Guard faces jail over rail death
A railway guard is facing jail after being convicted of causing the death of a drunken teenager who fell under a train.
Christopher McGee, 45, gave the signal for the driver to depart as Georgia Varley, 16, was leaning against the carriage from the platform.
He was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence by a unanimous jury at Liverpool Crown Court following a two-week trial.
Georgia, described as "wonderful" by her mother, was on a night out in Liverpool with friends, when she fell between the train and the platform at the city's James Street station on October 22 last year.
The sixth form college student, from Moreton, Wirral, was three times over the legal drink driving limit and had 0.083mg of the drug mephedrone, or Mcat, in her system at the time of her death, the court was told.
The prosecution said McGee, of Edenhurst Avenue, Wallasey, Wirral, was negligent because he gave the signal to the driver to start the train when Georgia was in contact with the train and was in an "intoxicated state". McGee, who denied manslaughter, 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 had been.
Speaking after the verdict, Georgia's mother Paula Redmond, 41, 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. For he had very little, if any, regard at all for our daughter and her safety. Christopher McGee will complete his sentence and return to his family. Mine is now gone forever."
McGee, who had worked as a guard for Merseyrail since 1992, appeared to blink away tears as the jury returned its verdict following three hours and five minutes of deliberations.
Trial judge Mr Justice Holroyde said he would pass sentence at 10am on Wednesday. He remanded McGee in custody saying it was a "very serious offence" and he faces a sentence of imprisonment.
www.justice.gov.uk/(Ministry of Justice)