Teenager who threw child from Tate platform drops prison move bid

PA

A teenager who threw a young boy from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern has abandoned his bid to be moved from prison to hospital, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Jonty Bravery, 19, was jailed in June for throwing the youngster 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.

At a hearing in London on Wednesday, Bravery’s barrister Pippa McAtasney QC said that she had “abandoned the primary argument” that Bravery should have been given a hospital order with restrictions.

She 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.”

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.”

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’s young victim , who was on holiday with his parents in the capital from France, survived the 100ft (30m) fall, but suffered life-changing injuries, including a bleed on the brain and multiple broken bones.

The child cannot be identified because of his age.

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

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.

He had been allowed out unsupervised despite a history of lashing out at staff, his sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey was told in June.

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