Teen who pushed boy off Tate viewing platform blamed social services and said he was ‘mad’

Jonty Bravery, 18, claimed he wanted to highlight his apparent discontent with his treatment for

Jonty Bravery, 18, claimed he wanted to highlight his apparent discontent with his treatment for a host of mental health issues - HANDOUT
Jonty Bravery, 18, claimed he wanted to highlight his apparent discontent with his treatment for a host of mental health issues – HANDOUT

The teenager who threw a six-year-old from a viewing platform at the Tate Modern laughed and told the child’s father “Yes, I am mad” before blaming social services for his actions, a court has heard.

Jonty Bravery, 18, who is autistic, has pleaded guilty to attempted murder after scooping up the boy and hurling him over the railings “without any hesitation” last August in front of his horrified parents. 

A sentence hearing at the Old Bailey heard that he had planned the incident “well in advance” and had researched the easiest way to kill someone as he had been “seriously unhappy” and wanted to get out of his supported accommodation.

Deanna Heer, prosecuting, told the court:  “He said he had to prove a point to ‘every idiot’ who had ever said he did not have a mental health problem that he should not be in the community.”

She said he was under one-on-one supervision with Hammersmith and Fulham Social Services at the time of the attack, but was allowed to go out unaccompanied for four-hour periods.

However, a recording apparently taken by one of his care workers in Autumn 2018, in which Bravery can be heard talking about his plans to kill somebody by pushing them off a building, suggests that opportunities to stop the attack were missed.

Emergency crews attending the scene at the Tate Modern art gallery following the incident - PA
Emergency crews attending the scene at the Tate Modern art gallery following the incident – PA

He is currently being held at Broadmoor Hospital, where he is under one-on-one observation and has to be moved around the secure unit in holds. 

A report into his behaviour carried out after the incident found his “callousness” and “striking lack of emotional empathy” was “not typical of autism but more typically found in psychopathy”.

Philippa McAtasney, defending, said “it beggars belief” that her client was deemed suitable to go out unsupervised that day.

The Old Bailey heard that Bravery had travelled by tube to London Bridge and went to the Shard, where he inquired about buying a ticket for the viewing area but did not have enough money. 

He later admitted asking “where the next highest building was” before walking to the Tate Modern.

Ms Heer said the victim, who cannot be identified, had been skipping a little way ahead of his parents as they walked along the museum’s viewing platform.

CCTV caught Bravery, who was 17, turning towards the family before picking the child up, carrying him to the railings and throwing him off. Footage showed the boy falling head-first to the ground.

Ms Heer said Bravery “sniggered” when challenged by distraught witnesses and had “a big smile on his face”.

Asked why he had done it, he said: “It’s a long story” and was also heard to say: “It’s not my fault, it’s social services’ fault.”

Ms Heer said: “He can be seen to be smiling, with his arms raised. At one point, he appears to shrug and laugh.

She said the boy’s father initially thought the incident was “a joke” until he saw his son’s distorted body below.

Challenged by the father, Bravery said: “Yes, I am mad.”

Ms Heer said the boy’s mother became “increasingly hysterical” and tried to climb over the railings to get to her son but was held back by staff.

The court heard the boy suffered life-threatening injuries, and spent more than a month in hospital in the UK before being discharged to a hospital in France.

He remains in a wheelchair, and will require 100% care support until at least August 2022. It is not known whether he will ever make a full recovery.

Following his arrest, Bravery was said to have asked police if he was going to be “on the news” because he wanted to show his parents what a mistake they had made by not putting him in hospital, the court heard.

Bravery had been sectioned and taken from his home in 2017, when he was 16.

He spent six weeks in a mental health facility but was then allowed to live semi-independently in a residential flat in Northolt, west London, under  the responsibility of Hammersmith and Fulham social services.

The council subcontracted the work to private care provider Spencer and Arlington, which is said to have assigned up to six full time carers who worked in pairs.

Dr Joanna Dow, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Broadmoor Hospital, said she believed the defendant had a mixed personality disorder and struggled to manage his emotions.

She recommended he be detained in hospital rather than handed a prison sentence and said it was “hard to envisage” that he could ever be released into the community.

In a recording obtained by the BBC earlier this year, Bravery could be heard describing his urge to push someone off a building.

He said: “In the next few months I’ve got it in my head I’ve got to kill somebody. 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.”

An independent Serious Case Review is underway and its report due to be published in the autumn.

Bravery will be sentenced by Mrs Justice McGowan on Friday morning.

Source Article