Man who threw bottle in Bolt's Olympic race found guilty
LONDON, United Kingdom - A British man who threw a plastic beer bottle onto the track shortly before the London Olympics men's 100 metres final featuring Usain Bolt was convicted on Friday, January 11 of public disorder.
Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, who suffers from bipolar disorder, pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area and shouted things like: "Usain, I want you to lose" before throwing the bottle.
A judge at Stratford Magistrates' Court in east London found Gill-Webb guilty of intending to cause 100m finalists harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or disorderly behavior.
District Judge William Ashworth said that despite Gill-Webb's condition his actions were "rational and wrong", adding that a video clearly showed the man checking to see if he was under observation before throwing the bottle.
"I am sure that he was at that point weighing up the chances of being caught," the judge said.
Gill-Webb, from South Milford, near Leeds in northern England, had pleaded not guilty.
His lawyers had argued that he was suffering from a manic episode at the time of the incident and that his mental state meant he could not have intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
He threw the green Heineken bottle -- only plastic bottles were sold in the London Olympic park -- onto the track behind the sprinters as they went up into the 'set' position on their starting blocks for the race on August 5.
Bolt went on to win the race in 9.63sec to retain his 100m title.
Gill-Webb was confronted by Dutch judoka Edith Bosch then restrained by Olympic volunteers and arrested by police at the Olympic Stadium in east London, the court heard during the trial.
David Robinson, the deputy chief prosecutor for London, said Gill-Webb's actions were "reckless and irresponsible."
"This incident came close to disrupting the most watched event of the 2012 Olympic Games which was broadcast to millions of people across the world and for which many athletes had trained for years," Robinson said.
Gill-Webb will be sentenced on February 4. - Rappler.com