Teen to be sentenced for attempted murder after throwing child off Tate balcony

25 June 2020, 06:31

Police and emergency services rushed to the scene in August last year
Police and emergency services rushed to the scene in August last year. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The sentencing of a teenager who threw a six-year-old boy from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern is due to take place later today.

Autistic 18-year-old, Jonty Bravery told police he wanted to be "on the news" when questioned and claimed he was trying to highlight his treatment over a host of mental health issues.

Bravery, of west London, was arrested shortly after the incident and told police he had to prove a point "to every idiot" who said he had no mental health problems.

The teenager has autistic spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and was likely to have a personality disorder, has been held at Broadmoor Hospital since mid-October.

CCTV footage apparently showed Bravery looking over the edge of the art gallery balcony, 10 storeys up, before he committed the offence.

Horrified witnesses at the London tourist attraction looked on when Bravery, then 17, grabbed the young victim by the limbs and hurled him over the edge.

After he threw his victim over the edge he found Tate staff and confessed: "I think I've murdered someone, I've just thrown someone off the balcony."

He told police he heard voices in his head telling him to kill or injure someone.

Bravery will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday
Bravery will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday. Picture: Met Police

Bravery's victim, who cannot be named because of a reporting restriction due to his age, suffered a bleed to the brain, spinal fractures, and broken legs and arms.

The latest update on a GoFundMe page, which has raised more than £200,000 for the boy's medical treatment in his native France, said he remained in a wheelchair and had problems eating, speaking and moving, but was continuing to make progress.

The update, posted on behalf of his family on May 15, stated: "There is still a long way to go but we are holding on."

The court previously heard how Bravery was seen wandering around the viewing platform before picking up his victim and throwing him over the edge - with the youngster falling five storeys, around 30m (100ft).

He then approached a member of staff, explaining what he had done.

Bravery later asked police if the incident was going to be on the news.

He said: "I wanted to be on the news, who I am and why I did it, so when it is official no-one can say anything else."

In a series of social media posts, which have since been deleted, Piers Bravery - the father of the defendant - attempted to raise awareness of autism and its treatment.

In one tweet to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, posted less than three months before the incident, Mr Bravery said: "Yes, @MattHancock, you do have a duty. You are a public servant so do your job and stop more children dying and being abused in these repugnant institutions."

Bravery, who has autistic spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and who is believed to have a personality disorder, has been held at Broadmoor Hospital since mid-October.

The sentencing hearing, before Mrs Justice McGowan at the Old Bailey, is listed to last all day on Thursday.

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