Then 6-year-old French boy thrown from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern by a then 17-year-old monster in 2019 amazes with remarkable progress and is deservedly lauded as a “little knight”
The resilience and determination of children can be remarkable and the then 6-year-old French boy who was thrown from a 10th floor viewing platform at the Tate Modern in August 2019 is a true testament to that.
Now, just under three years after this horrific incident, it has been revealed that the unnamed for reasons of privacy victim – whose injuries included a bleed to the brain, fractures to his spine and broken legs and arms – has been able to celebrate his birthday with other children for the first time since the completely unprovoked attack.
In a statement on 28th May, the child’s family remarked via a GoFundMe page supporting them:
“To fill the strong desire of our little knight to go in the water (he had been swimming since childhood), we managed to find a specialised educator who can accompany him to the swimming pool with great vigilance. Indeed, he still can’t put his head under water because of his swallowing difficulties. Our son has to start all over again from the beginning but that doesn’t scare him! He is so happy in the water!”
We do not know if this is related to the picking up of this activity, but our son is starting to move his left ankle. Once again, we are happy to see him succeed in making a new movement, still light of course, but clearly visible for two weeks.”
“Other good news, our little knight is standing more and more upright (he has gained muscle tone and strengthened his back) and he has made enough progress in his right ankle for his doctor to decide to remove the splint from the right foot! Our son therefore only has two splints left, on the left foot and on the left hand. Little by little, his armor is disappearing!”
“This week he has also been able to make his first try at the school canteen. He was very happy, even if he is still very sensitive to noise: he complained of having earaches at the end of the meal. For next week, his occupational therapist will lend him noise-canceling headphones that he can put on whenever he needs to soothe his eardrums.”
“Finally, we were able to celebrate his birthday for the first time with other children since the attack. Our son was able to invite classmates and even one of his buddies from our old town was able to come! They had a great afternoon together, despite their differences in mobility. It was exhausting for us, but it was a step closer to a classic life, and it’s worth it.”
“Some periods are so difficult. Sadness and discouragement would sometimes take hold of us, but we must hold on and focus on all the progress made. Thank you so much for continuing to think of our little knight and for encouraging us.”
Shockingly this is an incident that should never have occurred in the first place. The then 17-year-old perpetrator, Jonty Bravery, was an autistic teenager who lived in a placement in Northolt, West London with two-to-one care funded by Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The unironically named Bravery had been involved in a “series of troubling incidents” in the two years prior to the attack including threatening to kill members of the public, hitting a climbing wall instructor at a leisure centre and putting faeces in his mother’s make-up brushes. In April 2019, whilst on a supervised trip to Brighton, he had punched a care worker and a member of staff in a Burger King.
Allowed out for the day unaccompanied on 4th August 2019 in spite of his past violence, Bravery spent considerable time scoping out victims on the viewing platform of the Tate Modern and looking over the railings before committing a totally unprovoked attack on a child he had never even met before.
Subsequently jailed for 15 years after being convicted of attempted murder, Jonty Bravery was arrested again in 2021 on suspicion of raping a man in his 30s in the shower block of Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh. This is frankly indicative that those charged with minding this menace and monster are clearly not doing their jobs properly.
The GoFundMe fundraiser towards paying for the medical care and rehabilitation of the child has raised over £315,000 ($398,000, €370,000 or درهم1.5 million) and today we urge readers to join its nigh on 700 supporters – who number the BBC’s Emily Maitlis and billionaire Hans Rausing – by clicking here.