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Father tried to save daughter as bouncy castle blew away

Summer Grant died from multiple injuries after the inflatable was swept away by strong wind.

Summer Grant died in March 2016.
Summer Grant died in March 2016. ITV News Anglia

A seven-year-old girl died due to gross negligence and failure to correctly install a fairground attraction, a court has heard.

Summer Grant, from Norwich, died from multiple injuries after a strong gust of wind swept the inflatable she was in, across a park in Harlow on 26th March 2016.

25-year old Shelby Thurston and 28-year-old William Thurston in 2017.
25-year old Shelby Thurston and 28-year-old William Thurston in 2017. ITV News Anglia

Shelby Thurston, 25, and her husband 28-year-old William Thurston, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, were responsible for the bouncy castle and are jointly charged with gross negligence manslaughter. They both deny the charge.

Prosecuting Ms Tracy Ayling QC said: "Summer Grant went with her father and members of her family to Thurston's Funfair at Harlow Town Park. The weather was cold and windy."

The court heard how Summer was playing in a bouncy castle known as the Circus SuperDome that was not properly anchored to the ground.

Ms Ayling QC told the court that the Thurston's had failed "to ensure that it was adequately anchored to the ground." and that it was the Thurston's responsibility to "take steps to properly monitor the weather conditions."

Ms Ayling explained that Mr and Mrs Thurston are also separately charged with failure to discharge a duty under section three of the Health and Safety at Work act because each individual holds an individual duty of care.

The scene in Harlow in 2016.
The scene in Harlow in 2016. ITV News Anglia

Ms Ayling QC then moved onto Summer's time in the SuperDome and described Summer's father's reaction to seeing his daughter in the inflatable.

Ms Ayling said: "He turned and saw that the dome inflatable had lifted into the air, and appeared to hit a caravan before lifting in the air.

"He shouted, 'My daughter's in there,' and tried to catch it.

"It was rolling almost all the time, cartwheeling in the air, it only stopped when it crashed into a fence at the bottom of the park."

Ms Ayling said that Thurston had also run after the inflatable, and went inside it, then carried Summer out.

She said: "It appeared that she was very badly injured and struggling to breathe."

Ms Ayling said that the inflatable "was rolled up, placed in a trailer, attached to a silver pick up vehicle, and taken away.

Summer was taken to hospital, but died from her injuries.

Flowers were left at the scene for Summer in 2016.
Flowers were left at the scene for Summer in 2016. ITV News Anglia

The Parents of Summer, who lived in Norwich said at the time, they were 'truly heartbroken' and that Summer was a 'bright and beautiful and most loving little girl."

The trial at Chelmsford Crown Court is expected to last three weeks.

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