Fairground workers to stand trial next week over death of schoolgirl at Essex fair

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, who died at a fun fair in Essex in 2016. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SCALA

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, who died at a fun fair in Essex in 2016. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SCALA - Credit: supplied by Scala

Two fairground workers charged with the manslaughter of a seven-year-old girl are due to stand trial next week.

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, who died after an accident on a bouncy castle in Harlow. Picture: SUPPL

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, who died after an accident on a bouncy castle in Harlow. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SCALA - Credit: supplied by Scala

Summer died after a strong gust of wind apparently swept the bouncy castle she was playing on across a park in Harlow, Essex, on March 26, 2016.

She was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow but died of multiple injuries.

Summer, of Braeford Close in Hellesdon, Norfolk, had attended Valley Primary School, and a memorial garden has been erected there for her classmates to remember her.

At the time of her death, headteacher Douglas Dale described her as a “cherished member” of the school.


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“Summer was an amazing girl - she was so full of kindness and a genuine source of inspiration for everyone she came in contact with,” he said.

“Her smile and the trademark flowers in her hair brightened up every day at school and she had such a love of life and a natural instinct to make the most of everything life had to offer.

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“Summer’s unique, gentle nature makes her untimely death all the more cruel and difficult to comprehend.

“Summer was a wonderful sister and role model to her younger sister Lily and a loving and much treasured daughter. The whole school will miss Summer hugely but we won’t forget her.”

Cara Blackie, Summer’s mum, said she was “truly heartbroken”.

“Summer was a bright, beautiful and most loving little girl,” she said.

Fairground workers Shelby Thurston, 25, and 28-year-old William Thurston, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, Cambridgeshire, have both denied manslaughter and a health and safety offence.

The trial is due to begin on April 17 at Chelmsford Crown Court and is expected to last three weeks.

David Jones, of Norwich-based law firm Morgan Jones Pett Solicitors, who represent Summer’s 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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