Jonty Bravery: Autistic teenager who threw six-year-old boy from Tate Modern jailed for at least 15 years

An autistic teenager who threw a six-year-old boy off a Tate Modern viewing platform has been jailed.

Jonty Bravery, now 18, will serve at least 15 years in prison after for attempted murder.

He had experimented with enter the Shard – the UK’s tallest skyscraper – before heading to the art gallery on 4 August last year.

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The Old Bailey heard that the victim and his parents, who were French tourists on christmas in the UK, entered the 10th floor viewing platform minutes after Bravery.

CCTV footage showed him turning towards the victim’s family because the boy skipped a little way away from his parents.

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“As (the boy) approached, the defendant scooped him up and, without any hesitation, carried him straight to the railings and threw him over,” said prosecutor Deanna Heer.

“The CCTV footage shows him falling head-first towards the ground.”

Bravery, from Ealing in west London, then sought out Tate staff and confessed: ”I think I’ve murdered somebody, I’ve just thrown somebody off the balcony.“

The boy fell five storeys before landing on a roof, and was left with life-changing injuries.

He remains in a wheelchair with constant care, and it is as yet not known whether he can make a full recovery.

Ms Heer said the victim was ”fortunate not to die“, adding: “This was a whisper away from a murder.”

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Emergency crews attend the scene at the Tate Modern art gallery following a six-year-old boy was thrown from the 10th-floor viewing platform with a teenager.

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The young boy was taken fully to hospital by air ambulance . He fell five storeys before landing on a roof below at the central London art gallery.

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A 17-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

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Emergency crews attending a scene

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Visitors in a lock down inside after the incident

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A police officer looks out from the viewing platform

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People look on at the emergency crew in attendance

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The Tate Modern building was evacuated

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Police were also supporting your family of the injured six-year-old

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A sign posted outside of the Tate Modern reminding visitors the gallery closed

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The viewing platform were the boy was pushed from

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The memorial reopened the day after, however the viewing level remained closed

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Emergency crews attend the scene at the Tate Modern memorial after a six-year-old boy was thrown from the 10th-floor viewing platform by a teenager.

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The young boy was taken to hospital by air ambulance . He fell five storeys before landing on a roof below at the central London art gallery.

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A 17-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

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Emergency crews attending a scene

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Visitors in a lock down inside following the incident

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A officer looks out from the viewing platform

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People look on at the emergency crew in attendance

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The Tate Modern building was evacuated

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Police were also supporting the family of the injured six-year-old

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An indication posted not in the Tate Modern reminding visitors the gallery closed

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The viewing platform were the boy was pushed from

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The memorial reopened your day after, nevertheless the viewing level remained closed

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In a victim impact statement, the parents said they had maybe not felt in a position to leave their son’s side for greater than a couple of hours because they are “so scared of losing him”.

”The act committed by this defendant against our son is unspeakable,” they added, saying their son was not able to trust people and “would like to slap” Bravery for what that he did.

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Bravery sat together with his T-shirt stopped his head, then crouched on the floor together with his back to a videolink camera as information on the case were read aloud at Thursday’s hearing.

The teenager, then 17, was seen backing away from the railings while smiling and appearing to laugh immediately a while later.

When challenged by the daddy, Bravery told him that he was “mad” and witnesses described him having a “big smile on his face”.

He was also heard to state “it’s not my fault, it’s social services’ fault” and asked police if that he was going to be on the news headlines after being arrested.

Bravery said he had been “seriously unhappy” and “hearing voices” telling him to hurt and kill people for months prior to the attack.

The court heard he had in the offing the offence “well in advance” and researched the simplest way to kill someone.

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Ms Heer said Bravery had conducted a variety of searches including, “are you guaranteed to escape prison if you have autism?”, “what are the chances of death if you push into the River Thames?” and a web site entitled “how to get away with rape.”

The prosecutor added: “He narrowed it down to three possibilities: strangling a woman or a child, drowning a child or throwing someone off a tall building.”

Bravery told medical experts that he felt “indestructible” and “on top of the world” after throwing the boy from the viewing platform.

He was under the care of Hammersmith and Fulham Social Services at enough time, and residing in supported accommodation.

Bravery was described as abusive and aggressive towards staff, and assaulted a female care worker in 2017.

At the time of the attempted murder, that he was under one-on-one supervision but was allowed to head out unaccompanied for four-hour periods.

The court heard that Bravery has autism spectrum disorder and a personality disorder, both of which are relevant to comprehend his behaviour.

A recording, taken by one of Bravery’s care workers in autumn 2018, suggested opportunities to avoid the attack were missed.

“In the next few months I’ve got it in my head I’ve got to kill somebody,” that he could be heard saying, describing his urge to push someone off a building in central London.

“It could be the Shard, it could be anything just as long as it’s a high thing and we can go up and visit it and then push somebody off it and I know for a fact they’ll die from falling from a hundred feet.”

The former care worker who took the recording told the BBC Bravery had mentioned similar plans several times, adding: “There were a few incidences regarding trying to hurt people, life-wrecking incidences that he had planned in his head.”

Bravery told police he had to prove a spot “to every idiot” who said he previously no mental health problems, saying he desired to be on the news “so when it is official no-one can say anything else”.

In a number of social media posts before the attack, which have since been deleted, his father Piers Bravery attempted to raise awareness of autism and urged the health secretary to “do your job and prevent more kids dying“.

Defence counsel Ms Philippa said it was ”unlikely“ her client, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when that he was five, would ever be released into the community.

”There’s no immediate cure for this defendant’s condition,” she added.

“We’re talking about this young man in whichever setting – either hospital or prison – for an extremely, very long period.

”The likelihood is this child is unlikely ever to be released.“

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said an independent serious case review was underway.