Teeenager who threw boy, 6, off 100ft balcony drops hospital move bid

Tate pusher Jonty Bravery, 19, who threw six-year-old boy off 100ft-high balcony at gallery abandons his bid to move from prison to hospital – and loses attempt to reduce minimum term

  • Jonty Bravery, 19, was jailed for life for throwing child from 10-storey balcony
  • The incident occured at London’s Tate Modern art gallery in August last year 
  • He today made bid to be removed from prison to hospital with Court of Appeal
  • But this was dropped today by Bravery’s barrister as he has ‘settled in to prison’

A teenager who threw a young boy from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern has had his appeal to reduce his minimum sentence thrown out of court.  

Jonty Bravery, 19, was jailed in June for throwing the six-year-old child from the 10th-storey balcony of the London art gallery on August 4 last year. 

He is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years for attempted murder. 

His legal team tried to have his sentence reduced in a hearing at the Court of Appeal today, but the case was dismissed. They also abandoned a bid to have him moved from prison to hospital. 

The appeal was heard by Dame Victoria Sharp, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, sitting with Mr Justice Edis and Mrs Justice Yip, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

She said: ‘We are satisfied that, in arriving at the minimum term of 15 years for this offence, the judge did not impose a sentence that was either manifestly excessive or wrong in principle.’

The victim, who was on holiday in London with his parents from France at the time, survived the 100ft fall, but suffered life-changing injuries.

Jonty Bravery, 19, is serving a 15-year prison sentence for attempted murder. His legal team today abandoned a Court of Appeal bid to move the teenager from prison to hospital after reporting that he has ‘settled into the regime’ in prison

The French boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was on holiday in London with his family at the time of the incident. Pictured, emergency crews attending the scene at the Tate Modern art gallery on August 4, 2019

The child, now seven, who cannot be identified because of his age, was left with a bleed on the brain and multiple broken bones.  

At a hearing in London on Wednesday, Bravery’s legal team also abandoned a bit to move Bravery from prison and instead be given a hospital order with restrictions.

Barrister Pippa McAtasney QC said that she ‘abandoned the primary argument’ and said this was ‘based on the expert medical opinion’ of ‘his treating clinician when he was Broadmoor hospital’.

Ms McAtasney told the court: ‘I have received an update from (the doctor) only last week and a report has been made available… where she has, for a proper reason, changed her expert opinion based primarily on the fact that Mr Bravery appears to have settled into the regime at Belmarsh prison.’

She added: ‘That therefore leaves only the argument… in respect of the sentence that was passed.’ 

Ms McAtasney argued the minimum term handed to Bravery by Mrs Justice McGowan at the Old Bailey in June was too high.

She said a greater discount should been given for factors including Bravery’s mental health and his age.

The barrister told the court: ‘Taking into account all his mental health presentation, his age and lack of maturity and vulnerability, the figure that the learned sentencing judge discounted for all of those pieces of mitigation should have been greater than five years, in my submission.’   

Bravery shoved the boy from the viewing balcony at London’s Tate Modern art gallery in August last year. He was sentenced to life in prison at the Old Bailey in June 

The French boy, who was on holiday with his parents in London in August of last year, survived the fall from the 10-storey balcony, but suffered life-changing injuries

Deanna Heer, representing the Crown, argued that Bravery’s sentence was not ‘manifestly excessive’.

She told the court: ‘The act of throwing a six-year-old child over the balcony … in full view of his parents and the public can, in my submission, only be accurately described as an offence of exceptional callousness for which the culpability must be extremely high.’

A timeline of Jonty Bravery’s movements before and after the Tate attack 

12.16pm: Jonty Bravery, a then-17-year-old autistic boy living in supported accommodation, leaves his home in Ealing, west London, to buy an Oyster card at a shop on Church Road, Northolt.

12.23pm: He arrives at Northolt Underground station and takes the Tube to London Bridge station.

1.10pm: Bravery arrives at London Bridge station, on the South Bank, and makes his way the short distance to the Shard.

Once there, he asks a member of staff how much it costs to enter but does not have enough money. CCTV footage then shows him walking away before turning back to ask for directions elsewhere.

2.16pm: Bravery arrives at the Tate Modern on foot, speaks to a member of staff and is seen pointing upwards. He then takes the lift to the 10th floor viewing balcony in the visitor attraction’s Blavatnik Building.

2.30pm: CCTV shows Bravery looking over the railings close to where a six-year-old French boy is later hurled. 

2.32pm: The victim and his parents arrive on the viewing tower where Bravery has been waiting. The boy skips ahead of his parents briefly, allowing Bravery to scoop him up and throw him over the edge.

Bravery then moves away and can be seen smiling, with his arms raised. The victim’s parents panic – the father challenges Bravery while the mother attempts to climb over the barriers to her son, 100ft (30m) below, before being stopped by witnesses.

Members of the public detain Bravery, remarking he seems ‘calm’ and ‘lacking emotion’. He later is heard saying: ‘It’s not my fault, it’s social services’ fault.’

2.46pm: Bravery is arrested. He asks: ‘Is this going to be on the news?’

Ms Heer added: ‘He intended to kill, he had planned the killing and researched the most effective way to carry out the killing, narrowing it down to three possibilities: strangulation, drowning or doing what he did.

‘Having decided upon a method, he deliberately selected a vulnerable victim – a child who, as he said, would be unable to stop him.

‘He deceived his carers about his whereabouts that day, making his way to the Shard initially and eventually to the Tate and then, in the aftermath of the act, expressed disappointment that he had failed to kill the child.’

She described the attempted murder as ‘a strategic act of violence’ which had caused ‘profoundly life-changing injuries’ to the victim.

Bravery, who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was in supported accommodation under the care of Hammersmith and Fulham social services at the time of the attack. 

During his sentencing hearing in June, the courtroom at the Old Bailey was told Bravery received specialist care following an assault on a female care worker in October 2017, but was ‘frequently aggressive to staff’.

The court heard he was also abusive and failed comply with boundaries, the court heard.

Ms Heer said Bravery, who was 17 at the time of the incident, was under one-on-one supervision.

But he had been allowed to go out unaccompanied for four-hour periods.

It emerged earlier this month that the victim, now aged seven, has started to walk again with the help of a cane. 

More than a year after the attack, the boy has had his medication lowered, is feeling less pain and is now trying to sing, his family said.   

In a statement updating well-wishers about the seven-year-old victim’s progress as he continues his recovery in France, the boy’s family described how his condition has improved. 

The statement said : ‘Our son’s memory is once again greatly affected. He no longer remembers what he did that day or what day it is. 

‘Despite everything, he continues to make efforts and progress: he begins to walk with a tetrapod cane while we hold him by the back of the coat for balance.

‘He also has less pain, so the doctors were able to lower his medication. He tries to do more and more things with his left arm like holding his tube of toothpaste or his glasses case to close it. 

‘He continues to recover his breath. He still speaks very slowly, but now speaks word by word and no longer syllable by syllable.

‘He tries to sing and make up songs with rhymes. He was able to start using the blowpipe with the rehabilitators to continue improving his breathing.’ 

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