'Manic' Usain Bolt Bottle-Thrower Ashley Gill Webb Guilty in London Olympics Case
By Dominic Gover | February 5, 2013 8:03 PM EST
A man who shouted abuse at Usain Bolt before being overpowered by a judo champion at the Olympic Stadium, has been sentenced.
Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, nearly caused chaos at last summer's London Olympic Games by hurling a bottle a Jamaican sprinter Bolt seconds before the 100 metres final began, last August.
Gill-Webb, who suffers from bi-polar disorder, yelled "Usain, you are bad, you are an a******e." The bottle he threw landed yards from Bolt's starting blocks in scenes beamed around the world.
He also shouted at Bolt's Jamaica team-mate, Yohan Blake: "Believe in Blake, no Usain."
His antics were stopped by Dutch judo expert Edith Bosch, who used her martial arts skills to restrain him. She won a bronze medal at the Olympics and was sitting next to Gill-Webb when he began ranting. Gill-Webb was then removed from the stadium by officials and arrested.
Bosch spoke of her shock, describing the incident as "disrespectful," adding she was "flabbergasted."
At Thames Magistrates Court, Gill Webb, from Yorkshire, denied two public order offences. He was convicted and handed a community order. It was claimed he was suffering from a "manic episode" when the incident happened and could not remember it. Gill-Webb admitted he was "quite hyper" at the time. The court heard the episode had cost him his job.
Helen Shaw, prosecuting, said: "It was a "once-in-a-four-year event watched by millions of people around the world", she said.
"Some of the people who were in that area missed the event and had paid up to £4,000 a ticket,"
Tom Barley, defending Gill-Webb, said he had risked inflicting "massive embarrassment on the country. It must have been the worst day for it to happen, in the 100m final," he said of Gill- Webb's mental illness.
Bolt and Blake said they had known nothing about the incident, which unfolded behind them in the final seconds before the start of the most eagerly anticipated event of the Olympics.
District Judge William Ashworth said: "The potential harm of triggering a false start was significant. By good fortune, you failed.
"You did, however, spoil the occasion for some spectators and tarnish the spirit of the Games."
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