Weather warning in place on day Summer Grant was blown across fair inside bouncy castle, court hears

PUBLISHED: 17:31 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 20 April 2018

Summer Grant. Picture submitted.

Summer Grant. Picture submitted.

Archant

A weather warning was in place on the day that a bouncy castle blew across a fairground with Summer Grant inside it, a court heard.

The seven-year-old, from Hellesdon, died in hospital after she was rescued from the inflatable, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

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.

Meteorologist Dr Richard Wild told jurors on Thursday that a Met Office yellow weather warning had been in place since two days before the incident, on Easter Saturday in 2016.

He said a yellow warning is the lowest of the Met Office’s three types - yellow, amber and red, and he had analysed forecast data from the time.

“I concluded that the gusts in the area at that time were, I believe, 35-40mph,” he said. “That was within the hour of the actual incident.”

David Kerr-Sheppard, the air ambulance pilot who flew to the incident, said conditions were “squally”.

Asked what he meant by this, the chief pilot of Essex Air Ambulance said: “My interpretation would be sudden, sometimes violent bursts of wind that could easily change direction and it’s generally affected by strong, very active cloud activity.”

He described it as a “pretty miserable day”.

“It was wet, windy, total cloud cover and there had been some quite strong gusts going through the airbase prior to us taking off,” he said.

He said the weather was not suitable to fly Summer to a London hospital, and she was instead taken by land ambulance to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

Nicola Peckham, digital portfolio manager for the Met Office, described the Met Office weather app that smartphone users could download at the time.

“The forecast is updated every hour and the app has to receive the forecast within 15 minutes of it being released,” she said, appearing by video-link. “The app would automatically update with the latest forecast.”

She said it needed a GPS or WiFi signal to work, and weather warnings would display in the app, and would also display on the front screen of a phone if push notifications were switched on.

The app used at the time is no longer available, with a new app introduced in May 2016, Ms Peckham said.

Prosecutors say that the Thurstons, 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, who was a pupil at Valley Primary Academy in Hellesdon, had been at the fair with her father Lee Grant and other family members.

The trial continues.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 19:24

Rotarians, scouts and the promise of a squad of 50 volunteer stewards will run this year’s Ely fireworks display on Cherry Hill – and the Ely Standard has agreed to be its print media partner.

Yesterday, 12:00

Fleet Street journalist Andrew Pierce was today the feeling the pangs of embarrassment after being hoodwinked by a satirical blog that falsely stated the UKIP flag was flown over Ely Cathedral.

46 minutes ago

• August is a funny time.

Yesterday, 15:28

Human bones have been found near a pathway in the cemetery of Chatteris Parish Church.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Ely Standard weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy