Fairground workers appear in court over Summer Grant’s death on bouncy castle in Harlow

Summer Grant died from multiple injuries after a strong gust of wind apparently swept a bouncy castl

Summer Grant died from multiple injuries after a strong gust of wind apparently swept a bouncy castle across a park in Harlow. Picture: Essex Police/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Two fairground workers have appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a “bright, beautiful and most loving little girl” who died when a bouncy castle she was playing on blew away.

Two fairground workers have appeared in court charged with the gross negligence manslaughter of Summ

Two fairground workers have appeared in court charged with the gross negligence manslaughter of Summer Grant. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Summer Grant, seven, died from multiple injuries after a strong gust of wind apparently swept the inflatable across a park in the Essex town of Harlow on March, 26 last year.

Shelby Thurston, 25, and 28-year-old William Thurston, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court today charged with manslaughter.

The pair, who are described in court papers as self-employed, are also charged with a health and safety offence.

William Thurston, who has short brown hair and wore a black suit, white shirt and dark tie, and Shelby Thurston, who has long blonde hair and wore a black skirt and white blouse, spoke only to confirm their personal details.

No pleas were taken during the two-minute hearing and the pair were bailed to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, August 16.

A candlelit vigil was held in Harlow Town Park for Summer Grant, after she died.
Picture: SIMON FIN

A candlelit vigil was held in Harlow Town Park for Summer Grant, after she died. Picture: SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The parents of Summer, who lived in Hellesdon, Norfolk, paid tribute to their daughter after the tragedy.

Most Read

Mother Cara Blackie said she was “truly heartbroken”.

She added: “Summer was a bright, beautiful and most loving little girl, it is so unfair that you have been taken, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Summer’s father, Lee Grant, described her as the “most happy, polite and beautiful girl in the world”.

He added: “I still can’t come to terms she’s not here.”

* In May, three youths were spoken to by police investigating the vandalism of a memorial garden set up in Summer’s memory.

The outdoor space at Valley Primary Academy, in Norwich, was opened last year to give Summer’s family and classmates somewhere to sit and reflect on her life.

CCTV footage from the school shows a group of four teenagers, some in school uniform, hurling bricks onto the roof of the school, before scrawling over floors and walls with chalk and finally turning their attention to the garden.

The memorial garden to Summer Grant at Valley Primary Academy which was vandalised. Picture: Valley

The memorial garden to Summer Grant at Valley Primary Academy which was vandalised. Picture: Valley Primary Academy - Credit: Archant

Norfolk Police confirmed officers identified three men in connection with the crime.