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Former directors of trampoline park admit health and safety offences


Two former directors of a popular trampoline and adventure park pleaded guilty to health and safety offences after scores of visitors were “injured on a daily basis” with 11 sustained fractured spines.

Former directors of Flip Out, Chester, David Elliott Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling, both 33, appeared at Chester Crown Court.

The charges relate to an investigation by Chichester West and Chester Council’s public protection team which investigated 270 known visitor accidents at Flip Out during seven-weeks between December 2016 and February 2017.

The investigation found that several young people suffered significant injuries after using equipment known as the Tower Jump at the then newly opened Chester Gates Business Park attraction.

The Tower Jump was said to be the largest of its kind in the world at that time, according to Shuttleworth and Melling.  According to Companies House records, Shuttleworth resigned as director of the business in July 2018 while Melling left in January 2020.

Shuttleworth, of Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, and Melling, of Spinningfields, Manchester, each pleaded guilty to failing to prevent exposure to risk. The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports with a date to be fixed.

Chichester West and Chester Council’s council cabinet member for homes, planning and safer communities, Christine Warner, said: "Our Public Protection Team always deals strongly with businesses who put residents or visitors to the borough at risk. This business had a total disregard for safety regulations.

"Injuries in this case included 11 fractured spines. Those injured on a daily basis included both adults and children."