An autistic teenager has pleaded guilty to attempted murder after throwing a six-year-old boy from a viewing platform at the Tate Modern art gallery.
Jonty Bravery, who turned 18 in October, told police he carried out the attack because he wanted to be on the news.
CCTV footage showed Bravery, of Ealing in west London, looking over the edge of the 10th-floor balcony, before seizing the child by the limbs and throwing him over the edge.
Bravery is then said to have sought out a Tate Modern manager and confessed: I think I’ve murdered someone, I’ve just thrown someone off the balcony. The defendant also told the police he heard voices in his head telling him to kill or injure someone.
Bravery said he wanted to highlight his frustration over the treatment of his mental health issues when he committed the offense at the London gallery on 4 August.
The teenager, who appeared via video link at the Old Bailey on Friday to admit one charge of attempted murder, will be sentenced in February.
The six-year-old boy, who was visiting London with his family, suffered a bleed to the brain, fractures to his spine and broken legs and arms following the fall on to a fifth-floor roof. He cannot be named because of a reporting restriction.
The victim is now said to be continuing his recovery in his native France after several weeks in intensive care. Around £159,000 has been raised on the GoFundMe website since the incident.
In a statement, the victim’s family said, 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.
As well as having an autistic spectrum disorder, Bravery has an obsessive-compulsive disorder and is likely to have a personality disorder. He has been held at Broadmoor hospital since mid-October.
He told the police he had to prove a point to every idiot who said he had no mental health problems, asking 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.
Commenting on the case, CPS prosecutor Emma 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-story 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.