-01-03 20:06:42

A man who threw a bottle on to the track at the start of the men's Olympic 100m final shouted that he wanted defending champion Usain Bolt to lose, a court has heard.

Ashley Gill-Webb, of South Milford, North Yorkshire, was arrested at the Olympic Stadium on 5 August.

Dutch judo champion Edith Bosch said she had heard him shout "Bolt, I want you to lose".

Mr Gill-Webb denies two public order offences.

'Alan Cumming signature'

After the plastic beer bottle was thrown, Ms Bosch said she had confronted him saying: "Dude, are you crazy?"

In a statement read to Stratford Magistrates' Court she said she had been "flabbergasted" because it was "disrespectful".

Security personnel detained Mr Gill-Webb, 34, who had pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area for which he did not have a ticket.

Bolt went on to win the race in 9.63 seconds.

Mr Gill-Webb denies intending to cause the 100m finalists harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour, thereby causing spectators present at the Olympic Park harassment, alarm or distress.

Prosecutor Neil King told the court it was accepted that Mr Gill-Webb was "unwell at the time" but that it was a matter of luck that there had not been a more serious outcome for the competitors.

He said: "This bottle landed extremely close to the athletes.

"The shouting and jostling had already alarmed and disrupted those around him but throwing the bottle was a step even further."

Once detained, Mr Gill-Webb's behaviour was described as "somewhat unusual".

Det Con Kevin Guest, from the Metropolitan Police, told the court he had given some "no comment" answers.

The defendant also gave a prepared statement signed "Alan Cumming", suggesting to police that he was the Scottish actor.

Det Con Guest said officers had not found a ticket on the suspect.

He added that Mr Gill-Webb's DNA had been found on the bottle and he could be seen throwing it in CCTV footage.

Witnesses described hearing him shout at the finalists, including Bolt, fellow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, and US sprinter Justin Gatlin.

Student Farzin Mirshahi said she had heard him yell: "Believe in Blake, no Usain."

Security guard Robert Spears said he had feared Mr Gill-Webb was going to disrupt the Games.

He and another member of staff escorted him from the stadium.

"At no point did he ever try to explain himself or deny what I had seen, but just demanded to know who had won the race," Mr Spears said.

The trial continues.


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