Shropshire Star

Trampoline park directors fined thousands over 11 instances of broken backs in two months

A total of 270 customers were injured within two months of the attraction opening.

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The owners of a trampoline park where 11 people broke their backs and hundreds more left injured have been fined and ordered to do community service.

David Elliot Shuttleworth, 34, and Matthew Melling, 33, were the directors of Flip Out Chester, where a customer was injured a day after it opened and 270 were hurt before it was closed down two months later.

Some suffered “life-changing” spinal injuries to their backs and number of people taken to A&E at the local hospital led to a delegation of medics visiting the site to see what was going on, Chester Crown Court heard.

Flip Out Chester court case
David Elliot Shuttleworth, 34, leaving Chester Crown Court where he was fined £6,500 and ordered to complete 250 hours’ unpaid community service (Peter Byrne/PA)

Customers, many just children, were injured at the trampoline park after using the Tower Jump, where people landed into a foam pit.

There was a “cavalier” approach to safety, the court heard, despite multiple people being injured on a daily basis.

The worst injured suffered damaged vertebrae, some resulting in life-long health problems while many others suffered ‘knee to face’ injuries causing dental and facial injuries.

Shuttleworth, of Stoke-on-Trent, and Melling, of Spinningfields, Manchester, both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a single count of negligence under health and safety law between December 2016 and February 2017.

Flip Out Chester court case
Matthew Melling, 33, who was also fined, leaves Chester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)