Train Guard Found Guilty Over Girl's Death

(215 Posts)
blisterpack Wed 14-Nov-12 22:38:58

I saw this article today and am really confused. How can a train guard be found guilty of manslaughter when an accident like this happens? And the quote from the poor guard,
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.

Should he have known then? confused

TheReturnOfBridezilla Thu 15-Nov-12 13:13:59

He saw her, he dismissed her and then tried to pass this off as something she brought on herself by being drunk when in actuality it was his job to protect passengers from something like this happening.

As a direct result of his poor decisions, a child is dead. Drunk or not, this was a sixteen year old girl. Disgusting.

I read an articule in which the girl's mother said her daughter was just behaving like any other teenager.

Personally I wouldn't be happy for my sixteen year old (if I had one) to be going out and getting so drunk that she can't even stand up.

I think the guard is paying a heavy price for a moment's misjudgement.

I believe the actual fault lies more with the girl for getting herself into that state, and also the parents for thinking it was ok for her to be going round that drunk. Not saying they can completely control what a sixteen year old does, but the mother seemed to think it was quite normal.

Having said that, no one deserves to die that way, no one deserves to lose a child that way. To me, it seems more of a tragic accident than something that can be attributed to the fault of the train guard.

joanbyers Thu 15-Nov-12 13:15:38

emsyj, I think that is the attitude on the railways - they get a lot of drunken arseholes, and it seems they just push off regardless, but once in a while something like this will happen. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it just seems to be a price of getting the trains running on time, just as I suppose the 1000 deaths a year on the road are the price of people being able to drive places.

Personally I'm shocked at the disparity between sentences for criminally bad driving, and this guard inured to week-after-week of unpleasant weekend drunks, pressing the button as he normally did, and sadly, someone dying as a result.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:17:03

it's a bloody high price for the trains running on time isn't it?

sleepyhead Thu 15-Nov-12 13:22:08

I suspect he took a chance, and 999 out of 1000 that chance would have led to no harm. But this one time, the chance he took led directly to a girl falling under a train and dying.

I think manslaughter was the correct verdict. He didn't mean to hurt her, but he shouldn't have let the train go when someone was standing that close, touching it or not. He's had horrible, horrible bad luck, but his action did kill someone.

It's something I'm very conscious of as a car driver. It's very easy to think, oh I'll just take a chance, and most of the time you'll get away with it. Very occasionally though you won't. And it will be your fault, however much you meant no harm.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:25:47

it wasn't 1/1000 chance she would fall over though.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:26:04

i'd say more like 50/50 sad

joanbyers Thu 15-Nov-12 13:26:05

Fanjo the railways are very safe. Compare road deaths with train deaths. Why do we accept so many road deaths and offer only light punishments, but one fatality on the train results in five years prison?

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:27:50

I'm sure if someone was leaning on your car and you drove off you would be punished pretty harshly too if they were killed.

sleepyhead Thu 15-Nov-12 13:28:10

No, but probably 1/1000 that the person he saw was so drunk as the fall between the train and the platform would be inevitable, and even if completely legless that she'd slip in that exact way. These accidents tend to have a very high degree of chance involved.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:28:59

I would say falling at all next to a moving train was quite dangerous.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:30:08

I have met many bus drivers and rail employees who seem to actively dislike travellers, fair enough they have reason to as they probably deal with some real arseholes but I do wonder whether there was a tiny bit of contempt involved in his lack of care and attention.

sleepyhead Thu 15-Nov-12 13:30:39

Yes you would. That's my point. It doesn't matter that he didn't mean it - it's manslaughter and the verdict is correct. But their for the grace of god go many, many people.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:32:13

Well, if that is the case then there should be more care taken and more measures put in place to prevent it happening again, IMO smile

peasabovesticks Thu 15-Nov-12 13:32:18

I wish people would have more faith in our justice system than to jump in feet first and talk about how harsh this verdict and sentence is.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:33:01

I also agree with you there peas.

They didn't just sit down with the paper and say "ah he should have been looking, send him down".

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 13:36:13

There is a gap between the train and the platform though - just like there is at many of the London tube stations. She would have been leaning over a gap to bang on the windows. So I think if the train moved, chances of her falling backwards were probably less than the chance she'd fall forwards or sideways, either of which would land her on the (electrified) tracks.

On the point of her being so drunk, I had a fairly strict upbringing and a very attentive/nosey DMum. I didn't get into a very drunk state every week by any means at all, but as a 16 year old I do know that I once got very very very drunk at a friend's house and so I do tend to think that 'there but for the grace of whatever' go most teenagers. I had sensible friends who are now educated, intelligent adults with responsible jobs - but did we all go a bit wild every now and then as teenagers? Oh yes. We were just all very lucky that we didn't ever get into this sort of trouble. Lucky - not better raised or more sensible. Just lucky.

sleepyhead Thu 15-Nov-12 13:36:18

Absolutely. But also, bar staff should be checking IDs and not serving underage girls and drunk people alcohol, people should be looking out for their drunk friends on nights out, people should know their own limits re: alcohol consumption and not get themselves into a state that leaves them vulnerable...

In an better world than the one we live in...

diddl Germany Thu 15-Nov-12 13:36:25

Well I suppose it should be clear cut that if someone is leaning on the train/standing forward of the "safety line"-it shouldn´t move.

I wonder what procedures are in place to get people to stand back?

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 13:37:45

you are right emsy, my DH had a very strict upbringing and still was drunk on more than one occasion before he was 18, wasn't his parenting.

You are also right sleepy smile

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 13:39:07

She was at a house party sleepyhead - so ID/underage issues/serving drunk people issues wouldn't have helped her. I agree her friends should have looked out for her - imagine if you were the parents of one of the friends who was with her that night, it doesn't bear thinking about. Yes, people should know their own limits, but that's a lot to expect of a 16 year old I think.

BarbecuedBillygoats Thu 15-Nov-12 13:39:26

I don't understand how he's getting the entire blame

A lot of stations don't have a guard at all. If that had happened at one of those stations who would they blame then.
I know it did have a guard and he made this bad decision but it does make me think more about it

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 13:39:37

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-19473319

A motorist in north wales who hid in bushes while a cyclist lay dying has been jailed for 8 months.

I know they're different offences but i really can't understand the huge difference in sentences.

diddl Germany Thu 15-Nov-12 13:41:28

Well if I was a parent of the one having the house party, I´d rather them stay over than try to get home in that state.

BarbecuedBillygoats Thu 15-Nov-12 13:41:35

That's a huge difference and it could be thought that the driver was worse as they didn't know that anyone would help the cyclist

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