Summer Grant: Bouncy castle that killed girl not ‘adequately anchored’

Summer Grant Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Paramedics were called to the park but Summer later died in hospital

A girl died after a bouncy castle that two workers had failed to “adequately anchor” was blown across a park with her inside it, a court has heard.

Summer Grant, seven, from Norwich, died in hospital after visiting a fun fair in Harlow, Essex, on 26 March 2016.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the inflatable was blown 300m down a hill.

Fairground workers William Thurston, 29, and his wife Shelby Thurston, 26, both deny a health and safety offence and manslaughter by gross negligence.

Tracy Ayling QC, prosecuting, said Summer was with her father, Lee Grant, and other family members at Thurston’s Fun Fair in Harlow Town Park on Easter Saturday, and that Storm Katie was expected to arrive by Easter Monday.

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

Image caption It is believed a strong gust of wind swept the inflatable across the park

The two defendants, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, Cambridgeshire, sat side-by-side in the dock as Ms Ayling opened the prosecution’s case.

“It’s the Crown’s case that they breached the duty of care they owed to Summer Grant by failing to ensure that the bouncy castle, called a circus super dome inflatable, was adequately anchored to the ground and failed to monitor weather conditions to ensure it was safe to use,” Ms Ayling said.

Ms Ayling said Summer’s father had heard a scream.

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

“He said, ‘My daughter’s in there’.”

Ms Ayling said Mr Thurston was among those who chased the bouncy castle as it blew away and, when he went to help Summer, it appeared “she was very badly injured and struggling to breathe”.

The trial continues.


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