UK & World News

  • 3 January 2013, 17:57

'Bottle-Thrower Hurled 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 has heard.

Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area without a ticket and shouted insults including: "Usain you are bad, you are an a*******," 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.

The court heard he had managed to get into the stadium by waving an old ticket to get past security.

Gill-Webb, from South Milford, near Leeds, was confronted by Dutch judoka Edith Bosch, and then restrained by volunteers and arrested, the court was told.

He 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, 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.

"He had somehow, without a ticket ever being found on him, made his way into very exclusive seats indeed.

"He was mingling with members of the Dutch Olympic team. Indeed he would be within striking distance of a bronze medallist Ms Edith Bosch.

"Whilst there he hurled abuse towards the athletes in the final, particularly towards the eventual winner Usain Bolt."

He said Gill-Webb threw a bottle in the hushed stadium just as the race was about to get under way: "He threw a green Heineken bottle in a lobbing motion that was captured on CCTV.

"This bottle landed extremely close to the athletes and it's probably luck rather than Mr Gill-Webb's judgement that it did not do anything far more serious."

Gill-Webb told police in interview that he was the Scottish actor Alan Cumming and signed his statement with the actor's name.

The trial continues.

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