Boy, eight, who survived Tate Modern attack 'super happy' for school

Boy, eight, who nearly died when he was thrown 100ft off the Tate Modern is ‘super happy’ to return to school almost two years after the horrific attack

  • The young boy – who can’t be named – was targeted in the attack two years ago
  • Jonty Bravey, 19, picked him up and threw him off the Tate Modern in London
  • He was sentenced to detention for life after admitting attempted murder
  • His victim survived and his parents have been giving progress updates 

An eight-year-old boy who nearly died after he was thrown from the Tate Modern by a teenager because he ‘wanted to be on the news’ has returned to school again.

Jonty Bravery, now 19, grabbed the child at random and hurled him 100 ft (30m) from the 10th floor viewing platform to the ground, inflicting horrific life-changing injuries two years ago.

But the unnamed victim – who was on holiday in the UK with his parents when the attempted murder happened – is bravely defying the odds to rebuild his life.

His mum and dad said he is loving being back to normal in the classroom even if he’s tired because he’s getting homework.

They also said he has also enjoyed trips with a friend in a catamaran as he tries to get back to normal.

In a joint statement, his parents said: ‘The start of the school year went well and our little knight got an additional school slot on Friday.

‘Even though the class was closed for a week due to covid, our son is super happy to be going back to ‘normal’ school, as he says.

The Tate Modern where attacker Jonty Bravery threw a boy from the high viewing area

Bravery was sentenced to detention for life, with 15 year minimum, for the attempted murder

‘The weeks have however become very tiring because he has of course some homework to do at home but very little time considering all his rehabilitations.

‘Which he continues to have in the hospital and the fatigue that this causes.

‘Despite everything, we are happy that he can continue this rehabilitation because it enables him to continue to progress.

‘For example, we were able to put away the cumbersome tetrapod cane to replace it with a simple cane.

‘And, if our son still does not walk on his own, there has not been another fall and we feel that it is progressing little by little.’

They added: ‘Likewise, he has new small movements in the left shoulder, and those that were already there are getting stronger.

‘His work with the orthoptist is also bearing fruit, he is less lost in front of a page of writing and manages to follow a line of his gaze for longer.

‘Regarding the tricycle, he continues to train with physiotherapists but we still have not received the one that was scheduled for September, problem of supply of equipment. 

Police were called to the Tate Modern in 2019 after the boy was thrown from the 10th floor

‘In the absence of short family outings, we were however able to offer him two catamaran rides, generously organized by a neighbour, a sailing teacher who adapted to our son’s limitations.

‘He loved it, especially when the co-captain purposely ‘fell’ into the water to make him laugh.

‘At last, our little knight finally passed his first swallowing test with the speech therapist, he managed to drink a full glass of water without coughing.

‘It’s a great progress that lightens his daily life and ours because it is no longer necessary to thicken one in two or three glasses depending on his fatigue.

‘He can finally drink water.

‘He is so delighted that he takes the opportunity, as soon as he can, to drink from our glasses when our back is turned.

‘Thank you for your messages and your support. Take care of yourself and of those you love. The family of the child. ‘

Bravery, 19 was sentenced to detention for life, with a minimum of 15 years, at the Old Bailey in June last year after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

In December, a judge dismissed his appeal against his sentence.

He was also given an extra 14 weeks’ jail time in December for two counts of common assault following attacks at Broadmoor Hospital, Berks.  

A report published by the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership in West London failed to blame anyone for Bravery being free to attack the child. 

A serious case review into him highlighted a series of violent incidents in the two years before he struck, as well as other examples of troubling behaviour including putting faeces in his mother’s make-up brushes or throwing it out of his window at neighbours as well as threatening to kill members of the public. 

One support worker said they believed it was ‘only by luck’ he hadn’t killed someone, while Bravery’s attacks were often premeditated and appeared to give him pleasure, especially when he drew blood after he bit another child.

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