LONDON, England (CMC):
A British man accused of screaming abuse at sprint sensation Usain Bolt during last year's London Olympics has pleaded not guilty to a public order offence.
Ashley Gill-Webb went on trial yesterday, accused of hurling a beer bottle on to the track as the Olympic men's 100 metres final was about to begin.
The court heard that Gill-Webb, 34, began shouting insults like "Usain I want you to lose, Usain you are bad ... ."
Went on to win
The Jamaican sprinter did not hear the abuse or see a green Heineken bottle land behind the starting line.
He went on to win the race in 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest time recorded.
"In the stadium, along with the many thousands who should have been there legitimately and were watching the race in hushed anticipation, was also Mr Gill-Webb who it is now accepted was unwell at the time," said prosecutor Neil King.
"This bottle landed extremely close to the athletes and it's probably luck rather than Mr Gill-Webb's judgement that it did not do anything far more serious," said King, quoted by the Press Association.
Gill-Webb, did not have a ticket to attend the 100-metre final but had somehow pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area.
After his outburst, Gill-Webb was confronted by Dutch judoka Edith Bosch, an Olympic bronze medallist, then restrained by volunteer workers and arrested.
In a written witness statement read out in court, Bosch said Gill-Webb's taunts against Bolt had gone on for about two minutes.