South Milford man ‘screamed abuse at Usain Bolt’
A man screamed abuse at Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt before hurling a bottle at the start line of the men’s Olympic 100m final, a court heard today.
Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area without a ticket and shouted obscenities, the court was told.
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.
Gill-Webb, from South Milford, was confronted by Dutch judoka Edith Bosch, and then restrained by Locog volunteers and arrested by police, the court was told.
Gill-Webb denies using threatening words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress, as well as an alternative charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
Opening the case at Stratford Magistrates’ Court in east London today, prosecutor Neil King told the court the Games had reached a highlight with the men’s 100m final.
He said: “In the stadium, along with the many thousands who should have been there legitimately and were watching the race in hushed anticipation, was also Mr Gill-Webb who it is now accepted was unwell at the time.
“His conduct at the time however, the Crown say, was one that was causing harassment, alarm and distress to those around him and his conduct was one that he intended to case harassment, alarm and distress.
The defendant maintained he had nothing to do with throwing the bottle but said he had been “quite hyper” at the time.
Mr King said although it was accepted Gill-Webb was unwell at the time, the Crown say he knew what he was doing, and being unwell did not mean he did not intend to cause harassment, alarm and distress.
Detective Constable Kevin Guest told the court Gill-Webb’s DNA was later found on the bottle.
He said video clips showed it landing near the start line, as well as Gill-Webb throwing it.
He said police never found a ticket on Gill-Webb when he was detained.
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