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Beer bottle thrower in 100m final spared jail

APPREHENDED: Olympic volunteers restrain Ashley Gill-Webb after he threw a bottle on the track at the Olympic Stadium on August 5

HAVING THROWN a beer bottle on to the track during the final of the men’s 100m at the London 2012 Olympics, a man has avoided a jail sentence.

At Stratford Magistrates’ Court on January 4, Ashley Gill-Webb was found guilty of a public order offence and of one count of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

However, Gill-Webb, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was handed an eight-week community order yesterday (February 4).

The 34-year-old had screamed abuse at 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medallist Usain Bolt during the final of the men’s 100m inside the Olympic Stadium on August 5.

The court heard that Gill-Webb began shouting insults such as "Usain I want you to lose, Usain you are bad...

Gill-Webb then threw a plastic of bottle of beer on the track that fell just behind the athletes’ lane markers as they burst out of their blocks.

"Your intention was to target the highest-profile event at the London Olympics and put off Usain Bolt,” said District Judge William Ashworth at Thames Magistrates’ Court.

"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.”

Judge Ashworth continued: "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 will be electronically monitored and will subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew.

Bolt went on to win the race in 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest time in history.

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