A teenager today pleaded guilty to trying to kill a six-year-old boy by throwing him from a 200ft balcony at the Tate Modern.
Jonty Bravery, 18, from Ealing, west London, appeared at the Old Bailey by video link today to admit a charge of attempted murder.
Bravery is accused of snatching the child from his mother’s arms and hurling him from the tenth floor of the art museum in front of horrified on-lookers in August.
The young victim, who was visiting London with his French family, fell 100ft on to a roof five floors below.
The Crown Prosecution Service said today that when he was arrested, Bravery told police that he had planned in advance to hurt someone at the Tate Modern on August 4, to be on TV.
It was reported that he manged to slip free of his minders who were accompanying him on a trip to the Tate.
The six-year-old survived but suffered terrible injuries including a bleed on the brain, broken arms and legs, and a fractured spine. He was left unable to move, eat normally or speak.
Jonty Bravery (left and right in a court sketch) is accused of throwing the six-year-old boy from a 200ft balcony at the Tate Modern
The six-year old boy was seriously injured after he was thrown from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern art gallery in London (pictured)
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had to undergo several operations and spent months in hospital in London.
Bravery appeared today from Broadmoor Hospital. Appearing dishevelled with a thick beard and unkempt hair the 18-year-old laughed out loud before admitting trying to murder the youngster.
Asked to confirm his identity, Bravery told the Old Bailey: ‘Yes I am that man.’ Asked how he pleaded to one charge of attempted murder in 4th August Bravery replied : ‘I plead guilty, guilty yeah.’
He went on to interrupt the proceedings yelling ‘not correct’.
Wearing a Broadmoor hospital issue navy blue sweatshirt Bravery repeatedly shook his head and rolled his eyes during proceedings.
Bravery’s lawyer Philippa McAtasney QC told the court he had been assessed as having autistic spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and was likely to have a personality disorder.
The victim’s parents revealed his suffering in a message posted on to a GoFundMe page set up to support the family.
They said: ‘Our little boy doesn’t know any more how to speak, to eat or to move his body but he begins to do his best to move his tongue, his right arm and hand.
‘We see his efforts. He is very brave. He keeps on smiling and reacting to our jokes.
The victim fell from the observation balcony of the Len Blavatnik wing of the art gallery
The victim, visiting the London museum with his French family, plunged 100ft on to a roof five floors below (pictured, the aftermath)
In a post on the boy’s GoFundMe page last month, his family said their ‘little knight’ was progressing well with his rehabilitation
‘We begin to see also, unfortunately, his suffering… he cannot manage to eat or swallow a little bit of yoghurt for instance… and he wants so much to be able to do it.’
He has now been released from the London hospital and has returned to France where he is undergoing intensive treatment at a rehabilitation centre.
His parents say their son looks like a ‘little knight’ as he must wear splints to keep his limbs in place.
Last month they revealed he is now smiling, laughing and gives ‘real kisses’.
In a statement his French mother and father said: ‘Hello everybody. We would like to share with you some good news of our little knight.
‘He is making lots of progresses [sic]. We can now bring outside in a wheelchair to breath fresh air. It’s tiring for him but he really likes it, of course.
‘He’s very smiling [sic] and he laughs a lot again.
‘He begins to move his legs since a few days, just a tiny little bit but it is really wondefull [sic] to see! And just since today, he manages to make real kisses. It warms our hearts so much.
‘Thank you all of you.’
Organiser Vicky D thanked well-wishers for their support.
She wrote: ‘We did it! We have officially raised Euro 150,000 for this little warrior’s recovery.
‘We really are truly grateful for those who have donated and shared.
‘Please know that I will leaven the campaign running as long as the family would like, so your shares and donations will continue to make a huge difference in this little boy’s future.
‘I want to again personally say a very big thank you to every single person who is backing this campaign for them.’
Bravery is expected to be sentenced on Monday, 17 February next year.
Crown Prosecution Service 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 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.’