Council bosses spent thousands of pounds on legal fees in an attempt to keep the name of a teenager who threw a six-year-old boy from a 10th-floor viewing platform at the Tate Modern a secret.
Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council paid £12,400 over the course of four court hearings as they fought with the press over naming Jonty Bravery, the PA news agency revealed.
The teen, who was 17 when he committed the crime August last year, was granted anonymity by the court because of his age, but the order expired on his 18th birthday – despite repeated efforts by the council to keep his identity out of the public domain for longer.
Council documents released under Freedom of Information laws show the total cost for legal advice and representation at four Old Bailey court hearings covering anonymity between August 8 and October 1 2019 was £12,400.
Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council said the same barrister was not available for each occasion.
Bravery, who has autism and a personality disorder, was a “looked after child” under the care of the council at the time he struck – telling onlookers social services that were to blame for his actions.
The authority has since ordered a serious case review into the incident, which is due to be published in the autumn.
In a statement a council spokesman said: “Our sympathies go out to the child and his family following what happened at Tate Modern.
“An independent serious case review is now under way. It will look at what happened and the role played by all the different agencies involved.”
The six-year-old French tourist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a bleed to the brain, fractures to his spine, and broken legs and arms in the fall and is now recovering.