The six-year-old boy who survived a fall from Tate Modern’s 10th floor viewing balcony on Sunday afternoon is in a critical but stable condition, suffering from a brain injury, fractured spine, and broken limbs. A court in London heard yesterday, August 6, that the victim is from France and was visiting the gallery with his family. The teenager accused of throwing the boy off the building was officially charged with attempted murder in a youth court, and remains in custody.
Prosecutors told a youth court Bromley, South London, that the victim was a French national who was on holiday in the UK with his family. He was airlifted to hospital after falling 100 feet and landing on a fifth floor roof of Tate Modern. The boy remains in stable condition, but has a “deep bleed to the brain,” as well as fractures to his spine, legs, and arms.
The alleged assailant, a 17-year-old male who cannot be named in the press because of his age, has been charged with attempted murder. He is due to appear for a bail hearing at London’s Old Bailey court tomorrow, Thursday August 8.
In a statement, London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that the boy was unknown to the teenager, and that the mental health of the attacker is one line of inquiry. They are appealing for witnesses who saw a male with “out of place, suspicious or worrying” behavior in the hours prior to the incident.
The accused teenager spoke to the court to confirm details of his name, age, address, and nationality. He was reportedly confused and tearful, and had sustained a bruise to his right eye while being detained by members of the public before his arrest by police. The teenager from northwest London has yet to answer the attempted murder charge with a plea. A hearing has been scheduled for August 22, when he will be able to formally enter a plea.
Tate Modern’s 10th-floor viewing gallery remains closed to the public today. A Tate spokesman tells artnet News that security arrangements are “reviewed regularly and as part of best practice,” adding that they do not discuss these “for obvious reasons.” In a statement, the gallery said that it was working closely with the police, and that: “Our thoughts are with the child and his family.”
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