Fairground workers to be sentenced over girl’s death on blown-away bouncy castle

UK News | Published:

The married couple were found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Summer Grant, seven.

Two married fairground workers who failed to adequately anchor a bouncy castle that blew away with a little girl inside it will be sentenced for her gross negligence manslaughter.

Seven-year-old Summer Grant died after a gust of wind lifted the inflatable from its moorings and sent it “cartwheeling” 300 metres down a hill at an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex, an earlier trial at Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

William Thurston, 29, and Shelby Thurston, 26, were both found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Summer Grant death court case
Fairground workers Shelby and William Thurston were found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Summer Grant (Joe Giddens/PA)

Prosecutors said the defendants failed to ensure that the bouncy castle was “adequately anchored” to the ground and failed to monitor weather conditions to ensure it was safe to use.

A yellow Met Office weather warning was in place on the day of the incident, two days before Storm Katie was due to arrive.

Summer’s father Lee Grant told the trial he turned to see the bouncy castle in the air after he heard a scream, and said “my daughter’s in there”.

He said he gave chase but could not catch the inflatable.

Summer was rescued from within the bouncy castle and taken to hospital where she died from her injuries.

The Thurstons are listed to be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.

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