Connect with us


Trampoline park bosses could face jail after three people break back in one day

Flip Out Chester is now operated by a different franchise after the company was dissolved last year

Avatar photo



BBC & ITV / YouTube

Trampoline park bosses, at whose venue 11 people broke their backs including three in one day, could face jail after admitting to health and safety offences.

Three people suffered a fractured spine in one day at the notorious venue after jumping from a 13 ft high tower into a foam block-filled pit back in 2017.

The string of incidents sparked concerns for the craze, which has seen a number of unregulated trampoline centres pop-up nationwide.

The former bosses of Flip Out Chester, David Elliott Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling, both 33, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences at Chester Crown Court last month.

ITV / Youtube

Shuttleworth and Melling could now face up to two years behind bars and hefty fines when they return for sentencing.

The charges relate to an investigation into 270 known accidents which happened over a seven-week period from December 2017 – February 2017 at the ​​Chester Gates Business Park.

Visitors who suffered life-changing injuries at the park welcomed the news and warned others of the risks.

Google Maps

According to the Daily Mail, staff at the local Countess of Chester Hospital had warned how specialist surgeons were under unnecessary pressure as a result of ‘scores of visitors’ suffering injuries at the park.

Among those injured at the park was Liza Jones, 26, from Wrexham. After leaping from the 13 ft tower block, called the ‘Tower Jump’ back in February 2017, into a foam-filled pit, she fractured her spine . She described it as the ‘most pain I’ve ever suffered’.

Liza launched legal action against the bosses of the centre, based near Ellesmere Port. She said: “I’m glad they’ve faced court action because I could have been left paralysed.

“I landed in the way I’d been told to, but I was one of three people who suffered broken backs that day. People visiting these centres may feel they’re safe because they’ve got rules for people to follow, but that’s just not true.

Flip Out

“The firms that are running them need to learn from this and ensure they’ve got proper health and safety in place.”

Lucy Jones was also hurt after she sprung off the same Tower Jump in January 2017.

Lucy, who was 19 at the time, visited the centre with her friends but ended up leaving in an ambulance with a broken back.

Recalling the incident she said: “As I screamed in agony, my friends rushed over to help me. I landed in a seating position, as we’d been told to do.

“But, when I landed, I felt the worst pain I have ever been through in my whole life. For a while, I couldn’t breathe or feel anything.”


After she was taken to hospital, she found out she had fractured a vertebrae in her back. Upon hearing the news, she said she was ‘absolutely terrified’. 

Lucy had to undergo a five-hour operation which involved placing metal rods in her back. She also had to have physio everyday until she was discharged five days later.

The dental nurse said she missed out on enjoying her life as she spent a long time in recovery following the incident.

Saying she had ‘so much life ahead of me, but instead I faced a long recovery needing constant physiotherapy’.


George Magraw also fell victim to the Tower Jump as the then 21-year-old from Ellesmere Port was told he would need months to recover after fracturing his spine.

George, who was a student, underwent surgery to replace his shattered vertebrae with a metal disk.

Ceri Jones, who was 21 at the time, also suffered a back injury after jumping from the same platform at the centre. She said she heard a ‘crunch’ when she landed on the foam, which was her vertebrae exploding on impact.

Speaking after the incident, she said: “I heard a ‘crunch’ and I couldn’t move – I was in agony. I was sat there for 15 minutes before they had to carry me out.”


Sarah McManus, then 29, is said to be among those hurt on the ‘tower jump’ and launched legal proceedings in 2017 after she heard her ‘back crack’.

Speaking to ITV at the time, she said: “As I landed it was just like someone had punched me in the stomach – it was awful pain. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I did hear a ‘crack’.

“I followed the instructions on the sign and landed in the seated position as suggested, but when I hit the foam it felt like I’d been winded.

“I was barely able to breathe and couldn’t shout for help, so I had to throw some of the foam sponges in the air to get attention.”

ITV / YouTube

According to the Daily Mail, in the first four months the park was open, ambulance crews attended the trampoline centre on average, once a week.

The number of injuries raised concerns at the nearby Countess of Chester Hospital to the point that it called a meeting with the park’s bosses.

Sentencing for both defendants was adjourned for pre-sentence reports. A date is yet to be decided.

Flip Out Chester

Chester Councillor Christine Warner said last week: “Our Public Protection team always deal 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, as well as other serious injuries. Those injured on a daily basis included both adults and children.”

Flip Out, which now operates under a different franchisee after being dissolved, said: “The incidents relate to a specific piece of equipment that was immediately closed. Our systems and procedures have evolved significantly since.”


Paul O’Grady posthumously named Person of the Year by Peta

‘Peta urges everyone to follow his example and honour his memory by speaking up whenever they see an animal in need’

Avatar photo



@paulogrady / Instagram

The late TV star Paul O’Grady has been named Peta’s Person of the Year for his ‘lifelong determination to make the world a kinder place for animals’.

The animal rights organisation said ‘he never wavered in his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us’.

O’Grady, who passed away in March this year aged 67, was a leading figure in a number of animal rights campaigns including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which he was an ambassador for.

@paulogrady / Instagram

He rose to fame as a comedian best known for his drag persona Lily Savage. He went on to host light entertainment shows and became the host of For The Love of Dogs, which showcased life at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The TV and radio star joined Peta in the 1990s to raise awareness about testing on animals, and urged the Lord Mayor of London to stop herding sheep across London Bridge in 2014.

He also raised awareness of the treatment of orcas kept in marine parks and joined a campaign to ban foie gras – a mousse or pate made from force-feeding ducks and geese.

Peta vice president Elisa Allen said: “Paul O’Grady once said that ‘it is our duty to treat animals with respect’, and he lived by his own principles every day by being a tireless animal advocate.

“Peta urges everyone to follow his example and honour his memory by speaking up whenever they see an animal in need.”

A statement from the Peta said: “Peta recognises and thanks Paul O’Grady for his lifelong determination to make the world a kinder place for animals.”

“He never wavered in his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us. We will always treasure his legacy of compassion,” it added.

O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio will be presented with the award on his behalf.

Continue Reading


Manchester’s historic Portico Library awarded huge grant to secure its future

The funding has helped secure the future of the 218-year-old building

Avatar photo



David Dixon / Geograph

The Grade II-listed Portico Library will receive almost half a million pounds to transform the historic building.

The funding has helped secure the future of the 218-year-old building – a much-loved gem standing proudly on Mosley Street.

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the £453,000 will see the treasured library undergo a huge revamp and preserve its book collection. 

Robert Wade / Flickr

During its development, local communities in Manchester will be invited to help work on the project.

With particular focus on environmentally sustainable architectural plans, it aims to unite all three original floors of The Portico Library for the first time in 100 years.

The ground floor will be transformed into a ‘Northern bookshop’ which will hold educational activities, with areas for dining, exhibitions areas and meeting spaces.

David Dixon / Geograph

While the upper floors will showcase the library’s incredible book collection and archives, which includes the first edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

John Carpenter, Chair of the Portico Library, said: “The news that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting The Portico Library’s bold scheme to open up and share its extraordinary heritage and collection, to Manchester residents and visitors, is a major cultural signal to Manchester, the North and the UK.”

David Dixon / Geograph

He added: “This visionary project, years in the making, fulfils our mission of working with the many people in Manchester to explore, share and celebrate their diverse stories and the city’s literary and global heritage.

“Embracing creativity, collaboration and inclusivity, the project will unlock the Library’s past to plan for the future. We would like to thank the National Lottery players who have made it possible to realise our vision.”

Continue Reading


Handwritten note with ‘plan to kill’ Brianna Ghey found in accused girl’s room

The note was found during a police search

Avatar photo



Cheshire Police

A handwritten note with alleged details of a ‘plan to kill’ transgender teenager Brianna Ghey was found by police in the bedroom of Girl X.

The crumpled paper note (pictured) was discovered by officers during a search conducted at the accused’s home in March, more than a month after the tragic death of the 16-year-old.

Brianna was found after being stabbed 28 times in Culcheth Linear Park, Warrington, earlier this year.

The teenager was discovered by dog walkers just after 3pm on Saturday, February 11th.

Cheshire Police

Girl X from Warrington and Boy Y from Leigh both deny murder. During the trial, jurors at Manchester Crown Court heard how Girl X sent a picture of the handwritten note to Boy Y on February 3rd.

The note began with the header: “Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey.”

It continued: “Meet Boy Y at wooden posts 1pm. Walk down to library…bus stop. Wait until Brianna gets off bus then the 3 of us walk to Linear Park.

“Go to the pipe/tunnel area. I say code word to Boy Y. He stabs her in the back as I stab her in the stomach. Boy Y drags the body into the area. We both cover up the area with logs etc.”

Cheshire Police

In her opening speech, prosecutor Deanna Heer KC told the jury: “It is clearly, the prosecution say, a plan to kill Brianna Ghey.” During the same search on March 17th, officers found a note found in a drawer headlined ‘plan’.

Details in the note continued: “Give them alcohol with sleeping pills.

“Slit throat. I kill her. Dismember body. Place pieces in bin bags, bury bags 7ft underground, bones including.

“Get her to go to Linear park, go to the hidden spot near the bridge I usually go to. Someone jumps out and restrains her (plan B). I kill her.”

During the search, police also found a computer tablet and a black notebook.

Cheshire Police

Jurors heard that written in the notebook was the word ‘anarchy’ on one page, and on another there was a list of ‘what is right and wrong’. Another page had a ‘spider diagram’ with ‘good and ‘evil’ in the middle.

The ‘legs’ of the diagram lead to the words ‘forgiveness, justice, morality, good, suffering, evil, sin and free will’, the court heard.

On another page there were the words ‘Valentine’s gifts’ and on another the words ‘revision HW’. Prosecutor Cheryl Mottram said: “Homework, perhaps.”

Written on another page were the words ‘types of serial killers’, with a list under the heading.

Brianna Ghey / Go Fund Me

Words underneath included ‘organised and disorganised’, ‘mass murder’, ‘psychotic’, ‘organised crime’ and ‘copy cat’. On another page were the words ‘films’, and ‘faves’.

Another page was headed with ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ and then a ‘list of characteristics’. There were also notes about ‘John Wayne Gacy’, the ‘killer clown’.

The notebook also had written inside it a note which read ‘potential threats’ and ‘people that need to go’.

Another page had Boy Y’s name on it followed by a ‘list of qualities or attributes’. Underneath was written the words ‘trustworthy, funny, sociopath, good sense of humour, very very smart, genius level and not sociable’. 

Mikey / Flickr

Officers also recovered a black purse inside a ‘cubby hole’ with a handwritten note inside.

The note read: “Friday 11th November, attitudes to forgiveness.” Jurors were told the note contained two names, including Gee Walker.

“Forgives her son Anthony’s killer,” it read. And continued: “Julie Nicholson, who could not forgive the terrorists who killed her daughter Jenny.”

Three handwritten notes were also found on the floor of the room. One read ‘serial killer facts’, with a ‘list of facts relating to serial killers’ including ‘killing themselves in police custody can be a final act of control’, ‘hedonism’ and ‘power and control orientated’.

Google Maps

Other notes made were ‘cruelty to animals’, ‘bed wetting past age of five’, ‘USA has the most serial killers’, ‘lack of empathy for others’ and ‘can be superficially charming’.

One note read ‘Dr Harold Frederick Shipman, aka Dr Death’, followed by the words ‘classification, serial killer’.

And jurors were told there was also a note in relation to ‘Richard Ramirez, or the ‘Night Stalker’.

The trial, which began on November 27th at Manchester Crown Court, continues.

Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2023 Manchester's Finest Group