My Grandchildren Were On The Inflatable Slide That Blew Away

Update:

District Judge Stephen Nicholls sentenced Guyan to ten weeks, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
So not a lot really …

 

Recently in the news there was a story concerning a local Highcliffe business owner and his [inflatable runaway carnival slide.](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-44769211) Whilst this may seem like an almost absurd image on the surface, I can assure you, as the grandmother to a badly injured grandson and mother of a terror-stricken daughter, it was extremely real and extremely horrifying.

Heading to the carnival on Sandpit Field, Swanage, with her mother-in-law and the kids, my daughter planned for her young son and his cousin to go on the rides. This would unfortunately include the 5m high inflatable slide. Darting to the attraction, they immediately set about doing what kids do best and having fun. That was when a large gust of wind ripped it from the ground with both of them on top, along with a number of other shocked children. This was all to the horror of many terrified onlooking parents, as they frantically attempted to pin it down, after it fell over and got dragged about 10m in distance. My daughter recognised her son (my grandson) solely by his new socks, which were sticking out from underneath the now collapsed slide. He had blood in his urine for a week afterwards, having to crawl everywhere on his hands and knees, being unable to walk due to landing on his lower back.

Now obviously nobody can control the weather, nobody is disputing that. What people are disputing, though, is the conduct of the slides’ owner and how he handled the safety issues leading up to that point. The problem is that he really didn’t take the necessary precautions to prevent such a catastrophe, not to mention his general attitude surrounding the whole ordeal. The fact remains that there were 16 badly frayed rope anchor points, as opposed to the EU mandated total of 25 non-frayed ones.

In not securely fastening the slide to the ground properly, he put the children’s safety and lives at risk. I know people complain about the ever dreaded ‘health and safety regulations’, but they’re needed for people like these irresponsible cowboys, who are really only out to make as much money as they can, even at the expense of children’s safety. This along with his apparent inability in employing basic common-sense when it comes to protecting the lives of the vulnerable (i.e. not using frayed ropes with not enough anchors on a large inflatable slide for small children).

The bouncy slide was brought from China, and did not conform to UK safety standards, that made the insurance invalid, so he actually had no insurance.

My daughter and her family has yet to receive so much as an apology from anyone for this, and it would it be nice for there to have been at least some form of acknowledgement for their trauma from someone involved.

Laura Fletcher