UK & World News
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."
what do you think?
I know Chris mcgee and he is a really nice person . My heart goes out to the girls family and may she rest in peace but I can't help but feel for Chris . His life has fell apart since this tragic accident and I know the family has lost a beautiful young and loving girl that they will never see grow up but I do think it was a tragic set of circumstances that has resulted in the worst way possible . Such a sad sad story x
This is plainly wrong. Who was drunk ?
Well said again easy to blame someone else
been following this case in our local press. The poor girl was off her head on alcohol and drug having fallen in previous station booking hall and got off at wrong stations previously. She had fallen down the stairs at a party. This guard had worked for railways for 15 years and seen millions of passengers (including drunks) safely off and on trains. Cant help feeling that part of the responsibility rests on the drug dealer, her party friends and herself as well as any short comings of the guard. Just hope he doesnt do jail
this is a hard 1..the family of the girl ,,and the gaurd.who to blame .i would say a terrible accident. part blame on both sides..but in the end jailing the gaurd for years will help no 1..
why, when an awefull accident occurs, do the authorities smell blood and become intent on wrecking another life? an easy conviction i guess. looks good on figures and saves the more labour intensive process of catching real criminals.
RIP for the girl, but I have to write that my sympathies are with the guard. If anything, she should not have been allowed on the train as drunks travelling by public transport late at night spoil it for other people. He no doubt has lost his job, and may even lose his freedom. Most drunks know not to lean against a train. Perhaps he was worried that she would be violent if he approached her? Let's hope the court is lenient, but it doesn't sound like it from the report and the judge's remarks.
I agree with all the comments posted so far - RIP Georgia, another young life tragically cut short. However if the guard was taken to court for manslaughter why were her friends not also as they let her get off the train in an obviously intoxicated state? THEY should have looked after her. And why was a 16yr old girl out in Liverpool drinking and taking drugs anyway, didn't her parents know where she was? Mr McGees life has also been ruined now through no real fault of his own.
A drunken drugged up girl dies and the sober man held responsible gets charged with Manslaughter(Max life). Contrast this with the drunken asylum seeker without licence or insurance who drives at high speed the wrong way up a motorway and kills a young woman and is charged with causing death by dangerous driving(Max 14 yrs) Both tragic deaths but who is the more culpable?
Totally agree and also with earlier comment that a bunch of very drunk teenagers should not have been let anywhere near a train.
Clearly a tragic accident with no party more guilty than the other. The judge clearly has no idea of life outside his cosy world and the mothers comments are a disgrace.
Of course this was a terrible incident. The mother is wrong, however: it is not expected for 16-year-olds to go out, get drunk and take illegal drugs. She WAS a liability. I don't expect for a moment Mr McGee went to work that night hoping to cause a death either.
Always another persons fault, this blame anyone for anything must come to a stop. why was this girl out drinking at 16?
What a miscarriage of justice. It was the drunken and drugged up girl's fault AND her parents for letting her get in such a state. Who would be a train conductor now? Poor fella. I'm guessing the compo will be forthcoming for the parents eh?
What a terrible outcome the girl was to blame and her parents should also carry some blame as she should not be out drinking.
tragic but why are we always looking to blame someone else for these accidents,one rule should apply and covers all eventualitys and that is ACCIDENTS DONT JUST HAPPEN,THEY ARE CAUSED
This girls mother needs a reality check. Her child was 16 years old and was not only drunk but had been dabbling with drugs. She needs to take a long hard look at herself before dumping all the blame for this tragic accident on someone else
I really hope this man takes this to appeal. Sorry whilst it is sad that young lady died, this was not a deliberate act to me, it's just an awful accident;
Roy E Millington
HOW CAN YOU BLAME THE GUARD? ITS NOT HIS FAULT THAT HERE YOU HAVE AN UNDERAGE DRINKER DRUNK AND ON DRUGS WHO CLEARLY DID NOT KNOW WHAT SHE WAS DOING. HOPE THE GUARD DOESNT GET JAIL AND KEEPS HIS JOB!!!
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This is wrong, he was not the guilty erson she is Be prepared for even longer rail delays, if i was a conductor no trail would leave a station until EVERYBODY was behind the line.
Who supplied the alchohol, who supplied the drugs, find them and you find the guilty parties. Also it is a crying shame for the parents but they should bear some of the blame. I was serving my country when I was 16 years old, you would think that if you could serve your country then you would be treated like an adult, no way, back onboard by 22:30hrs and watch out if you smelt of alchohol.