Teenager jailed for 15 years for throwing boy from Tate viewing platform

Jonty Bravery was jailed for at least 15 years A mentally ill teenager who threw

Jonty Bravery was jailed for at least 15 years
Jonty Bravery was jailed for at least 15 years

A mentally ill teenager who threw a six-year-old boy from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years as a judge warned he may never be released.

Jonty Bravery, 18, had been allowed to leave his supported accommodation unsupervised, despite a catalogue of warning signs that he was violent and intent on killing someone.

He shrugged and laughed after picking up the young French boy, who was on holiday with his parents, and hurling him off the London museum’s tenth floor balcony. He told the victim’s father: “Yes, I am mad” and was also heard to say: “It’s not my fault, it’s social services’ fault.” 

The boy  suffered devastating injuries, including a bleed on the brain and spinal damage, and now needs round-the-clock care. It is not known whether he will ever make a full recovery.

Mrs Justice McGowan, sentencing Bravery at the Old Bailey yesterday (FRI), said: “All the doctors agree that you are dangerous and I have no doubt that they are right.

“You had intended to kill someone that day. 

“You searched the internet on the day and the previous day for information about killing people and what effect autism would have on sentencing. 

emergency crews attending a scene at the Tate Modern art gallery following an incident
emergency crews attending a scene at the Tate Modern art gallery following an incident

“You investigated different methods of murder.

“You planned this, you worked out which buildings you might try, based on height and cost of admission and you appear to have revelled in the notoriety.

“You choose a small child because of his vulnerability. The impact of his injuries is catastrophic and life altering.”

She added that while she recognised the effect of his condition and personality disorder, his “culpability was high.”

The judge heard contrasting opinions from experts on whether Bravery should remain in hospital detention or be transferred to prison but concluded that a jail sentence was needed to protect the public, to mark his “terrible” actions and the “devastating consequences” on the boy and his family.

She said Bravery’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD) did not explain the attack, and acknowledged expert evidence he presents “a grave and immediate risk to the public”.

The judge added: “You will spend the greater part – if not all – of your life detained … you may never be released.”

It ‘beggars belief’ that he was allowed out unsupervised

The Old Bailey heard that Bravery’s “callousness” and “striking lack of emotional empathy” was “not typical of autism but more typically found in psychopathy”.

His lawyer said it “beggars belief” that he was deemed suitable to go out unsupervised on August 4 last year.

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

Bravery, who had admitted attempted murder, sat impassively with his legs crossed, occasionally placing his hands behind his head, as he watched the 20-minute hearing via videolink from the hospital.

The court had heard that the teenager, who was sectioned and taken from the family home in 2017, when he was 16, had been living in supported accommodation under the care of Hammersmith and Fulham Social Services, with one-to-one supervision.

Deanna Heer, prosecuting, said there was evidence Bravery had long harboured his intent to seriously hurt or kill someone.

His admissions were caught on a “shocking, prophetic” secret recording apparently made by carers, in which he could be heard talking about his plans to kill somebody by pushing them off a building.

He had also researched the easiest way to kill someone online.

In a victim impact statement, the boy’s family, who have now returned to their native France, said their son would forever see “every stranger as a villain who will cause him immense pain and suffering”

They described Bravery’s actions as “unspeakable,” adding: “Words cannot express the horror and fear his actions have brought up on us and our son who now, six months on, is wondering why he’s in hospital.

“How can he not see in every stranger a potential ‘villain’ who could cause him immense pain and suffering?”

No members of the victim’s or Bravery’s family were present in court for the sentencing.

A Hammersmith & Fulham Council spokesman said a serious case review was under way, that they were cooperating fully and would learn from its findings.


October 2017: Jonty Bravery, who was diagnosed with autism aged five, is placed in the care of specialist staff after an assault on a female worker.

December 2017: After six weeks in a mental health facility he is allowed to live semi-independently in a residential flat in Northolt, west London. 

Autumn 2018: He is apparently recorded by a care worker outlining his plan to throw someone from a tall building.

April 2019: Bravery, now 17, is arrested after punching a care worker on a trip to Burger King in Brighton. A member of restaurant staff is also hit by Bravery during the supervised day out. He later assaults a custody officer and urinates in the police waiting room.

May 2019: The teenager conducts a series of searches about murder attempts on his iPad.

August 3 2019: Bravery conducts online searches such as asking if he can go to prison for attempted murder if he has autism, “guaranteed” ways to go to jail, and “Which event is more likely to cause death – pushing a girl into the River Thames or shooting a girl in the stomach?”

August 4 2019: He throws a six-year-old boy from the viewing platform at the Tate Modern.

December 2019: Bravery pleads guilty to attempted murder.

June 2020: Sentenced to a minimum 15 years in jail

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