Teenager admits trying to snatch Olympic flame from torchbearer Anna Skora


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The Independent Online

A teenager has admitted attempting to snatch the Olympic flame from a torchbearer.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assaulting torchbearer Anna Skora and a police officer, and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Dartford Youth Court today, a Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said.

The youth tried to snatch the torch as Ms Skora carried it in Rochester Road, Gravesend, Kent, at about 9.55am on July 20, but was pushed away by officers within a matter of seconds, Kent Police said.

He was sentenced to a four-month referral order and was also told to pay £100 in compensation to each victim, as well as £85 costs, a police spokeswoman said.

Magistrates also suggested he write a letter of apology to the young Polish torchbearer, according to the Kent Messenger newspaper.

The court heard the attempted grab had been a prank which went too far and that although the teenager had shouted "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is great" - during the incident, he told police he did not know what it meant, the paper said.

Following the incident the torch continued on its way without disruption, police said.

Throughout the torch relay the Metropolitan Police provided a 70-strong team, which worked in shifts, to protect the Olympic flame as it travelled across the UK and Channel Islands.