Olympic bottle-thrower sentenced

News Shopper: Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, threw a plastic beer bottle at competitors in the men's Olympic 100m final Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, threw a plastic beer bottle at competitors in the men's Olympic 100m final

A man who hurled a plastic beer bottle to "put off" Usain Bolt at the start of the Olympic 100m final has been given a community order.

Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, risked inflicting "massive embarrassment on the country" by attempting to delay the start of the Olympic showpiece as millions of people around the world watched on.

Gill-Webb managed to sneak into the event before hurtling abuse at the competitors as they lined up in the starting blocks. Last month he was found guilty of public disorder at Stratford Magistrates' Court after attempting to disrupt the sprint final on August 5.

On Monday, he appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court, where he was spared jail and given an eight-week community order.

District Judge William Ashworth told Gill-Webb, who has bi-polar disorder: "Your intention was to target the highest-profile event at the London Olympics and put off Usain Bolt. 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 tarnished the spirit of the Games."

Gill-Webb's actions meant spectators, who had paid up to £4,000 for a seat at the sell-out competition, had missed the showpiece race.

Dutch judo champion and London 2012 70kg bronze medallist Edith Bosch who confronted Gill-Webb after he hurled the bottle said she had missed the race because of the incident.

Gill-Webb, of South Milford, near Leeds, 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.

The judge told Gill-Webb: "You suffer from bi-polar 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."

As well as the eight-week community order, Gill-Webb will be electronically monitored and live under a 7pm to 7am curfew. He was also ordered to pay a £1,500 towards costs.

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