Norfolk

Ava-May Littleboy: No safety procedure in place, finds jury

Ava-May Littleboy Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ava-May Littleboy was playing on an inflatable trampoline when it burst on Gorleston beach

An inquest jury has criticised the safety management of an inflatable trampoline which exploded and threw a three-year-old girl to her death.

Ava-May Littleboy was playing on the attraction when it burst on the beach at Gorleston, Norfolk, on 1 July 2018.

The girl, from Lower Somersham in Suffolk, died of a head injury.

Her parents called for greater awareness of the dangers of such attractions after the coroner in Norwich recorded a narrative verdict.

The jury found that no procedure was in place to safely manage its inflation, it had not been checked by an independent third party and had no instruction manual.

Image caption Witnesses spoke of seeing the little girl thrown in the air when the inflatable trampoline burst

Nathan Rowe and Chloe Littleboy paid tribute to their "bright, funny, beautiful girl" at the end of the eight-day inquest.

In a statement they said: "A couple of minutes of fun for a child can end up becoming a parent's worst nightmare, one from which you can never wake."

Ava-May had been at the beach with her parents and other family members, the inquest heard.

Her aunt, Abbie Littleboy and a friend, took her to play on the inflatables.

Ms Littleboy heard a sound "like someone had set off a cannon" then saw Ava-May "flipping" through the air.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Her parents say they will "never be able to teach her to ride a bike, bring her friends round for sleepovers and all those other things parents look forward to"

Witnesses said the girl was thrown "higher than a house" and appeared to be unconscious before she landed.

The trampoline was the first of its kind at the Bounce About beach funfair.

Norfolk's senior coroner Jacqueline Lake earlier told jurors scientific analysis of the trampoline's remains was not capable of showing why it exploded.

Ava-May's parents said: "If nothing else comes from this inquest we hope and pray that people see the serious risks these attractions can pose.

"We do not want to see other parents go through this pain."

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