UK jails teen who threw French boy from London's Tate Modern

Jonty Bravery, who has autism spectrum disorder, was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for attempted murder.

    Bravery pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder last December [File: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]
    Bravery pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder last December [File: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]

    A British teenager who threw a six-year-old French boy from a viewing platform at the Tate Modern art gallery in London has been sentenced to at least 15 years in prison.

    Judge Maura McGowan told Jonty Bravery, 18, he could spend his whole life in prison.

    "I cannot emphasise too clearly that this is not a 15-year sentence. The sentence is detention for life. The minimum term is 15 years," she said.

    "Your release cannot be considered before then. You may never be released."

    McGowan told Bravery he would remain "a grave danger to the public", adding: "You almost killed that six-year-old boy ... The injuries you caused are horrific."     

    Bravery pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder last December.

    The unnamed victim, who was visiting the United Kingdom with his family, fell five floors and was found on a fifth-floor roof while his mother was heard by witnesses screaming: "Where's my son? Where's my son?"

    The boy survived but suffered a bleed to his brain and a number of fractured bones.

    In a statement read out by a police officer on their behalf outside court, the victim's parents said he had been able to eat again in January, could speak a little but remained very weak, with many years of physiotherapy ahead of him.

    "He is still in a wheelchair today, wears splints on his left arm and both his legs, and spends his days in a corset moulded to his waist sat in his wheelchair," they said. "He is in pain. There are no words to express what we are going through."

    Mental issues

    Bravery, who followed the proceedings via video link, showed no emotion as the sentence was passed.

    Bravery has been detained in a high-security psychiatric unit since the attack, which he said he carried out because he had not been given proper treatment for mental health issues.

    The teenager, who was 17 at the time, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the age of five and has a personality disorder. 

    Psychiatrists said he also had psychopathic traits, although he had not been formally assessed for the condition.

    When challenged about what he had done on the day of the attack, he is said to have smirked and replied: "Yes, I am mad ... It's not my fault. It's social services' fault."

    Questions have been raised about how he was able to carry out the attack, as he was living in supported accommodation and under the care of social services in west London.

    The court was told he had also indicated he would carry out such an attack, in a secret recording purported to have been made by his carers that was never shared.

    SOURCE: News agencies