THE six-year-old boy allegedly thrown 100ft from the 10th floor of an art gallery balcony has been left with a broken back, legs and arms, a court heard today.
A 17-year-old teen, who appeared in court with a black eye this morning, sobbed as details of the French child’s horror injuries were revealed.
The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested at Tate Modern on Sunday and appeared before Bromley Youth Court on charges of attempted murder.
Wearing a grey jumper, the teenager appeared confused and tearful as he spoke only to confirm name, age and British nationality.
Today the court heard he suffered a deep bleed on the brain as well as fractures to his spine, legs and arms after falling from the viewing platform.
Witnesses had previously claimed the child’s desperate mum tried to jump over the rail to rescue him, screaming “my son, my son”.
Sian Morgan, prosecuting, told the court the 17-year-old boy grabbed the child when he was just a few feet from his parents – throwing him over the edge in a “very swift” movement.
The teen was today returned to youth detention until Thursday, when he will face Central Criminal Court.
He is expected to enter his plea at the Old Bailey on August 8.
The little boy today remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
Horrified witnesses told how the child was snatched from his mother and thrown over a chest-high barrier at London’s Tate Modern.
The boy — who is French and was on a family holiday — plummeted from a tenth-floor viewing deck to a fifth-floor roof on Sunday.
And witnesses visiting the popular attraction on Sunday claimed the suspect had been following families around moments before the horror incident.
Administration worker Nancy Barnfield, 47, said: “He had his hands behind his back the whole time, his back to the wall, just watching people. We walked away from him then immediately when he was out of sight a woman was screaming ‘My son, my son’ and people were grabbing him.”
Mark Welte, a San Francisco writer, said he had heard “primal screams”, adding: “The child’s mother then tried to climb the rail. I restrained her and pulled her back.”
Mothers desperately grabbed their own children as chaotic scenes unfolded at the popular tourist attraction.
Fellow witness Olga Malehevska was on the viewing platform with her four-year-old son when she saw the little boy falling – saying it was “absolutely terrifying”.
But she said she suddenly heard a noise, with people starting to shout “Oh my God, the boy dropped”.
She said: “I just felt like something is going on, I should take my child out of there immediately and we tried to go towards the exit.”
Last night the boy was “critical but stable” in a hospital intensive care unit following life-saving treatment.
A youth — said by witnesses to have remained chillingly calm as the victim’s mother screamed hysterically — was arrested at the scene.
One unnamed bystander also claimed the suspect was punched by someone who had witnessed the boy’s terrifying fall.
His odd behaviour was said to have distressed several trippers at the tourist attraction before the incident.
Det Chief Insp John Massey said: “We’re providing around the clock support to the little boy’s family as they wait for more news on his condition.
“At the moment, this is being treated as an isolated event with no distinct or apparent motive.
“There is no link between the victim and male arrested.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 0208 721 4868 or @MetCC quoting CAD 4660/4August.