Wilburton fairground workers to stand trial today over the death of schoolgirl Summer Grant

PUBLISHED: 10:56 17 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 17 April 2018

Summer Grant

Summer Grant

Archant

Two Wilburton fairground workers charged with the manslaughter of a schoolgirl are due to stand trial today (April 17).

Summer Grant Summer Grant

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, of Norwich, died from multiple injuries 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.

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

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

During a court appearence in July 2017, 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.

The parents of Summer paid tribute to their daughter after the tragedy.

Mother Cara Blackie said she was “truly heartbroken”, adding: “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.”

The trial begins today (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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