Leeds man faces trial for throwing bottle at Usain Bolt race

Ashley Gill-Webb leaves Thames Magistrates Court
Ashley Gill-Webb leaves Thames Magistrates Court
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A LEEDS man accused of a public order offence after a bottle was thrown at the start of the men’s Olympic 100m final in London will stand trial in January, a court heard.

Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, was arrested after the incident at the Olympic Stadium in August, which led to Dutch world judo champion Edith Bosch intervening.

He pleaded not guilty to using threatening words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress under Section 4A of the Public Order Act.

Gill-Webb, from South Milford, near Leeds, appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in London, where he also denied 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 under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

The court heard that he has been receiving psychiatric treatment at Bootham Park Hospital in York after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but was released on September 7.

His defence solicitor, Thomas Barley, told the court: “It seems now that this is largely to be a case where the actual physical behaviour of Mr Gill-Webb is not going to be in dispute.”

Gill-Webb will stand trial at Stratford Magistrates’ Court in east London on January 3.

District Judge Jacqueline Comyns granted him conditional bail providing he stays at his home address in South Milford or Bootham Park Hospital, except on January 2, when he can stay overnight with relatives in Church Crookham, Hampshire, before his trial.

The court heard that Bosch was originally due to be a witness in the trial, but now no prosecution witnesses are likely to be required.

After the incident, Bosch described how she was standing close by when a green plastic drink bottle was thrown from the stands behind the start line.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who won the race in 9.63 seconds, said he had been unaware of the incident.