LONDON, Britain. An 18-year-old who threw a six-year-old French boy from the balcony of London’s Tate Modern was jailed on Friday to serve a life sentence.
John Bravery, who was 17 when the crime was committed, claimed that voices in his head had told him to pick up the child and throw him from the tenth floor of the museum in August 2019.
The child fell 30 metres onto the roof of the fifth floor of the museum, suffering a cerebral haemorrhage and multiple fractures to his spine, legs and arms.
Bravery, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder in December at the Old Bailey, will serve at least 15 years.
“I think I killed someone, I just threw him from the balcony,” he told a museum employee at the time.
He was arrested after being surrounded by members of the public. He told officers he had planned the incident for a long time and said he did it to “be on the news and for people to know who he was.”
“We may never fully understand why Bravery carried out this terrible act, but part of the motive appears to have been a perverse desire for fame,” said Detective Inspector Melanie Pressley, who led the investigation.
“Whatever his motive, I will never be able to comprehend how he could do such a thing,” she added.
According to information gathered during the investigation, Bravery claimed that voices in his head told him to kill or injure people.”
A joint investigation by the BBC and the Daily Mail alleged he had told caregivers about his plans one year before the Tate incident.
Specialist care provider Spencer & Arlington, who was looking after Bravery at the time of the alleged revelations, denied having any knowledge of his intentions.
‘Horror and fear’
The child, who returned to France in September, regained the ability to speak later in 2019.
“Words cannot express the horror and the fear that his actions have brought upon us and our son, who is now wondering why he is in hospital,” his parents said in a statement issued by the Metropolitan Police.
“How can one explain to a child that someone deliberately tried to kill him?”
“From what the doctors said, he has many years of physiotherapy ahead of him, and we have no prospects or plans for the future other than being by his side,” they added.