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Two jailed after child’s bouncy castle death

17 June 2018

TWO FAIRGROUND workers have been jailed for gross negligence after a young girl was killed when a bouncy castle blew away.

In March 2016, seven-year-old Summer Grant died inside a bouncy castle when it was swept away by winds greater than 60 miles per hour and blown more than 300 metres across a car park at Thurston’s Funfair in Harlow Town Park in Essex. 

Husband and wife William and Shelby Thurston were overseeing several rides at the fair and the incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive. The investigation found that the bouncy castle hadn’t been properly anchored to the ground.

The pair were found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following a three-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. They were also found guilty of breaching s3(2) of the HSWA 1974. They were both jailed for three years and were also ordered to serve an additional one-year prison sentence for the breach to the HSWA 1974, which will run concurrently. 

In delivering his sentence, Justice Garnham said the couple "took the most monumental risk with children's lives by continuing to allow children on the bouncy castle."