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Station horror sparked 'hysteria'

"Hysterical" scenes greeted police officers called to a station platform where a teenager had been killed by a train, a court has been told.

Georgia Varley, 16, died at James Street station in Liverpool in October last year after mistakenly getting off the last train from Wirral, Merseyside, and falling between the platform and the train as she tried to get back on.

Train guard Christopher McGee, 45, is accused of her manslaughter by signalling for the train to move off while she was leaning on it. On Thursday, Liverpool Crown Court heard from Sgt Anthony Banks, of the British Transport Police, who was one of the first on the scene.

Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, asked him: "There were a number of hysterical passengers there, aged in the 16 to 18 age group?" Sgt Banks replied: "That's correct." The officer confirmed that many of the group seemed "intoxicated" and that many were "hugely upset" and "screaming and shouting".

The court heard that a blood analysis of Ms Varley later showed she had 236mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in her system - the legal diving limit is 80mg. She also had 0.083mg of the drug mephedrone, or Mcat, in her system at the time of her death.

Earlier, the jury was shown shocking CCTV footage of Georgia at James Street station. It showed Georgia getting off the train just before 11.30pm, then turning around and leaning against the doors as she realised her friends were still aboard. The Birkenhead Sixth Form College student, from Moreton, was seen to stagger and fall down the gap as the train moved off before stopping after travelling around 30ft.

A still image was released by the Crown Prosecution Service with family approval and shows the teenager leaning with her hands on the train. Mr Johnson told the court that on October 22 last year Georgia had gone into Liverpool for a night out with her friends. He said she was "very drunk" after going to an 18th birthday party where she had also taken Mcat.

The court heard that Georgia and her friends had taken the last train from Manor Road to James Street station. Mr Johnson said that other than Georgia, only one person was in a position to see and control everything that happened and that was Christopher McGee, the guard on the train that killed her.

The prosecution says Merseyrail guard McGee gave the signal to the driver to start the train when Georgia was in contact with the train and was in an "intoxicated state". It says McGee also failed to countermand the signal to start when it was clear that she could be dragged along by, or under, the train. The prosecution says this failure demonstrates that McGee's conduct was "deliberate" and created "the very obvious risk of killing her".

Christopher McGee, of Edenhurst Avenue, Wallasey, denies manslaughter and failing to take reasonable care contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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