A teenager accused of throwing a six-year-old French boy from the tenth-floor viewing platform at Tate Modern will undergo psychiatric assessment before entering a plea, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.
During the 22-minute hearing, the defendant spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address, and that he is a British national. He cannot be named for legal reasons.
A trial date of 3 February has been set, and proceedings are expected to last two weeks. Psychiatric reports are to be submitted by 31 October after which the 17-year-old will enter a plea. The defendant will remain in custody in youth detention accommodation until the trial.
The teenager was charged with attempted murder after being arrested at Tate Modern on 4 August. In an earlier hearing, Bromley Youth Court heard how the six-year-old boy was with his parents looking over the side of the viewing platform and “enjoying the view” when he was allegedly picked up and thrown over the edge. The action was described as being “carried out extremely swiftly and in one movement”.
The injured boy remains in a stable but critical condition in hospital with his family, who are understood to be French tourists visiting the UK capital. He suffered bleeding to the brain and fractures to his spine, legs and arms.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police told The Art Newspaper earlier this week that “mental health is being explored as a line of inquiry”. She declined to comment on a report in the Sun newspaper that says the suspect is a mental health patient who may have absconded from minders.
A crowdfunding appeal has raised nearly £18,000 for the injured boy within 24 hours of being set up. A London nurse, Vicky Diplacto, whose brother was paralysed in an incident overseas, said she set up the GoFundMe appeal “in order that he may receive gold-standard care and support, alongside supporting his family to receive the ongoing care and support that they may need”.