Flip Out Directors Face Prison
One of the victims, Sarah McManus, launched legal proceedings in 2017 after suffering severe back injuries from the jump. She described the pain as excruciating and recounted the difficulty she faced in getting attention for help due to her inability to breathe or speak. Following her injury, several other serious incidents occurred in quick succession, leading to the eventual removal of the Tower Jump from the park.
The situation drew the attention of local health authorities and public officials. The Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust reported an uptick in trampoline-related injuries, prompting discussions with local trampoline facilities. Chester Councillor Christine Warner emphasized the importance of businesses adhering to safety regulations, noting the severity of the injuries, which included multiple fractured spines.
The two former directors, David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling, both 33, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences. They are now awaiting sentencing, which has been adjourned pending pre-sentence reports.
Flip Out Chester, under new management after the original franchise was dissolved, stated that the incidents were related to a specific piece of equipment that has since been closed. They also noted that their systems and procedures have significantly evolved since the incidents.
This case highlights the critical importance of safety standards in recreational facilities and the severe consequences of neglecting these standards. The legal proceedings and potential jail sentences for the former directors underscore the seriousness with which such safety breaches are treated.