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Fairground workers in court over girl’s bouncy castle death

The pair were charged with manslaughter and bailed to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on August 16.

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.

Summer Grant, seven, died from multiple injuries after a strong gust of wind apparently swept the inflatable across a park in Harlow, Essex, on March 26 2016.

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

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

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Two men have been charged with manslaughter following the incident in March 2016 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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 August 16.

The parents of Summer, who lived in Norwich, 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.”

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