Man to face trial over bottle throw

Herald Series: A bottle landed on the track behind the blocks just as the men's 100m final got under way at the London 2012 Olympics in August A bottle landed on the track behind the blocks just as the men's 100m final got under way at the London 2012 Olympics in August

A man accused of a public order offence after a bottle was thrown at the start of the men's Olympic 100m final will stand trial in January.

Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, was arrested after the incident at the Olympic Stadium in August, which led to Dutch world judo champion Edith Bosch intervening.

He has pleaded not guilty to using threatening words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress under Section 4A of the Public Order Act.

Gill-Webb, from South Milford, near Leeds, appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court in London on Wednesday and also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of using threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

The court heard he has been receiving psychiatric treatment at Bootham Park Hospital in York after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but was released on September 7.

Gill-Webb will stand trial at Stratford Magistrates' Court in east London on January 3.

The court heard that Bosch was originally due to be a witness in the trial, but now no prosecution witnesses are likely to be required.

After the incident, Bosch described how she was standing close by when a green plastic drink bottle was thrown from the stands behind the start line. The 32-year-old judoka tweeted: "A drunken spectator threw a bottle onto the track! I HAVE BEATEN HIM... unbelievable."

Explaining the message, she later described how she saw a man who was having "behaviour problems" and "pushed him away hard". She added: "I did like any other person would have done, I corrected it. I just said 'Man, you're crazy, what are you doing?'. We are here for Olympic heroes, people who are performing on the highest level, and we have to honour them, not disrespect them."

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who won the race in 9.63 seconds, said he had been unaware of the incident, but American Justin Gatlin, who took bronze, said: "It was a little distraction and I didn't know what it was."

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