London 2012: Ashley Gill-Webb pleads not guilty to throwing a bottle in a bid to disrupt the start of the men's 100 metre final
Monday 06 August 2012
The man accused of trying to disrupt the 100m final by tossing a
plastic drinks bottle at the world's fastest men was told yesterday
he must stay away from every Olympics venue before he goes on trial
Ashley Gill-Webb appeared in court yesterday to deny a public order offence after a bottle was seen landing on the track just behind the eight men as they moved to the "set" position before the starting gun was fired. The leading contenders said that the incident failed to distract them before Usain Bolt stormed to victory in a new Olympic record of 9.63s.
Mr Gill-Webb, 34, who appeared at Stratford Magistrates' Court, was charged with intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress. He was given bail on condition that he did not enter any venue, including the the Olympic Park, and stayed at his home in Leeds.
Neighbours said yesterday that Mr Gill-Webbused to play for the local football team. "I don't want to comment until we find out what's going on," a man, believed to be the defendant's brother, said outside court yesterday. "We just want to sort this out."
A Dutch judo bronze medallist who tackled the bottle thrower yesterday described her disappointment at missing the final because of the distraction. Lord Coe, chairman of the London organising committee, suggested yesterday that it was "poetic justice" that the man had been sitting next to a judo player. Edith Bosch said she reacted because the man had dishonoured the Games. "I had seen the man walking around earlier and said to people around me that he was a peculiar bloke," Ms Bosch, 32, told the Dutch NOS TV channel.
"Then he threw that bottle and in my emotion I hit him on the back with the flat of my hand. Then he was scooped up by the security. However, he did make me miss the final, and I am very sad about that. I just cannot understand how someone can do something like that."
l Two spectators breached security during the wrestling events at the ExCeL last night. The spectators, dressed in full wrestling attire with Swedish flags painted on their face ran on to the floor of the arena where their countryman Johan Euren had just claimed bronze.
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