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Fairground workers jailed over Summer Grant’s bouncy castle death

PUBLISHED: 14:07 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 15 June 2018

Summer Grant, who was killed when a bouncy castle flew away with her in it Picture: ESSEX POLICE/PRESS ASSOCIATION

Summer Grant, who was killed when a bouncy castle flew away with her in it Picture: ESSEX POLICE/PRESS ASSOCIATION

Two fairground workers responsible for the death of Summer Grant who was blown away in a bouncy castle in Essex have been jailed for three years.

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, from Hellesdon, died from multiple injuries when a bouncy castle she was playing on blew away at a park in Harlow, Essex, on March 26, 2016 Picture: SUPPLIED BY SCALASeven-year-old Summer Grant, from Hellesdon, died from multiple injuries when a bouncy castle she was playing on blew away at a park in Harlow, Essex, on March 26, 2016 Picture: SUPPLIED BY SCALA

The seven-year-old, from Norwich, was killed 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 two years ago.

Married couple William Thurston, 29, and Shelby Thurston, 26, were found guilty of her manslaughter by gross negligence at an earlier trial.

They were also convicted of a health and safety offence following the incident on March 26, 2016.

The couple, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, were sentenced to a further 12 months’ imprisonment for that offence, to run concurrently.

Shelby and William Thurston, who have been jailed over the death of Summer Grant at an Easter fair in Harlow Picture: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIREShelby and William Thurston, who have been jailed over the death of Summer Grant at an Easter fair in Harlow Picture: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIRE

They appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today, where they were put behind bars.

Mr Justice Garnham said the pair “took the most monumental risk with children’s lives by continuing to allow children on the bouncy castle” after they decided to close the big slide, “and that risk-taking cost Summer her life”.

He also called on the Health and Safety Executive to take the steps necessary to make it compulsory for fairground operators to have proper wind speed measuring equipment.

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