Teenager jailed for 15 years for throwing boy, 6, from tenth floor balcony at Tate Modern

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  • June 26, 2020
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An autistic teenager who threw a six-year-old boy from the Tate Modern viewing gallery has been jailed for at least 15 years.

Jonty Bravery, 18, was sentenced after admitting to attempted murder at London’s Old Bailey.

CCTV footage captured the moment he threw the boy, a French tourist, from the tenth floor balcony of the Tate.

Bravery, who has obsessive compulsive disorder, spent more than 15 minutes stalking potential victims at the London tourist attraction before fixing on a young visitor who had briefly left his parents’ side, a court heard yesterday.

The then 17-year-old, from Ealing in west London, was said to have ‘scooped (the victim) up and, without any hesitation, carried him straight to the railings and threw him over’.

The victim, who cannot be identified because of his age, fell around 100ft (30m) to a platform below, while shocked witnesses, including the boy’s parents, challenged Bravery.

Sentencing, Old Bailey judge Mrs Justice McGowan said: ‘The fear he [the victim] must have experienced and the horror his parents felt are beyond imagination.

‘You had intended to kill someone that day – you almost killed that six-year-old boy.’

The victim’s father originally thought the incident was ‘a joke’ until he saw his son’s severely injured and bloodied body below.

The child’s mother became ‘increasingly hysterical’ and tried to climb over the railings to get to her son several stories below, but was held back by staff, the court heard.

Bravery was said to ‘have a big smile on his face’ and told the boy’s father: ‘Yes I am mad.’

The court heard he was under one-on-one supervision with Hammersmith and Fulham Social Services at the time of the attack on August 4, but was allowed to go out unaccompanied for four-hour periods.

Judge McGowan said Bravery’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD) did not explain the attack, and acknowledged expert evidence he presents ‘a grave and immediate risk to the public’.

The judge said: ‘You will spend the greater part – if not all – of your life detained … you may never be released.’

The victim suffered life-threatening injuries in the fall and spent more than a month in hospital in the UK.

The boy was then discharged to a hospital in France and remains in a wheelchair.

He will need 100% care support until at least August 2022, the court was told.

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