Teenager admits throwing child off viewing gallery at Tate Modern – because he wanted to be on TV

A teenager has admitted throwing a young boy off a balcony at the Tate Modern with the intention of killing him – so he could be on the news.

Jonty Bravery, 18, from Ealing, admitted one count of attempted murder at the Old Bailey today (6 December 2019).

When he was arrested he told police he had planned in advance to hurt someone at the Tate Modern on 4 August to be on TV.

The six-year-old boy, who is from France and was visiting the UK with his family, survived but suffered life-changing injuries as a result of falling five floors from a 10th floor viewing platform.

He suffered a bleed to his brain and a number of fractured bones. He was found on a fifth floor roof and treated at the scene before he was taken to hospital by London’s Air Ambulance.

He spent a number of weeks in hospital, before he was able to return to France with his family on Monday, 16 September, where he continues to receive treatment in hospital. While no specific prognosis can be established at this point, the child is showing signs of improvement in his communication and movement, but continues to face a long rehabilitative process following what were extremely serious injuries.

Our son still needs intensive rehabilitation since he hasn’t recovered mobility in all limbs or cognitive capacities. He is constantly awoken by pain and he can’t communicate that pain or call out to hospital staff.

“Life stopped for us four months ago. We don’t know when, or even if, we will be able to return to work, or return to our home, which is not adapted for a wheelchair.

“We are exhausted, we don’t know where this all leads, but we go on.

“We wish to thank all of the people, family and friends who have supported us throughout this horrific experience.”

Bravery, who was 17 at the time of the incident but can now be named, is expected to be sentenced on Monday, 17 February 2020.  

Detective Chief Inspector John Massey said: “This was an incredibly unusual and traumatic event and I can only imagine the horror the victim’s family felt as they realised what had happened to their child.

“The motive behind Jonty Bravery’s actions remains unclear. However, what is clear is the damage that has been done to this family, who have remained courageous and dignified in the face of such trauma, in addition to widespread media coverage of the incident.

“Members of the public and security staff acted swiftly to immediately detain the defendant prior to the arrival of police and I would like to thank them and those who came forward with witness accounts.

“Following today’s plea and conclusion of this case, the victim’s family have been spared the trauma of a trial and can now focus on their son’s care and rehabilitation.”

CPS prosecutor Emma V Jones said: “This devastating and shocking incident at the Tate Modern on 4 August of this year changed the lives of Bravery’s young victim and his family forever.

“The boy was singled out by Bravery who threw him from the viewing platform intending to kill him.

“That he survived the five storey fall was extraordinary. 

“Eye witness accounts and CCTV footage, along with Bravery’s admissions at the time of the arrest that his actions were pre-planned, meant he had little choice but to accept responsibility for his actions. 

“There will be no trial as a result, and the boy’s family are spared having to relive this traumatic experience in court.

“This was a terrifying experience for the boy’s parents and our thoughts are very much with them all at this difficult time. We hope he makes as full a recovery as possible.”


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