Ava-May Littleboy: Pair arrested over death of three-year-old girl killed on inflatable at Norfolk beach


A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter after a three-year-old girl was thrown from a seaside inflatable trampoline and died.

Ava-May Littleboy died in hospital after the incident at the beach in Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, on 1 July.

The pair are in their 40s and from the Great Yarmouth area, Norfolk Police said. They are awaiting questioning at Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre.

A post-mortem examination recorded that Ava-May died of a head injury.

Police said witnesses reported hearing a “loud bang” before the inflatable “apparently burst”.

“She was not your ordinary little girl, as anyone she met she would leave a lasting impression on,” Ava May’s family said in a tribute issued through police. “Anyone that met her would not want to forget her. Her infectious laugh and smile could light up even the darkest of rooms.”

The trampoline was different to a bouncy castle as it did not have air pumped through it and was instead a sealed unit containing compressed air.

The incident led to calls for the Government to consider a temporary ban on inflatables in public spaces.

Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow in Essex, said there should be an “urgent investigation” into the regulation of the inflatables.

It was in his constituency that another child, seven-year-old Summer Grant, was killed when a bouncy castle blew free from its moorings in 2016.

He said: “There should be a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can ensure they are safe. These are two tragic deaths of two beautiful little children in the space of a few years and there needs to be an urgent investigation in the regulation and inspection regimes. You cannot risk a tragedy like this happening again.”

Havant Borough Council has banned the use of bouncy castles or inflatables at any events on its land until the “outcome of the inquiry into the cause of the explosion of the bouncy castle is known”.

Press Association

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