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

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 15:37:32

Greensleeves, yes I wonder if there was a bit of that involved.

But of course I can't possibly know and could indeed have just been a total error of judgment

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 15:38:50

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/06/doctor-patient-manslaughter-guilty

So there have been some, 6 months suspended sentence for a doctor found guilty of manslaughter

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 15:39:40

but Rabid, surely that IS his job? To ensure that the train left the platform safely? He failed to do that and somebody died.

edam Thu 15-Nov-12 15:48:51

suspended. Unlike this poor guard, who is actually going to prison. And the suspended sentence was a doctor who ignored warnings from three other members of staff and insisted on injecting a patient, who died. The doctor's crime strikes me as at least as bad, if not worse. Why is the guard going to prison? Is it a class issue?

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 15:55:19

"The jury has found that Mrs Leighton would have lived longer, perhaps days, but for your gross negligence.

"One expert in intensive care medicine called by the defence, Dr John Coakley of Homerton hospital, London, said he believed Leighton had died of septic shock rather than because of the adrenaline injection"

So, totally different scenario.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 16:05:54

She was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, it's the same charge.

threepiecesuite Thu 15-Nov-12 16:07:49

I use these trains all the time too.
There is a loud urgent beeping noise to signal to passengers that the train doors are about to close. There is a delay of a few seconds before a bell dings loudly and the train then moves off.
Where the train doors open, there is a metal horizontal step to the platform which bridges the gap between track (some 3ft below) and platform. There is no step along the rest of the train so a gap of maybe 20cm is present.

This station was not the destination of the group. Georgia stepped off the train at James Street when the group were intending for Liverpool Central. They had been at a house party on the Wirral and were intending to continue their night out in central Liverpool.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:08:46

spoons, yes, obviously but there will be a range of sentences available for the same charge

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:09:19

it CAN attract a life sentence, or obviously less in this case

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 16:11:09

so what could be a momentary lapse in judgment is worse than a considered error of judgment?

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:11:56

So do you think identical charge should mean identical sentence, with no discretion? Because if not, you have to see the difference between a doctor robbing a terminally ill person of a few days by making the wrong call, and a train guard causing the death of a sixteen year old girl by ordering the train to leave while she was drunkenly leaning against it, banging and shouting to be let back in hmm

VivaLeBeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 16:17:15

The expert for the defence may have said that but seeing as the dr was found guilty then I'm guessing they didn't eleven him. The prosecution would have had their expert witnesses who would have said the injection killed her.

Years ago some of my now ex colleagues were involved at work in a situation where a woman died when she shouldn't have done. A the coroners inquest the coroner said that a large portion of the blame lay with them and if they had done something different that night, which he felt they should have done she would have lived. They were never prosecuted for manslaughter. It's odd isn't it, how some are and some aren't. Some people get 5 years, some get a suspended sentence.

5 years seems like an awful lot.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:18:41

Yes, my point is that the woman was clearly very ill from septic shock if there was some doubt that it killed her.

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:20:38

I think there is prejudice over the fact that she was a drunken teenager which is inappropriate. Being a train guard is a public safeguarding role and drunk teenagers are members of the public whether you approve of them or not. If it had been an elderly or infirm person leaning against the train for support rather than somebody drunk the reaction here would be different (and he probably wouldn't have done it imo)

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 16:22:14

No, but i think where there is no intent an erroneous decision made in seconds is more understandable than a considered decision going against the advice of others.

I'm uncomfortable on the idea of sentencing being attached to how 'valuable' a life is.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:22:21

The prejudice is quite sad really, my colleagues are younger and often very drunk and it would still be a total tragedy if they died.

The guards duty of care was to make sure noone was in the way of the train as it set off and he didn't, AFAIK in law this is what matters and not what his intention was or the condition of the person.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:23:21

however it is AFAIK, I am not legally trained and do not have the evidence from the case, I am sure there must have been some and the judge did not just randomly pluck 5 years out of the air.

redadmiralsinthegarden Thu 15-Nov-12 16:24:12

i have seen the cctv footage from this incident. it is taken from the front of the train, next to the guard's head, so that the camera is picking up the same angle as the guard did.

the cctv clearly shows the girl leaning against the train. the guard could see this. he would have known that if the train pulled away then she would lose her balance. whether she was drunk or not is irrelevant.

he deserves the sentence.

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 16:25:56

The poor girl and her poor family sad
Imagine having half the world blaming your child for dying.

It must be awful

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:26:56

and also blaming their parenting. I hope none of the children of people saying that ever get drunk wink

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:27:28

She may have been antisocial, gobby, a pain getting on and off the train and being conspicuously drunk etc

but she was SIXTEEN and somebody's daughter. I find some of the "not his fault she was drunk" comments really upsetting tbh.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 16:29:34

I actually think the conviction is reasonable. It is the sentencing that seems disproportionate on comparison to other cases.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:30:59

but the whole purpose of the guard is to keep people clear of the train at that moment and he didn't do it, and someone died.

Pinkforever Thu 15-Nov-12 16:32:24

Yes she was soembody's daughter. Somebody let her go out underage drinking and taking drugs. Somebody thought that it was perfectly acceptable behaviour for a 16 year old to be going out clubbing in a city centre.

That man made a terrible mistake but he does not deserve a prison sentence. She died due to her own actions.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:33:16

Loads of 16 year olds go out clubbing.

I cannot believe you actually are saying that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now