UK

Usain Bolt Bottle Thrower Ashley Gill-Webb Found Guilty

11/01/2013 17:10 GMT

A man who threw a beer bottle at Usain Bolt at the Olympic Stadium has been found guilty of public disorder.

Ashley Gill-Webb got into the men's 100m final without a ticket and hurled abuse at Jamaican sprinter before throwing the plastic bottle on to the track.

The 34-year-old suffered from bipolar disorder and was having a "manic episode" when he pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area and shouted things like: "Usain you are bad, you are an arsehole," the court was told.

His lawyers argued that his mental state meant he could not have intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress, but the Crown said that, although he was unwell, he knew what he was doing.

ashley gill webb

A man, identified by police as Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, after a bottle was thrown onto the track just before the men's 100-meter final

He then threw the beer bottle as the race - which Bolt went on to win in 9.63 seconds - started at the Olympic Stadium on August 5.

Prosecutor Neil King described him mingling with members of the Dutch Olympic team, but his "shouting and jostling", then throwing the bottle, led to a confrontation with judoka Ms Bosch.

In a statement, she described how he pushed past her to get to the front of the seating.

"He repeated these taunts over and over - it went on and on for about two minutes."

She saw Gill-Webb move his arm behind his head, then forwards in a throwing motion, then saw the bottle hit the track, she said.

Ms Bosch confronted him, saying "Dude, are you crazy?"

"He was trying to walk away so I pushed him hard to stop him," she said.

"I was angry with what he had done, which was so disrespectful."

Student Farzin Mirshahi heard him yell: "Believe in Blake, no Usain" while her brother, Kiya Mirshahi, heard: "Usain, no, Justin, you are a druggie, believe in Blake, no Usain, no."

After the incident, Gill-Webb - who the court heard has since lost his job - was escorted from the stadium and then arrested.

His behaviour in police custody was said to be "somewhat unusual", and he told officers that he was Scottish actor Alan Cumming, signing a statement with the star's name.

On Friday Gill-Webb, from South Milford, near Leeds, was found guilty at Stratford Magistrates' Court, east London, of intending to cause 100m finalists harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour, contrary to Section 4 of the Public Order Act as well as an alternative charge contrary to Section 5 of the act.