Advising with empathy and experience

Tate attacker warned of murder plan a year earlier.

The teenager who threw a six-year-old boy from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern in London had spoken about plans to push someone off a high building about a year earlier.

The claim comes from a care worker to Jonty Bravery who says opportunities to stop him were missed.

Although Jonty Bravery’s care provider, Spencer & Arlington, say they had "no knowledge or records of the disclosure", BBC news and the Daily Mail obtained a recording of his admission.

At the time of the attack Bravery, who has autism, was in the care of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and lived in a flat in Northolt, west London, with round-the-clock care.

In the autumn of 2018, a worker called ‘Olly’ - not his real name - recorded Bravery talking to him and another care worker about his plan to commit murder.

In the recording, Bravery said: "In the next few months I've got it in my head I've got to kill somebody." 

He tells his care workers he wants to go into central London and visit a tall landmark to push somebody off it.

He adds: "It could be the Shard, it could be anything just as long as it's a high thing and we can go up and visit it and then push somebody off it and I know for a fact they'll die from falling from a hundred feet."

Bravery also explains he is fed up with his situation and wants to be sent to prison.

‘Olly’ said this was not the first time Bravery had spoken about this plan. He said "There were a few incidences regarding trying to hurt people, life-wrecking incidences that he had planned in his head.”

The former care worker said he told a more senior colleague about what Bravery had said and played the recording to someone else involved in his care. They both deny this.

In a statement, Spencer & Arlington said there is "absolutely no evidence" that Jonty Bravery "may have told his carers of his plan.” It said there was no record of the disclosure in any care plan, care report, or review, from managers or his care workers, psychologists, or health workers.

However, the company said it recognised the "gravity of this claim" and had reported the concerns to the care regulator, Care Quality Commission (CQC), and local authority so they could be examined independently by the serious case review.

Bravery, 18, admitted attempted murder at the Old Bailey and was jailed for 15 years.

After his arrest he told police he planned to hurt someone at the gallery to highlight his autism treatment on TV.

The victim, a French tourist, suffered life-changing injuries, including a "deep" bleed to the brain, from the attack in August 2019.

In January 2020, his family said he was still unable to stand but could now open his left hand.

‘Olly’ said when Bravery went to Spencer & Arlington in the summer of 2018, all trips out were supervised by two care workers at all times and had to be risk assessed but that in the spring of 2019 the regime changed and Jonty was allowed to go out alone.

He said he recalled conversations with other support staff who told him Bravery had asked to visit the Tate and was later given permission to go out unsupervised by management.

An eyewitness, who restrained Bravery for around 20 minutes after he threw the boy from the Tate balcony, also said he saw no evidence of a care worker or anyone else with him at the time.

Spencer & Arlington did not deny Bravery was allowed out unsupervised, either in general or during his visit to the Tate, but said it would be "inappropriate to make detailed comment" ahead of the serious case review and a pending sentencing hearing.

At the time of the attack, Bravery was already on bail, accused of attacking and racially abusing another care worker on a day out.

Spencer & Arlington, which is rated "good" by the CQC, said it believed it had "acted entirely properly in managing and reporting in its provision of care" for Bravery.

Once aware of the Tate incident it acted "swiftly and properly in notifying all key regulatory bodies", it added.

A statement from the Care Quality Commission said it was in direct contact with Spencer & Arlington, adding: "The local authority is the lead for the serious case review and we will be supporting this in any way required."