Mother tells of ‘unimaginable loss’ after daughter died when her head became stuck in a lift

A mother has told of her “unimaginable loss” after her daughter died when her head became trapped in a lift.

Two companies have been fined more than £1.5 million after Alexys Brown, five became stuck between the lift and the ceiling of her home in Weymouth, Dorset in August 2015.

Mum Lorraine Brown described the last three years as “unimaginable”.

She said: “The loss of Alexys has impacted our lives and our children’s lives immensely.

“Nothing can ever bring Alexys back to us. The fines to us are irrelevant.

“All we ever wanted was an apology from Synergy and we got that.

“Alexys was a loving, carefree, and 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 to raising our children with memories, photos, videos, and stories of their sister.”

Housing association Synergy Housing Ltd, which owned the property where Alexys lived with her family, was fined £1 million.

Maintenance contractor Orona Ltd, which was responsible for servicing and maintaining the lift, was fined £533,000.

Mrs. Brown, who was accompanied by her husband Matthew, added: “Hold your children a little tighter and love your family a little harder. You never know when you won’t be able to anymore.”

Bournemouth Crown Court heard the incident happened when Alexys’ older brother, who is a wheelchair user, asked her to go upstairs to get his mobile phone.

As the little girl went up on the platform lift she was able to put her head through a hole in the Perspex door panel, which had not been repaired – allowing her to get trapped.

The Brown family moved into the three-bedroom property in 2009 because it already had the lift installed and would be of assistance to their disabled son.

They told Health and Safety Executive investigators there had been ongoing problems with the lift since they moved in, including the doors not opening.

After passing the sentence, Judge Climie praised the Brown family for the “dignity and strength that would be beyond many of us”.

He said: “It is clear the family feel responsible for Alexys’ death. The only fault which attaches in this case as far as Alexys’ death is concerned lies with the defendants.

“No words or actions by this court can compensate the family for their loss.

“The financial penalties which are imposed in this case are not a reflection of the value of her life. She was beautiful, and she was priceless.”

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