LONDON • A British teenager who threw a six-year-old French boy from a 10th-floor viewing platform at the Tate Modern art gallery in London with the intention of killing him has been jailed for 15 years and told he might never be freed.
Jonty Bravery, who was 17 at the time of the incident and told police he carried it out because he wanted to be on the television news, pleaded guilty last December to one count of attempted murder.
The unnamed victim, who was visiting Britain with his family, fell 30m after he was targeted by Bravery and was found on a fifth-floor roof. His mother was heard by witnesses screaming: “Where’s my son? Where’s my son?”
The boy survived, but suffered bleeding in his brain and several fractured bones.
Judge Maura McGowan said the boy’s life would never be the same again, and his parents had been forced to give up their normal lives to care for him.
“You had intended to kill someone that day. You almost killed that six-year-old boy,” she told Bravery on Friday.
Bravery, now 18, was arrested shortly after the incident. He told police he had planned to hurt someone at the museum so that he could be on television. He had researched online on how to kill people and, before the incident, had asked a member of the public about the location of a tall building.
The teenager, who has autistic spectrum disorder and a personality disorder, was being held at the high-security Broadmoor Hospital.
The judge at London’s Old Bailey court said Bravery’s conditions alone did not explain his actions, adding that he posed a “grave and immediate threat to the public”.
She decided he should be jailed for a minimum of 15 years. “You may never be released,” she said.
In a statement read out by a police officer on their behalf outside the court, the victim’s parents said their son had been able to eat again in January, could speak a little but remained very weak, and had many years of physiotherapy ahead of him.
“He is still in a wheelchair today, wears splints on his left arm and both his legs and spends his days in a corset moulded to his waist sat in his wheelchair,” they said.
“He is in pain. There are no words to express what we are going through.”