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Inquest into death of Ava-May Littleboy will look at trampoline company's working practices

PUBLISHED: 15:59 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:43 26 September 2019

Ava-May Littleboy, who died after being thrown from a trampoline in Gorleston. Picture: Courtesy of the Littleboy Family

Ava-May Littleboy, who died after being thrown from a trampoline in Gorleston. Picture: Courtesy of the Littleboy Family

Courtesy of the Littleboy Family

An inquest into the death of a three-year-old girl who died when an inflatable trampoline exploded will look at working practices at the company which operated the equipment.

Floral tributes and cuddly toys at the scene where Ava-May Littleboy was thrown from an inflatable trampoline Photo: Liz CoatesFloral tributes and cuddly toys at the scene where Ava-May Littleboy was thrown from an inflatable trampoline Photo: Liz Coates

Ava-May Littleboy, from Somersham, near Ipswich, died after being thrown from the inflatable last summer.

A man and a woman, both in their 40s, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after the little girl's death, on July 1 last year.

Police later said after discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service they would not be continuing with the case.

The Health and Safety Executive has still to decide whether it will bring charges.

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake  Picture: ArchantSenior coroner Jacqueline Lake Picture: Archant

Members of Ava-May's family, including her parents, attended a pre-inquest hearing on Thursday (September 19) at Norwich Coroner's Court, where senior coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake outlined the scope of the inquest.

The coroner said she proposes to look at the acquisition of the inflatable and risk assessment with regard to its use, as well as working practices and the responsibility and roles of people working at Johnson Funfairs Ltd.

The hearing was told the trampoline was one of only two in the UK and had been commissioned and imported by Johnson Funfairs Ltd.

An investigation into why the inflatable exploded would be lengthy, expensive and would not give a definitive result, the hearing was told.

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Ms Lake said she will not look at why the trampoline exploded.

The inquest will also include the medical cause of death and will be heard by a jury.

Another pre-inquest hearing will take place in November.

At the opening of the inquest last year into Ava-May's death, the medical cause of her death was given as a traumatic head injury.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The tragedy lead to an outpouring of grief in Gorleston with well-wishers leaving soft toys, flowers and messages of condolence at the seaside play area.

Today the play area is devoid of activity, and there are no plans for anything to replace it.

The inquest is listed for January 13 next year and is scheduled to last five days.

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