Teenager Threw 6-Year-Old Child From 10th-Floor Balcony Because He Wanted to Be 'On the News'

A teenager who threw a six-year-old boy from the 10th-floor viewing platform of a London art gallery did so because he wanted to make the news, he told police.

Jonty Bravery, 18, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a child at the Old Bailey Court in London on Friday, Metropolitan Police said.

Bravery was 17 when he was arrested for throwing the youngster from the viewing platform at the Tate Modern gallery on August 4. The boy, who was visiting London from France with his family, was found on a fifth-floor roof with extremely serious injuries, police said.

As he was arrested, Bravery told officers that he hoped the attack would be reported in the news because he wanted to raise awareness of his treatment for autism, the Evening Standard reported.

"I wanted to be on the news, who I am and why I did it, so when it is official no-one can say anything else," Bravery told police. The Evening Standard reported that he also said at the time of the incident: "I think I've murdered someone."

Bravery, who also has obsessive-compulsive disorder and is believed to also have a personality disorder, told police he had to prove a point to those who claimed he didn't have any mental health issues. He claimed he heard voices that told him to hurt or kill people.

A trial had been set for February next year, but will now be avoided after Bravery pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced on February 17.

The Evening Standard reported that Bravery appeared in court via video link and appeared to roll his eyes when his care was mentioned. According to the newspaper, he was seen closing his eyes at times during the hearing.

The family of the injured boy issued a statement saying life "stopped" for them on the day of the attack. The child spent weeks in hospital in the U.K. before he was able to return to France in September.

He remains in hospital, but is showing signs of improvement in his communication and movement, police said. "Our son still needs intensive rehabilitation since he hasn't recovered mobility in all limbs or cognitive capacities. He is constantly awoken by pain and he can't communicate that pain or call out to hospital staff," the family said in a statement.

"Life stopped for us four months ago. We don't know when, or even if, we will be able to return to work, or return to our home, which is not adapted for a wheelchair."

They added: "We are exhausted, we don't know where this all leads, but we go on. We wish to thank all of the people, family and friends who have supported us throughout this horrific experience."

After Bravery's hearing on Friday, Detective Chief Inspector John Massey said the motive behind the teenager's actions remains unclear. "This was an incredibly unusual and traumatic event and I can only imagine the horror the victim's family felt as they realized what had happened to their child," he said.

"The motive behind Jonty Bravery's actions remains unclear. However, what is clear is the damage that has been done to this family, who have remained courageous and dignified in the face of such trauma, in addition to widespread media coverage of the incident."

He added: "Members of the public and security staff acted swiftly to immediately detain the defendant prior to the arrival of police and I would like to thank them and those who came forward with witness accounts."

He added that following Bravery's guilty plea, the victim's family have "been spared the trauma of a trial and can now focus on their son's care and rehabilitation."

Jonty Bravery
Jonty Bravery, 18, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a child at the Old Bailey court in London on Friday, Metropolitan Police