TWO companies prosecuted over the death of little Alexys Brown, who died in a faulty lift at her family home in Weymouth, have been landed with a massive court bill totalling more than £1.6 million.

Landlord of the Emmadale Close property, Synergy housing association, was fined £1 million and ordered to pay £40,000 in costs.

The company is based in Poole.

Lift firm Orona Limited, which was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the lift, was fined £533,000 and ordered to pay £40,000 in costs.

Both companies admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in a case brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

A sentencing hearing has taken place at Bournemouth Crown Court today.

Alexys, five, died in a "horrific" accident on August 13 2015 when her head became trapped between a lift door and the ground floor ceiling after she went upstairs to fetch her brother's phone. The little boy has a degenerative neurological condition and uses a wheelchair.

As Alexys travelled upstairs on the platform lift, she was able to put her head through a hole in the Perspex door panel, which caused her to become trapped.

The children's grandmother, who was looking after them, heard the boy shouting and rushed to the scene. She tried freeing her granddaughter but was unable to and called the emergency services.

Firefighters had to cut Alexys free because there was no emergency key or handle to manually free her, the court heard.

The lift's glass door was damaged and it is believed Alexys put her head through a hole in the lift door to watch her brother as the lift ascended, it was heard.

Sara Lawson, prosecuting, told the court the damage had been identified by an engineer during an inspection in May 2015 – but the damage had not been repaired.

Judge Stephen Climie said proper maintenance and repair of the lift had not been carried out.

"In my judgment these failings, which are commented upon and largely accepted by the defendants in their basis of plea documents, must carry with them the observation made to counsel during submissions that no one should ever lose sight of the fact that this was industrial machinery operating in a domestic setting with young children present," he said.

"This should have resulted in the most careful assessment of safety measures and controls at all times.

"Each defendant has accepted responsibility through the basis of plea documents and has accepted that to some extent each is responsible for causing Alexys's death.

"Between them I am satisfied that they were wholly responsible for her death and the desperate loss to her family."

Speaking after the hearing, Alexys' mum Lorraine Brown said: “The last three years have been unimaginable; the loss of Alexys has impacted our lives and our children’s lives immensely.

“To have this investigation brought to an end has now offered us some closure. Despite this part of our story coming to an end, the outcome will never be what we all wish for, nothing will ever bring Alexys back to us.

“Lexi was a loving, care free, angelic little girl who was full of energy, love and laughter. I hope that what has happened to our family sheds light on others in order to avoid anything like this ever happening again.

“We are now looking forward and raising our children with memories, photos, videos and stories of their sister.”

Leo Diez of the Health and Safety Executive said: “These companies failed in their duties to put systems in place to ensure the lift in the Brown’s family home was kept safe – more could have been done.

“As a result of their negligence, a wholly avoidable tragedy, under horrific circumstances, has occurred where a five-year-old child has lost her life and a family have been left utterly devastated at the loss of their little girl."