Trial begins for man who threw bottle at Usain Bolt in London
LONDON (AP) -- The trial has begun for a man who prosecutors say got into the stadium for the Olympic 100-meter final without a valid ticket before shouting at Usain Bolt and throwing a plastic bottle onto the track.
Ashley Gill-Webb's trial started Thursday in London near Olympic Stadium and five months after the race.
He is accused of using an old ticket to enter the stadium and then shouting at Bolt, "Usain I want you to lose. Usain you are bad." He added an obscenity and tossed a plastic beer bottle. Dutch judo athlete Edith Bosch then intervened and pushed Gill-Webb in the back.
Gill-Webb denies the charges. He is charged with intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress by threatening, abusive or disorderly behavior.
Bolt won the gold medal in 9.63 seconds.
"He was shouting specifically at Usain Bolt ... he repeated these taunts over and over, it went on and on for about two minutes," Bosch said in a statement read to the magistrates' court. "I was angry with what he had done, which was so disrespectful," she added.
The 34-year-old Gill-Webb denies the charges of intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or disorderly behavior, and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior or disorderly behavior.
His lawyer said he cannot remember throwing the bottle because he was suffering from a manic episode at the time.
But prosecutors say the Leeds native knew what he was doing.
"He passed through several steps waving an old ticket in front of people to get past security and that was a deliberate act," prosecutor Neil King said. "He thought, `I want to get into the Olympics and I will do it by waving this ticket and it worked'."
Since the incident, Gill-Webb has lost his job and is receiving psychiatric treatment.
The case was adjourned until next Friday.