Bouncy Castle Trial: Two Guilty Over Girl's Death

Published: 10 May 2018

You might have seen this week that husband and wife William and Shelby Thurston, have been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence over Summer Grants death in March 2016.

Summer aged 7, died in hospital after she was rescued from an inflatable bouncy castle which blew away with Summer still inside.  The castle bounced for 300m in Harlow, Essex.

The Thurston’s, failed to ensure the bouncy castle was "adequately anchored" to the ground, the court heard.

The court were told “They did not monitor weather conditions to ensure it was safe to use on the day” Mr Thurston said he was aware that Storm Katie was due to arrive two days later, but believed it was "not hugely significant".

Summer suffered "multiple traumatic injuries to the head, neck and chest" and died later in hospital.

Sentencing will be carried out in June.

This unfortunate incident highlights the need for adequate risk assessments, safe systems of work, and stringent opening and closing safety checks. Factors such as equipment malfunction and poor weather conditions also need to be taken into account when planning events where bouncy castles are used.

Contact CSC if you are planning an event and need advice on risk assessments.