UK & World News

  • 15 November 2012, 1:31

Train Guard Found Guilty Over Girl's Death

A railway guard accused of causing the death of a teenager who fell under a train has been convicted of manslaughter.

Christopher McGee, 45, gave the signal for the driver to depart as Georgia Varley, 16, was leaning against a carriage.

The sixth-form college student, who had been drinking on a night out in Liverpool with friends, fell between the train and the platform at the city's James Street station in October last year.

McGee, who had denied the charge, appeared to blink away tears as the jury at Liverpool Crown Court delivered its verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence after three hours and five minutes of deliberations.

He is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.

Trial judge Mr Justice Holroyde remanded McGee in custody, saying he faces a jail term for what he called a "very serious" offence.

Some gasped in the public gallery from where the defendant's supporters and the victim's family had followed proceedings.

A blood analysis after the teenager's death showed the alcohol levels in her blood were well above the legal driving limit, and traces of the drug mephedrone, or Mcat, were also found in her system.

During the trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the teenager's death, showing her mistakenly getting off the train and then turning around and leaning against the side as she realised her friends were still on board.

She then staggered and fell down the gap as the train moved off.

The prosecution said McGee had given the signal to the driver to start the train when Georgia was in contact with the train and was in an "intoxicated state".

McGee told the jury he thought Georgia was moving away from the train when he gave the signal to depart. He also said he did not know how drunk she was.

The girl's mother Paula Redmond, speaking outside the courtroom, said: "We have listened as our daughter was portrayed as being a drunken liability when, in all honesty, she did no more than what many teenagers do of a weekend - she went out to celebrate her friend's birthday.

"The only liability that night was a train guard whom Georgia had the catastrophic misfortune to encounter."

Ms Redmond, 41, described her daughter as a "lovely, polite, respectful young lady, who was popular and full of fun and laughter".

"Christopher McGee will complete his sentence and return to his family. Mine is now gone forever," she added. "May our baby girl finally rest in peace."

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