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Fairground workers convicted of the gross negligence manslaughter of Summer Grant

William and Shelby Thurston Photo:

Watch Essex Police detective Daniel Stoten on his view of today's verdict.

Summer Grant

Two fairground workers have been convicted of the gross negligence manslaughter of a girl who died after a bouncy castle blew away with her inside it at an Easter fair.

Seven-year-old Summer Grant died in hospital after she was rescued from the inflatable, which was sent "cartwheeling" 300 yards down a hill by a gust of wind in Harlow, Essex.

William Thurston, 29, and his wife Shelby, 26, both denied manslaughter by gross negligence but were found guilty by majority verdicts of ten to two at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday after more than 11 hours of deliberations.

The couple, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, were also found guilty of a health and safety offence following the incident on March 26, 2016.

There were gasps and sobs from relatives of the defendants as the verdicts were read out.

The scene of the tragedy

Summer Grant's mother Cara Blackie appeared tearful as she left the courtroom before the hearing had finished, while Summer's father Lee Grant remained in the room.

Prosecutors had told the jury the defendants 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.

Judge Mr Justice Garnham, delaying sentencing until a later date, said he would be "seriously considering imprisonment".

Shelby Thurston left the courtroom in tears, while William Thurston cried as he hugged a family member.

Image shows how far the bouncy castle flew Credit: Essex Police