Bouncy Castle Trial: “Police cross” that it was packed into trailer before they arrived, court told

Crime / Wed 18th Apr 2018 at 01:50pm

Bouncy Castle Trailer

A BOUNCY castle that blew across the Town Park in Harlow with a little girl inside was packed into a trailer before police arrived, a court heard.

Seven-year-old Summer Grant was taken out of the inflatable after it hit a tree and came to rest against a fence, but later died of her injuries in hospital, a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

A number of witnesses gave evidence today including: staff at Pets Corner, members of the public who had used the fairground that day and police officers who attended at the scene.

Pets Corner employee Kyle Ramm said in a witness statement that he saw the bouncy castle “flipping and spinning” down the hill towards him as he spoke to his colleague Karen Hughes from their position outside the petting zoo.

“Suddenly Karen said ‘oh my God’ and pointed in the direction of the fair,” said Mr Ramm.

“When I looked I saw a yellow dome-style bouncy castle blowing down the hill.

“It was flipping and spinning as it bounced, at least the height of an adult down the hill towards our sheep paddock.”

He said it hit a fence and a tree “with some force as it had snapped a branch”.

“I could see there were people from the fair chasing after it,” he said. “One of them unzipped the castle before going in and coming out with a young girl.

They then placed her in the recovery position and shouted ‘call an ambulance’.”

He said the bouncy castle was soon “totally flat”, adding: “I saw people from the fair had started to load the castle up onto a trailer.”

“Shortly after the castle was removed police arrived and appeared to be cross that the castle had been moved,” he said.

Tommy King, who also works at Pets’ Corner, told the trial that a “truck-type car” came over and “probably about half a dozen” people packed the inflatable away.

Fairground worker William Thurston, 29, and his wife Shelby Thurston, 26, both deny manslaughter by gross negligence and a health and safety offence following the incident at Harlow Town Park in Essex.

Prosecutors say that the Thurtons, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, failed to ensure that the bouncy castle was “adequately anchored” to the ground and failed to monitor weather conditions to ensure it was safe to use on Easter Saturday in 2016.

Summer, from Norwich, had been at the fair with her father Lee Grant and other family members.

The trial continues.

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