Olympic bottle
thrower
sentenced

The man who threw a plastic beer bottle at competitors at the start of the men’s Olympic 100m final was sentenced yesterday to an eight-week community order.

Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, of South Milford, near Leeds, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was found guilty of public disorder at Stratford Magistrates’ Court, east London, last month.

District Judge William Ashworth, sitting at Thames Magistrates’ Court, told Gill-Webb: “Your intention was to target the highest-profile event at the London Olympic and put off Usain Bolt.

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“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.”

Gill-Webb will be electronically-monitored and be subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew. He was also ordered to pay a £1,500 contribution to costs.

The judge said: “You suffer from bipolar disorder. At the time of the offence, you were in the throes of a manic episode. This made you over-confident and your behaviour risky.

“I have reduced your punishment to take account of the effects of your illness.”

Gill-Webb used an old ticket to get into the Olympic Park and then the stadium on August 5.

He hurled abuse at athletes, including Jamaican sprint star Bolt, and then threw a bottle on to the track as the final began.

It landed behind the lane markers and the world’s top sprinters as they exploded out of their blocks in the showpiece race.

Bolt, the world record-holder and defending champion, won in 9.63 seconds, ahead of Jamaican team-mate and 2011 world champion Yohan Blake.

Gill-Webb was found guilty 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.

Tom Barley, defending, said Gill-Webb had lost his job through the bad publicity triggered by the case and has two young children to look after. He is being treated for his illness, he added.