News

Fairground workers guilty over bouncy castle death

Summer Grant died when the fairground castle she was playing in was picked up by strong winds and carried away at an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex, on 26 March, 2016.

Fairground worker William Thurston, 29, and his wife Shelby Thurston, 26, both denied manslaughter by gross negligence and a health and safety offence following the incident.

Mrs Thurston told a court the operating instructions for the bouncy castle had been destroyed in a fire, after they had been at another fairground, which faced opposition.

Police and forensic officers at the scene where seven-year-old Summer died
Image:Police and forensic officers at the scene where seven-year-old Summer died
Fairground workers guilty over bouncy castle death
Fairground workers guilty over bouncy castle death

They were accused of failing to adequately anchor the bouncy castle and not monitoring the weather situation closely.

Tracy Ayling QC told the court: “Summer was playing in a bouncy castle that was one of the fair’s attractions run by these two defendants.

“While Summer was in the bouncy castle, it blew away from its moorings, bounced 300 metres down a hill; having hit a tree, it came to rest.”

Tributes near the scene of Summer Grant's death
Image:Tributes near the scene of Summer Grant’s death

Ms Ayling said Summer’s father heard a scream and ran after the bouncy castle but it was moving too fast for him to catch it.

“He turned and saw that the dome inflatable had lifted into the air, appeared to hit a caravan before flipping over,” the prosecutor told the court.

“He said ‘my daughter’s in there’.”

Similar Posts