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Prosecution begins into the death of seven-year old Summer Grant on a bouncy castle at a funfair in Harlow, Essex

The prosecution of Shelby and William Thurston for manslaughter and a HSE offence will begin on 16th April 2018 at 2pm at Chelmsford Crown Court.


The prosecution of Shelby and William Thurston for manslaughter and a HSE offence will begin on 16th April 2018 at 2pm at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The couple are being prosecuted following the death of seven-year old Summer Grant who was killed when the bouncy castle she was playing on at Harlow Town Park was blown away. The event, which took place on 26th March 2016 at the park in Essex, was organised by Thurston Fun Fairs.

Summer attended the fair that day with her dad, Lee Grant, and younger sister Lily (now aged 7). Summer died in hospital shortly after the accident having suffered multiple injuries. The charge against each defendant is:

  1. Manslaughter - that on 26/03/2016 at Harlow unlawfully killed Summer Grant;
  2. On 26/03/2016 at Harlow, being a self-employed person who conducted an undertaking of a prescribed description, failed to conduct your undertaking in such a way to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that you and other persons (not being your employees) who may have been affected thereby, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Mr & Mrs Thurston have pleaded not guilty to both offences. The trial is anticipated to last three weeks and it is expected that evidence will be given by Summer’s dad, members of the public and paramedics, as well as weather and bouncy castle specialists.

If found guilty by the jury, the maximum sentence a judge can impose is imprisonment for life.

Summer, whose date of birth was 8th January 2009 attended Valley Primary Academy in Norwich.

David Jones, of Norwich-based law firm, Morgan Jones Pett Solicitors, who represent the family said “The family have faced an agonising wait for the criminal prosecution to take place. They remain deeply distressed by the loss of their bright, beautiful and loving little girl. This is an extremely anxious time for them all.”

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