Freya Aldred, of Horley, Surrey, UK was knocked unconscious and died two weeks later in hospital.

Her five-year-old brother Dominic, walking behind her on the pavement, was left fighting for life with a factured skull, a broken leg and pelvis. The crane was known to be in a dangerous condition before it left the depot and should never have been allowed on the road, Guildford Crown Court was told.

Reports said the legs did not fit properly and had been secured by a piece of old rope.

Driver Malcolm Lane, 45, of Crawley, Sussex has admitted causing death by dangerous driving and is awaiting sentence. Mechanic Stuart MacMillan, 25, of Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, denied aiding and abetting, counselling and procuring death by dangerous driving.

MacmIllan, who worked for Entwhistle Haulage in Purfleet, Essex allegedly dismissed the fears of a colleague despite two other drivers and a mechanic warning him that the vehicle was dangerous.

Lane was allegedly acting as a “guinea pig” to see if there were any problems with it.

The case continues.