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

lalalonglegs Wed 14-Nov-12 22:42:55

I haven't followed the story but I suppose there were grounds not to believe his version of events and that he didn't follow the correct procedures.

hatesponge Wed 14-Nov-12 22:46:22

I read a previous report of this case (in the Daily Fail I think) which said that the girl was clearly VERY drunk, falling over on the floor kind of drunk. It was obvious to a casual observer she was pissed out of her head. Evidence was that she was leaning on the train because she couldn't stand up. ]

He shouldn't have given any signal for the train to move off while she was still leaning against it - I know at the London mainline station I use, guards shout v loudly to people to stand clear, and will not signal the driver if there are people in contact with the train. It is a tragic case, I am sure that he had no intention that she would be harmed, but he ought to have made sure she was standing well clear before giving the signal. Had he done so, she might well still be alive.

PinkMacaroon Wed 14-Nov-12 22:49:24

I just typed out a long response but sponge has put it much better.

It's very sad but ultimately, if the poor girl was in contact with the train, he should not have let it depart.

diddl Thu 15-Nov-12 08:31:20

As I read it, she wanted to get back on as her friends were still on the train-so it seems to me unlikely that she would "stand clear".

How did they even let her get off?

Of course he was wrong to let the train go if she was leaning on it.

Sadly she was so drunk she must have just crumpled whereas most people would be able to step back.

Seems like a very tragic accident-with the biggest factor being her drunkenness.

wintera Thu 15-Nov-12 10:15:26

This is a very strange and upsetting case this one. Heard about it on our local news the other day. Me and my mum had a discussion about it actually. My mum felt really bad for the guy saying it wasn't his fault etc. The report I heard on the news said he gave his version of events saying he didn't realise she was still leaning on the train and didn't realise how pissed she was etc. But it then went on to say that once the CCTV footage had been looked at it was obvious that she was legless and still leaning on the train so he should have known it wasn't safe and shouldn't have given the ok to go.

I don't honestly think he meant any harm to the girl at all of course he didn't. But I also think he made a really bad decision as well and he was definitely negligent in his duty. When he is pictured on the tv he looks shattered by the whole thing so he is obviously very remorseful indeed. Its very sad all round really.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 15-Nov-12 10:30:36

If the jury thought there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he let the train go knowing she was still leaning against it, then manslaughter is reasonable. It is tragic, and I'd agree the biggest contributing factor was her drunkenness. But someone who knowingly does something dangerous and causes anothers death deserves to be punished and shouldn't be in a position to repeat the mstake.

But I'm still very uncomfortable about the conviction. I don't think people do their jobs well when they're scared. And I think if I were a guard this conviction would make me scared about the job I was doing. Because while I don't want to second guess the jury, if I were a guard I'd be thinking "but what if he didn't do it on purpose, what if he just didn't see her? What if she lurched a bit and he thought she'd just moved away? what if the CCTV picks up stuff that he didn't see, it's not as though she's all he has to look at? what if I make a mistake..."

diddl Thu 15-Nov-12 10:41:24

"what if the CCTV picks up stuff that he didn't see, "


Did he base his decision on what he saw at the time or what he was watching on CCTV?

Also re her being drunk-yes, in this case it seems to mean that she couldn´t stand unaided.

But how was he to know this?

Was he supposed to have seen it on the CCTV?

And then what?

Get someone to move her to a place of safety?

Wonder what the procedure in place is?

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 10:41:30

The sentence seems harsh in comparison to say a lorry driver (i.e. a professional at work) who causes a fatal accident.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 15-Nov-12 10:47:00

He hasn't been sentenced yet has he spoons?

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 10:48:17

Sentenced today, 5 years

blisterpack Thu 15-Nov-12 10:55:20

She wasn't only drunk but was also found to have mephedrone/Mcat in her system. It seems like a very harsh sentence and I feel sorry for the man. Especially after reading this quote from the mother,

"The only liability that night was a train guard whom Georgia had the catastrophic misfortune to encounter."

I'm shocked at the severity of the sentence too.....
...but then looking at the pictures the platform is well-lit and otherwise empty. No defence that he couldn't see her clearly. His reasoning that he thought she was moving away isn't adequate, he should have waited until she had moved away.
I have huge sympathy for her family, and also for him and his family. I am sure he never intended her any harm. Tragic all round.

lalalonglegs Thu 15-Nov-12 11:20:31

Bloody hell, five years. [Shock]

diddl Thu 15-Nov-12 11:33:38

It seems to me that the liability lies with quite a few others.

He should have waited until she moved away.

I suppose he was trying to balance that with getting the train away as on time as possible.

Sadly for him, they can point the finger & say if he hadn´t done that she probaly wouldn´t have fallen.

But when must people also take responsibility for the state that they get in?

Whose fault is it that she got off at the wrong stop & was trying to get back on the train?

What now-breath test before you use an underground system?

Like the campaign for clubs to serve in plastic cups-it shouldn´t have to be happening.

Adults should know when to stop/not be served.

Vev Thu 15-Nov-12 12:17:10

I feel so, so sorry for the man and can't understand such a harsh sentence. Why was he expected to know how drunk/drugged she was. Awful for the girl, but it seems like she made the mistake. What about her friends she was with?

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 15-Nov-12 12:22:17

He was very neglectful. He should have seen her NEAR the edge and waited...or sent assistance.

Jjou Thu 15-Nov-12 12:30:19

I feel immensely sorry for the guard really, at what point does personal responsibility and as the girl was only 16, parental responsibility, kick in? Why blame her death on him rather than the ridiculously inebriated state she was in? He says he didn't realise quite how drunk she was, and he thought she was moving away from the train when he gave the signal - how could he have known what would happen? Most people would just stumble back not fall onto the track.
It's horrible for all concerned, but she was fucking out of her tree and that was a major factor in her death. Tragic.

KittyLilith Thu 15-Nov-12 12:34:23

This is in our local paper. It's a really sad case. It wasn't just that he let the train go with her touching it. He also didn't stop the train when she fell.

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 12:45:15

I think unless you have been in the Court and seen and heard the evidence that the jury have had access to, it is impossible to make a judgment.

I live in this area. This is the train I get to work every day. It has been extensively reported in the local press. As far as I have heard from what has been published, the girl in question was leaning and banging on the train windows when the guard gave the signal to move off. So if he didn't see her, it is very possible that the evidence showed he could hear her shouting and banging - I wouldn't know, I only know what's been reported, including that she was apparently banging on the windows (not just quietly leaning on the train doors). These trains are short, small local trains and this station is underground and well-lit. I read in a local report that she had already got off and back on the train again at an earlier station, and if you read the report of the hearing he agreed himself having seen the CCTV footage that it was obvious she was in a dangerous position: "Mr Johnson [prosecuting] asked: "Do you accept, looking at the video, it should have been obvious she was in a dangerous position?" McGee replied: "Yes. Now looking back at it objectively, now I know what condition she was in."

You can't really blame the parents for wanting to believe that their daughter played no part in any of it and that it was 100% the guard's fault. I can't imagine how horrendous this whole thing is for them, what a horrific way to lose a child.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 15-Nov-12 12:45:34

I feel very sorry for the guard. I do think he made the wrong decision and was probably negligent to a degree but 5 years in prisonshock

It's scary stuff! I work as a Mental Health Nurse and the sense of responsibility I feel for my patients can and does lead to inordinate stress. When things do go wrong and we have had deaths, it is fucking awful! Even if you've done everything within you power to prevent something happening, the scrutiny is horrific and it really takes its toll. The thought of being held criminally responsible is incomprehensible.

I'm sure this poor man has received a life sentence of another kind having to live with what happened. I know the incident I was involved in at work will never, ever leave me and although we all did all we could and couldn't have done more, it haunts you foreversad

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

You're working as a guard on a train....making sure things are clear is the most important part of your job. To me he seems to have been too impatient to wait. He judged her...he looked, saw a young girl where she shouldn't be....and made a SHIT decisions. Now she's dead. His 5 years is nothing.

joanbyers Thu 15-Nov-12 12:49:07

Here is a perspective on what the guards are dealing with on these late night trains for drunks:

Essentially the point he makes is that people behave like arseholes on/near the train a lot and to a certain extent they ignore it and 'there but for the grace of God go I' in terms of a fatality resulting.

Someone paralytic drunk and playing the fool will, once in a while, die, as a result of their behaviour.

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 12:56:36

"Someone paralytic drunk and playing the fool will, once in a while, die, as a result of their behaviour."

Hmm, I would have a lot more sympathy for that view if, say, this girl had walked from the party she was at and stumbled onto the unmanned/unsignalled pedestrian crossing that crosses the railway line (the line used by the train she took, which is a few minutes' walk from the house party she had been at) and been struck by a train. This could easily have happened - sober, sensible adults have been killed on this crossing several times.

But in this case, yes she was in a very bad way, but lots and lots of otherwise intelligent, educated, sensible people get drunk and stupid every day - did she deserve to die because of that? The jury didn't think so, and neither do I. It's a huge shame that her friends didn't take better care of her, but I have to conclude that my DMum was right when she told me (when I was 16 like Georgia) that you should never rely on other people to look after you. sad

The whole thing is just terribly sad.

Viviennemary Thu 15-Nov-12 13:00:37

It seems to me like a very tragic accident. I think five years in prison is totally inappropriate. I am sure he didn't mean to cause this death. What about the people who supplied the illegal drugs and alcohol to somebody underage. Are they not as culpable. I think it will be reduced on appeal. If people are very drunk at railway stations then accidents are bound to happen once in a while.

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 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

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 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

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 13:43:03

and the above example is exactly why i don't have faith in our justice system and there are countless more like it

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 13:45:04

He was driving the train I think Barbecued, wasn't he? This station doesn't generally have someone on the platform, only the driver on the train and people upstairs in the ticket office - not on the underground platform, at least not at commuter times. The usual procedure is that the driver of these trains looks out of the door or steps out and blows the whistle to depart. Not sure if there is a driver AND a guard on board, but on these trains someone gets out of the driver door or looks out and then blows a whistle, the hustle alarm on the doors sounds, the doors close and then the driver gets back on, and there is a dinging bell that rings before the train moves off. Generally on this network there isn't a station platform guard, the person who signals to move off is travelling on the train itself.

sleepyhead Thu 15-Nov-12 13:45:16

In the case of the driver he's being prosecuted for causing death by not stopping at an accident. The report seems to suggest that his driving wasn't at fault and that it was just an accident.

That offence probably has a different sentencing range.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 15-Nov-12 13:45:28

I do feel sorry as i expect he has seen a fair amount of drunks slowing down trains, etc. But he was there.

He took a risk on this girl's behalf.

His job is to prevent such accidents.

Not to decide who should get onto the train or not. And should I add, not to punish drunks for being drunk.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 13:53:27
BarbecuedBillygoats Thu 15-Nov-12 13:58:46

You're probably right
The article said he gave the driver the signal to go which made me think it was two different people

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 14:04:57

They may have been Barbecued, you could be right that there were two different people and it may be that on a busy weekend night they have someone based on the platform (long time since I've been out in Liverpool late at weekends, I'm old!) - but just to answer your question about what would have happened if there hadn't been a guard at the station, on these trains someone actually gets out of the cab and looks and gives a signal to close the doors so in theory it shouldn't happen that the doors close and the train moves off without someone checking that it's safe.

BarbecuedBillygoats Thu 15-Nov-12 14:10:45

So presumably someone could lean against a train after the doors are shut and at the point when the driver is getting back in and releasing the brakes etc

Not that this is the case here but it's not exactly fool proof is it

edam Thu 15-Nov-12 14:15:40

Very informative link, joanbyers, thank you for that.

I do think the sentence is extreme, especially compared with sentences for road deaths.

The girl wasn't just drunk, she'd also taken drugs. It was her friend's birthday, imagine the poor friend will never get over it.

blisterpack Thu 15-Nov-12 14:15:44

It's a big assumption that he made his decision "to punish drunks for being drunk" hmm.

...but on these trains someone gets out of the driver door or looks out and then blows a whistle, the hustle alarm on the doors sounds, the doors close and then the driver gets back on, and there is a dinging bell that rings before the train moves off. Generally on this network there isn't a station platform guard, the person who signals to move off is travelling on the train itself.

That shows that for anybody in their senses there is more than enough warning to move back and not get killed. I think there is something to be said for personal responsibility; to make sure you don't intentionally put yourself in a state where other people have to bear the responsibility of ensuring your safety and welfare.

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 14:18:19

Yes I reckon so, Barbecued - there is a time lag between the doors closing and the train moving off. Normally the person who looks out of the driver's cab or (more usually) gets out of the cab will get back in once the doors have closed, then there will be a gap of a few seconds whilst the bell sounds before the train moves off. So yes, someone could start leaning on the train during that couple of seconds as you say.

I think the only 'foolproof' thing is those platforms they have on some newer tube stations where there is no access to the track at all - there are screens along the platform and there are doors that line up with the train doors, so you couldn't have any contact with the train once the doors are closed.

This seemed so terribly unfair to me too. It was an accident. She was responsible for that by being so drunk and drugged up she was a danger to herself. Her parents also bear reposibility IMO.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 15-Nov-12 14:30:59

blister you are right. Point taken. I am judging from my own decision processes. I show less patience with drunks on trains than say with lost tourists.

EIizaDay Thu 15-Nov-12 14:40:53

I think basically what's wrong is selfishness. In the train case and the cyclist case that spoon has just mentioned. Lots and lots of people just don't care anymore. It's very sad. I don't know what happens next but I do think it's sad and scarey.

MorrisZapp Thu 15-Nov-12 14:54:01

Five years is a ridiculous sentence for that.

EIizaDay Thu 15-Nov-12 15:09:37

Morris - what does that mean? Too little, too long? For what?

The man had complete disregard for passengers. His care of duty went out the window. He didn't give a fuck.

I'm glad to see some more serious sentences being given out and I'd like it to happen to murdering motorists especially.

insancerre Thu 15-Nov-12 15:15:52

I think the sentence is about right.
He had a duty of care to the passengers. He didn't carry that out. Tragically, a child died. It was his responsibility to ensure her safety.

expatinscotland Thu 15-Nov-12 15:18:46

So he gets five years, but the guy who killed a 20-year-old woman while drunk, possessing no license, and illegally in the country gets 2 years?

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 15:23:28

Have there ever been cases where criminal charges have been brought against nhs staff? I don't recall any but there have clearly been cases where workers actions have been equally negligent. Thinking about that poor boy who died of thirst in hospital for example

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 15:24:28

5 years!!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus the poor poor poor man - People get less for so many offences where they did actually mean to do harm.


izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 15:25:50

I can better that expat a there is a case where a car driver reversed straight of her drive and killed a motorcyclist and got community service and a fine I'll try to link it if I can find it.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 15:27:49

Manslaughter by gross negligence is a very serious offence and can actually attract a life sentence.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 15:28:35

legally, it is a serious offence, I mean

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 15:29:27

Difficult to judge without seeing all the evidence.

I have seen bus drivers smirk and drive off while a mother with a pushchair is banging on the door and pleading to be let in a few seconds after the doors have been closed.

RabidCarrot Thu 15-Nov-12 15:36:50

That poor man and his poor family sad

5 years is stupid, he should notbe held responsible for a drunk high 16 year old.

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

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.

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:33:27

I don't think so. I hope others i similar roles will see this and think twice about abusing their position and slamming doors in people's faces, driving off when somebody is clearly begging to be let on etc.

And I find it utterly confused that some people are queasy at the thought of a five year prison sentence for causing a child's death but are happy to imply that said child/ her parents deserved what happened to her because she was out drinking with her friends hmm

Pinkforever Thu 15-Nov-12 16:36:05

Yes loads of 16 year olds do go clubbing-I done it myself. However I didnt get so drunk or high that I was a danger to myself. People have to take responsibility. He made a genuine mistake but he does not deserve 5 years in prison imo.

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:36:55

I wonder if he looked at her and thought like you do Pinkforever.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 16:36:57

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

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:37:08

If she was sober and just felt ill it would have been deserved though?

Shocking victim blaming.

Pinkforever Thu 15-Nov-12 16:37:14

I amhmm at your increduality fanjo as the majority of posters on here seem to be agreeing with me....

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:39:05

well I am shock at them as well, to be fair.

Pinkforever Thu 15-Nov-12 16:39:11

I wouldt like to be a guard working on those trains at the weekend. I have been on the last train home and seen what they have to put up with. Of course the girl didnt deserve to die but she wasnt entirely blameless by putting herself in such a dangerous position. Why ruin this mans whole life too?.

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:40:01

because he caused the death of a sixteen year old girl?


FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:40:27

Well, you aren't one of the guards, but if you were you would have to do your job properly or face sanctions, no matter what you had to put up with.

I have to deal with shitty people at work, would I be justified in punching

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

He made a mistake. She also made a mistake by leaning on or trying to get back on the train when it was about to pull out.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:41:27

"I have been on the last train home and seen what they have to put up with. "

Does that justify being less careful to kill the passengers then? Seems like that is what you are saying.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:41:57

maybe she assumed it wouldnt pull out while she was leaning on it?

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:42:02

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:42:06

as indeed it should NOT have

MrsHoarder Thu 15-Nov-12 16:42:44

The difference between the guard and a doctor is partly that we are more prepared for doctors to do things which carry risks to our lives because if they don't we wouldn't get medical treatment beyond 2 paracetamol. There is no need for train guards to put lives at risks and their job is to make sure the train is clear before ordering it to move: he didn't do that. He could have shouted for her to stand clear or gone and moved her and he didn't so she died.

Pinkforever Thu 15-Nov-12 16:43:02

I dont think that is what I said at all. My point is that drunk people have to take some responsibility for their actions and putting themselves into dangerous situations. Whether they are 16 or 100.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 16:43:22

i think irrespective of the fact that the guard should have been keeping her safe it's important that teenagers learn that there's not always going to be someone to do that.

In my first week of uni a girl got very drunk and ran off from the people she was with and across a dual carriageway, killed instantly. Seeing her devestated parents arrive in halls to pack up her things was a great lesson in responsible drinking but i wish i could have learned it a different way.

Pinkforever Thu 15-Nov-12 16:43:38

Greensleeves-I am reporting that vile comment. You muppet.

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 16:44:03

Be my guest.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:46:14

well you don't really learn if you are killed by a train. So maybe that's not really helpful.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:48:47

unless you think it was worthwhile because her friends will learn to be careful on the train? shock

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 16:50:17

I feel for the teen and the family - but I also feel for the train guard and his family.

It was a terrible mistake - not murder.

I am sure her family feel differently.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 16:51:38

yes it wasn't murder, it was manslaughter by gross negligence. If it had been murder he would have got a life sentence not 5 years.

malinois Thu 15-Nov-12 16:59:23

If your negligence while in charge of a train results in a death you get 5 years inside.

If your negligence while in charge of a car results in a death, you get 250 hours community service and a 1 year driving ban

Hardly seems fair does it?

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 17:00:56

He wasn't charged with murder izzy

It is ridiculous to assume that a court gave this man a custodial sentence without a lot of bloody strong evidence.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 17:01:38

I will say again if someone was leaning on your car and you drove off killing them you would probably get 5 years too!

Lulumama Thu 15-Nov-12 17:08:23

I thikn the verdict was correct, am a little surprised at the sentence but do agree with greensleeves commetn lower down the thread about sentence disparity.

if this was a different case, perhaps she would have been found contributarily negligent? but then the guard has a duty to safeguard all passengers, whether drunk or drugged or insensible by other means.

He made the wrong decision, and why should he drunkeness excuse that?

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:19:09

fanjo I disagree - there are loads of instances of people getting insulting (to victims and their families) sentences for causing death while driving.

malinois Thu 15-Nov-12 17:22:53

@Fanjo: you're wrong.

You might get charged with causing death by careless driving and get a derisory community sentence and a driving ban. If you're very unlucky you might even have to retake your driving test.

Killing people with cars in this country is not really considered a big deal I'm afraid.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 17:24:21

so you would all like a 5 year sentence at LEAST for death by dangerous driving and feel the sentences should be equal. But think the one for the guard is too high. I am confused.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 17:24:51

However..they are entirely different cases and treated differently

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 17:28:03

I agree that sentences for causing death by dangerous driving are often derisory

but even so, there is a difference in inherent responsibility between a private citizen driving a car and a train guard whose paid employment is to ensure trains leave the platform without causing injury or death. That's his job. He didn't do it. A girl died as a result.

malinois Thu 15-Nov-12 17:29:26

@Fanjo: I haven't said either of those things.

I was merely pointing out that there seems to be a disparity whereby the case at hand has attracted a charge of negligent manslaughter (an extremely serious offence) whereas we have special offences of 'causing death by negligent/dangerous driving' for road vehicle operators - which typically attract much lighter sentences.

There is a very sad reason for this: in the days when drivers were charged with manslaughter if they killed someone, juries routinely refused to convict even in the face of obvious guilt.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 17:31:12

Fair enough, was just the general impression i was receiving from people on the thread.

CindySherman Thu 15-Nov-12 17:31:16

The verdit is just. He drove off whilst someone was leaning on his train!

Gut feeling he acted in contempt of her and a desire not to be late sorting it out . Disgusting.
I feel for her poor family the way she is being judged. He still has his life , a precious life that was taken from her because no one took care of a vulnerable person.
Please think if it was your daughter.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:31:39

malinois bit like rape and sexual assault cases then.

think the sentence is right. It's the guard's job to make sure the train is ready to depart safely. It clearly wasn't, and he would have had to give an indication to the driver that it was OK to leave either by whistle or by hand signals. The fact that the girl in question was drunk is relevant as she was incapable so greater care should have been taken.

What the guard should have done was to call the Transport Police who would have either asked her to move or called an ambulance.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:52:08

I have tried to think how I would feel if this was my child and I am not sure I would want another life ruined, another family to suffer.

The fall out for secondary victims is immense, the parents of the girl and her family and friends are all suffering, is making the guard and his family pay like this going to ease that pain or just cause more.

Greensleeves Thu 15-Nov-12 17:54:10

but an innocent family suffers every time a criminal goes to prison. What an odd argument for not giving a custodial sentence.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 17:56:16

Sentences for professional drivers are just as derisory.

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 17:56:26

Exactly! Do you imagine that all killers, rapists, thieves and fraudsters come from nasty, evil families? confused

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:57:14

It depends I think if you see this as "criminal", so far, I am not so sure he is. My husband is a biker and I have seen so many lenient sentences for things that are far, far, far more deliberate than this, drink drinking, simply not looking, mobile phones and in one case, a man who went on a drinking spree, hit someone, carried them on the roof of their car for a mile and severed their leg, leaving them dead in road and didn't get a custodial sentence (that was a long time ago, I cant find it on google, but it was a protest by MCN at sentencing, he had a suspended sentence and a motorcyclist was sent to prison over Christmas for speeding).

specialsubject Thu 15-Nov-12 17:57:19

about as tragic as it gets for all concerned. I thought the legal age for buying alcohol, and being admitted to clubs, was 18 though? Who sold this girl all the booze, both to be swilled at home and in the club? (let alone the drugs)

responsibility for this one seems to me to be shared. The only good I can see is a warning to all concerned not to get so hammered. With normal reflexes she might have survived even given the mistake by the guard, trains don't pull away that quickly and the whistle tells you that it is moving.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 17:57:44

you wouldn't want someone to suffer if they had seen your child leaning on a train and given the signal to drive off anyway? I don't believe that.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:57:55

Of course I do Mrs. DeVere, I would never imagine a rapist could come from a normal family!

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 17:58:31

it was negligent of his duty of care, so is criminal.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:58:52

(sorry that is strictly not really the case in case that isnt clear).

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 17:59:44

Its the sentence compared to other sentencing that's the issue, not the verdict.

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 18:00:26

assuming that is sarcasm, do you expect the families of rapists to be spared the awfulness of having their father, husband, son etc being locked up?

Their lives ruined because of the thing he did?

Prisoner's families have a bloody terrible time. This man's family will suffer and that is horrible but he has been convicted of a criminal act.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 18:02:33

You are asking the wrong person Mrs. DeVere - I understand the fall out for families of rapists and victims only too well.

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 18:04:25

Well then I don't understand why you would think someone should be spared prison even though someone had died, in case it caused issues for his family.

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 18:04:51

and you are not the only one.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 15-Nov-12 18:05:24

I think if it's true that guards take these sorts of risks with safety all the time (as the link to the forum up thread implied), then the sentence could serve to help change that culture. And I think that would probably be a good thing (might make rail travel virtuallly impossible on some journeys).

I do feel a significant jail term if he simply failed to notice her is unfair, even if it's his job to look. People make mistakes, even when taking care. To go to jail for a long time for a mistake is harsh.

But if he allowed the train to go actually knowing she was leaning against it, or not really caring whether or not she was, then the sentence doesn't seem outrageous.

I trust that a jury and judge who saw the whole trial are better placed than an Internet forum in judging which scenario applies.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 18:07:12

Thats not the only reason, his family, I have explained my views on the sentencing in a previous post. I cannot understand the sentence in conjunction with other sentences I have seen and read about, and having tried to think, well if this was my DC, is this what I would want, I am not sure it is. I don't know if I would want to see a second family destroyed for a tragic accident.

(re me not being the only, that is something I am sadly only too well aware of as well).

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 18:13:47

then why mention it?

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 15-Nov-12 18:15:49

Mention it? Do you mean his family? Because it is part of my thinking, it is not all of my thinking.

Vev Thu 15-Nov-12 18:42:26

This is a tragic waste of a young girl's life. An accident that needn't have happened. Are the people who supplied her with booze and drugs going to be taken to task? Had there been no impairment in her mind she would have heard the whistle and the warnings that the train was about to move and taken her hands from the window. It has been made to sound normal that 16 year old kids get drunk/take drugs every weekend.

Yes the guard was negligent in his duty, but he was doing his job as a guard, not a childminder and the sentence seems harsh.

Poor girl and poor fella.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 15-Nov-12 18:45:31

yes, doing his job as a guard making sure passengers are safe!

citybranch Thu 15-Nov-12 20:11:14

I am a Tube Driver who does mainly late shifts and I deal with a lot of drunk people every night of the week. Tubes are 'one-person-operated', in my case I use in-cab CCTV to make sure that I'm clear to close the doors and then to depart.

If an accident occurred as a result of me not making those checks correctly it would be MY fault. No question.

The thought of dragging an child (or adult) fills me with horror and the possibility of an incident is always in the back of my mind. I make sure I am as consciencious as is humanly possible to make sure that it won't happen.

It is a comparatively well-paid, safety critical role and the consequences are grave for those who take their eye off the ball. There is no room for staff error when you are dealing with 660 volts in the track, combined with trains that weigh 150 tonnes each.

I have heard enough horror stories in the 8 years I've been working on the railway to know that you don't take chances. This guard had been in the job since 1992...

VivaLeBeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 20:20:38

Citybranch, there was a child dragged to their death under a tube to many years ago in London. His coat was caught in the door. Do you know if that tube driver was prosecuted?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 20:21:00

Sorry, should have read not many years ago.

citybranch Thu 15-Nov-12 20:35:32

I know of the incident at Holborn in the 1990s where the boy's coat toggle was caught in the doors and he died. (the thought of this particular one haunts me, and I'm sure if I think about it too long I would lose my bottle for the job entirely!)

As far as I know the platform was extremely crowded and this prevented the driver and guard (the tube still had guards then) having a clear view, so nobody would have been prosecuted. Generally, the train wouldn't be able to depart if something was caught but very small/thin articles of clothing are undetectable. Even these days.

To be honest, the platforms are so crowded (i'm thinking Bank, evening peak) that you can't see very much at all, just a mass of people. In those cases I depart slowly and watch carefully for any unusual kerfuffle on the platform, and just be prepared to stop.

blisterpack Thu 15-Nov-12 20:37:42

citybranch what do you think of the verdict and sentencing?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 20:39:22

Yes it was Holborn I was thinking of. Thanks.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 20:39:59

I'd love to be a tube driver btw, my dream job. Am nowhere near London though.

diddl Thu 15-Nov-12 20:41:21

Well she was at a private party first, wasn´t she-and then onto the city to carry on celebrating?

What I find odd is if she got off at the wrong station-why didn´t she just get back on?

Why didn´t her friends stop her getting off?

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 20:53:14

I can't answer the question of why she got off at the wrong stop diddl because I wasn't there, but I can tell you that all the Liverpool underground stations look exactly the same - same colours, same decor, same seating, same platform layout and flooring. I often have to check twice to make sure I'm at the right station, so it is possible it took her some time to realise that she was at the wrong one - the signs with the name on are sparse, spaced out and well above eye level so if she didn't look up she could have got quite a way along the platform before realising. Also it is reported that she had previously got off the train and back on again earlier on the route, so suspect she was just so drunk she didn't have a clue where she was.

I think she did try to get back on but they didn't open the doors to allow her to, hence the banging on the window.

citybranch Thu 15-Nov-12 21:10:05

I primarily agree with the verdict itself. He was employed there to despatch trains safely, he didn't do it. He had the power to hold the train a few seconds until he was sure the girl was a safe distance away. it is the sole reason he is there. There are drunk people around every evening, they are of all different ages, it doesn't matter who she was. I see ageing men in business suits playing the fool on the platform edge regularly, they should know better.

This man was a licensed, safety critical member of staff who did not perform his checks adequately.

That said, I'm sure he isn't a bad guy and I thought the 5 year sentence was harsh. I'd prefer to see dangerous/drunk drivers and sex offenders get that!
It will be very hard for him in prison, I would think, and he'll probably be haunted by what happened. Terrible for his family.

edam Thu 15-Nov-12 21:22:19

I guess she got off at the wrong stop because she was pissed and high. Poor girl.

Do still feel sorry for the poor guard - one bad decision, made in a fleeting moment, and a girl is dead and he's guilty of manslaughter. Seems very harsh to send him to prison given people who kill on the roads - even people who are doing a job on the roads, such as lorry drivers - are given far lighter sentences. I know lorry drivers don't have safety critical roles in quite the same way, but even so.

AND it's only ever the poor sods at the bottom of the heap who are ever done for deaths at work. It's never the chief exec of the hospital who decided to cut staffing and put patients in danger, it's always the nurse who was the only qualified member of staff trying to look after 20 elderly confused patients who all need help feeding and going to the loo. It's never the boss of the construction company or factory that cuts corners and causes a death. It's never the fat cat chief exec of the company that dumps toxic waste in the Ivory Coast...

None of this injustice means the guard was innocent of course. He did a terrible thing. But he's been treated far more harshly than other people who are just as responsible for avoidable deaths, IMO.

citybranch Thu 15-Nov-12 21:32:23

Actually, I'm looking at the picture again. If a lone teenage girl is banging on the train to get back on then you allow her to get back on, surely? Anyone who purposely allows a drunk youngster to be seperated from her friends isn't a particularly nice man.

So he sees to it that she's stranded alone on a platform, then he despatches the train while she's leaning on it, despite this being the exact opposite of his job description.

blisterpack Thu 15-Nov-12 21:47:14

Thank you citybranch, it's interesting to hear the perspective of someone 'in the industry'.

CagneyNLacey Thu 15-Nov-12 22:00:36

Did he attempt to drive off and leave her stranded after the last train had gone? I thought I read that it was the last train. If so that's really just another level of horrible isn't it? Stranding a drunk and vulnerable teenager in an underground station.

I was surprised at the sentence too but it seems he had a good clear view and signalled to pull off anyway. Someone upthread said they've seen the cctv footage and he deserved 5 years for what he did as the camera angle is the view from just behind his head. Just an awful, awful thing for everyone involved.

Lovecat Thu 15-Nov-12 22:06:38

As others on this thread have said, the sentence may seem harsh in the light of other sentences passed for manslaughter by reckless driving etc., but surely the answer to that is to make the sentences for driving much harsher?

Someone died. Someone died who didn't have to. I think 5 years is probably a bit lenient.

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

They were travelling into Liverpool, Cagney, not going home - and Liverpool is really small. If she hadn't been in such a bad way, she was only a short walk from all of the other underground stations in the city centre so she wouldn't have been 'stranded' as such - she'd have just had to walk around to whichever station they'd been planning to get off at and meet her friends there (assuming they'd have waited for her.....) But obviously she was in no fit state to look after herself and find her way to meet her friends. The guard said he didn't realise what condition she was in, so it could be that he thought he was just going to inconvenience her by causing her to have a 10 minute walk rather than intentionally leaving her stranded.

citybranch Thu 15-Nov-12 22:31:28

I always re-open the doors if a couple/family/group run on as they are closing and half of them don't make it. Looking at that still of Georgia on the platform alone, wanting to get back on, I would re-open. No skin off my nose, its a few seconds. I wouldn't think twice. No controller has ever pulled me up on a delay.

itsashameaboutray Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:55

Someone up thread said she could quite easily have walked to the next station and got another train.

Probably what the driver of the bus thought when he refused entry to the young women who was beaten and raped last year. These two men had a duty of care, their failure of that duty had horrendous outcomes.

Of course we can't predicate every outcome of our actions but we can act like decent human beings and help those in need of a little goodwill. Which both these girls so obviously needed

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 15-Nov-12 23:04:02

rapists are responsible for rape. Saying a third party, e.g. the bus driver is responsible because he increased her vulnerability is a small step from saying the victim bears some responsibility for being in that situation. only the rapist is responsible

diddl Fri 16-Nov-12 07:30:04

I agree that he was ultimately responsible-he shouldn´t have let the train go.

It´s just so tragic.

I find it sad that after getting so drunk at a party-she had gone into the city-to drink more.

i found what her mum said offensive tbh-that it´s what teenagers do.

itsashameaboutray Fri 16-Nov-12 07:59:45

Okay maybe not the best example, but it is an example of what happens when people in a position of trust and responsibility fail in that duty. Its one of the fundamental values we teach our children surely.

Our actions have consequences for other people and we need to take responsibility for those consequences.

Yes this girl was drunk, who didn't at that age. She was drunk, so what she was still a young vulnerable children which this adult decided in a split second wasn't worth the two or three seconds delay it would have added to his evening.

diddl Fri 16-Nov-12 08:03:55

I didn´t get drunk at 16-or take drugs & I don´t think that I was unusual.

Am nearly 50 now.

1sassylassy Fri 16-Nov-12 08:49:50

I think we have to forgive her mum for what she said,she has lost a child,without a doubt the worst thing that can happen to a parent.
However I do feel that each and every parent has a duty to teach their dc,s that they have a duty of responsibility to themselves,that alcohol and drugs will impair their judgement and therefore may make them more vunerable.Too many young people think it wont happen to them but it can and it does.

MysteriousNameChange Fri 16-Nov-12 09:14:55

I think the guard was negligent. I think the drink and drugs did contribute but then he had a duty of care. I don't think it's right for the parents to say the only liability that night was the guard, but I understand why they're saying it.

I do worry that she would've had an awful night had she carried on, to already be at that state before they went into Liverpool.

But any awful night is better than death sad

ArkadyRose Fri 16-Nov-12 12:34:47

I used to work for London Underground (first on stations, later as Line Controller of the District Line for a while), and LU has the same policies and procedures as the mainline rail services - and basically he was grossly negligent. You do NOT signal that the train can depart unless every person on the platform is back behind the yellow line. It's pretty black-and-white. She was touching the train, therefore he should not have signalled the all clear. If he could not see clearly whether she was touching the train or not, the procedures state quite inequivocably that he should have moved to where he could see clearly.

Cozy9 Sun 18-Nov-12 07:51:24

The parents are stupid for saying that getting blind drunk and drugged up is "what all 16 year olds do". It isn't.

edam Sun 18-Nov-12 08:10:33

Arklady's right but I still think the sentence was severe. However, I also hear on the grapevine - and this may just be gossip - that her Mother was actually living in Ireland and her Dad was in Wales that weekend, so they weren't taking personal responsibility for their 17yo dd who was going out and getting blind drunk and taking drugs (presumably she was with someone they considered responsible though). And have been pretty aggressive, blaming the family of the friend whose birthday it was and everyone but themselves. I'm not accusing them of being bad parents, just saying they appear to be keen to blame everyone else, when they weren't there looking after their daughter.

SaraBellumHertz Sun 18-Nov-12 08:21:26

He didn't make a mistake.

His main role as a train guard was to ensure it was safe for the train to leave the station. You'd have to be brain dead not to realise that if someone is leaning on the train it is unsafe. Yet he gave the order. It was deliberate.

I have seen the CCTV: he saw that girl and didn't care. Maybe he was concerned about the train leaving on time, maybe he was thoroughly pissed off with her drunken behavior and wanted to shock her.

insancerre Sun 18-Nov-12 08:56:59

you can't take 'personal responsibility' for a 1 year old
They are responsible for themselves (I have one). They will experiment and make mistakes, it's all part of growing up.
What difference does it make if the parents were in wales, Australia, the moon or tucked up home in bed?
The guard didn't do his job and she ended up dead. Of course he is liable.
I think the Mccains were more guilty of neglect than these parents but we're not allowed to say that out loud on here.

insancerre Sun 18-Nov-12 08:57:28

*16 year old

RabidCarrot Sun 18-Nov-12 09:58:49

I have a 16 year old and he does not spend his weekends getting blind drunk, taking drugs or going out late on his own, and before people go yeah yeah how do you know, I will tell you how, we have rules and he goes to his Saturday job, he comes home he has his dinner and he plays X box, watches DVDs or has his friends round to us, if he goes to his friends he in home by 11pm, I know all his friends, and when one of his friends started smoking dope my son stopped having him round.

While I do feel so very sorry for this girls parents for losing their child maybe they are putting all the blame on the guard because deep down they know the blame lies in part closer to home and just can not admit it.

CaptainDennyisDead Sun 18-Nov-12 10:49:53

Rabid, I think you are talking out of your arse. So what if your son has a very strict and sheltered upbringing? At 16 I was in nightclubs and that was a few decades ago. I wasn't heavily into drinking but some that I knew were. I then went onto a good degree, 2 great careers and live a pretty solid adult life, church included. I'm probably verging on Mumsy really, now. The parents were not to blame, the man appreared to have a malicious, spiteful thought and he is paying for it, as he should.

CindySherman Sun 18-Nov-12 11:26:34

Of course the parents aren't to blame how ridiculous.
Justice was done. He purposely sent the train on its way with a vulnerable girl leaning on it. Don't bring her parents into this.

diddl Sun 18-Nov-12 12:08:12

" the man appreared to have a malicious, spiteful thought"


It wasn´t safe to let the train go-that surely is the end of the matter?

CaptainDennyisDead Sun 18-Nov-12 12:14:10

diddl what kind of thought do you think he had? He has been found guilty of manslaughter. He wasn't thinking anything overtly positive.

diddl Sun 18-Nov-12 13:37:16

Unfortunately, he probably wasn´t thinking at all.

Of course he has been found guilty of manslaughter-his negligence led to her death.

Does that mean that it was deliberate?

CaptainDennyisDead Sun 18-Nov-12 16:09:52

I think but no idea of the legalities of it but think it is something to do with him making a conscious decision (active) rather than failing to do something (passive).

lionsgate Sun 18-Nov-12 17:19:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CindySherman Sun 18-Nov-12 17:21:35

A young Woman's life is really worth nothing to some people.

Pinkforever Sun 18-Nov-12 18:19:23

Of course her parents have to take some of the blame-they allowed their underage child to go out and get blind drunk and high and not only condoned it but tried to normalise it.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 18-Nov-12 18:23:26

I hope they never read that

Pinkforever Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:21

Fanjo I am sorry for their terrible loss-it must be horrific-but that doesnt take away from the fact that I have a daughter and there is no way in hell she would be going out and getting pissed and high at that age. No way.

I understand that the driver had a responsibility to his passengers but I still think that the sentence was disproportionally harsh...

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 18-Nov-12 19:05:26

It's absolutely right that this man is in jail.

There is no way he could have not known what he was doing, the platform is clear, the girl is banging on the window and trying to get back on the train. Why didn't he let her? Why did he have such hostility to a drunken teenager, that he was prepared to at the very least separate her from her friends while she was in a state and at the worst, risk her death, which it is HIS JOB to try and prevent?

I can't understand why everyone's so sympathetic to him, what he did was intentionally cruel. Of course I don't think he deliberately killed her, he obviously didn't think she'd die, but his motivation in not letting her back on to the train when she was a drunk vulnerable kid, is highly questionable and I remember the horror I felt when I first heard this story, that someone would have been so nasty to a drunk teenage girl even without the tragic consequences.

The self-righteous bastards who talk about how it's her parent's fault because she was drunk, would it have been OK if she'd been 20 and at uni, so out of her parent's care? Just remember your kids might one day make a mistake and drink too much and hope to God that they don't come across a pissed off bus-driver or train guard who has seen one too many drunken young people that night and can't be bothered to be patient and decent.

The lass was drunk and had used some drugs. BUT had it not been for the neglect of the train guard, in all probability she would have got home safe with her mates. Reading the report it's obvious that her mother feels understandably bitter by the impression given of her daughter in court. The guard should have ensured everybody on the platform was clear of the train. He failed in that and somebody died. He may talk of all the surrounding circumstances all he likes but fact remains that he didn't do his job. The lass was right there in front of him and he didn't do his job. 5 years for a life lost is fair enough to me. Blaming her parents is vile btw.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 18-Nov-12 19:07:49

I also agree with those who think it's mad that he gets 5 years while motorists get sod all, but I just think motorists should get higher sentences for killing people while driving when it's their fault. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that you serve 5 years if you kill someone unintentionally because of your own negligence (as opposed to a genuine accident) whether you're a bus driver, a train guard or a car driver.

5madthings Sun 18-Nov-12 19:15:14

Hiz job was to ensure the train deoaeted safely, he didnt do that so yes he is culpable.

We can argue till.the cows come home about terns getting drunk etc but its something that teens do, you can say your child wont do it like but unless you physically kerp or folliw them around when rhey are out you arent going to stop it.

I was a top set student at a grammar school, i still went out and got drunk underage, thankfully i didnt come to any serious harm, which was down to luck.

Nobody us saying it is ok for teens to get drunk/take drugs but it does happen and this girl didnt deserve to die. The man in question was neglegent and didnt do his job properly.

SaraBellumHertz Sun 18-Nov-12 19:25:01

Pinkforever - how do you feel about boys that are drunk and get bottled in a club or girls who are raped having been let out the house at 16? Is that also their fault?

CindySherman Sun 18-Nov-12 19:43:30

The correct and decent thing to do when you see a young girl/man drunk and vulnerable trying to get to her friends is to help and assist and do something to remove her/ him from danger. Not deliberately hurt them.

I honestly think anyone blaming her parents for this are quite disturbed and lacking in basic humanity.
I sincerely hope and pray your children don't make one error of judgement out there in the wide world and encounter a rapist/ murderer/ spiteful person who has no regard for their safely or wellbeing.

expatinscotland Sun 18-Nov-12 19:45:42

I can't say I blame the parents. She was 16, her mother's only child.

I think that motorists who kill should receive harsher sentences in line with this person's, however.

CindySherman Sun 18-Nov-12 19:47:56

Was she her only child sad

anniewoo Sun 18-Nov-12 19:53:22

I feel really really sorry for the guard.
Personal responsibility has gone out the window.

edam Sun 18-Nov-12 19:59:44

I don't blame the parents but apparently they have been vociferous in blaming everyone else, inc. the family of the birthday girl. Which is a. wrong and b. unfair given they weren't around for whatever reason.

MrsDeVere Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:10

annie I agree with you on one point. That guard had a personal responsibility to do his job. He didn't.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 18-Nov-12 20:41:22

If it weren't nauseating, it would be quite funny to hear a bunch of mothers talking about how a dead child should have had more of a sense of personal responsibility while totally exonerating the lack of it in a grown man who was being well-paid to have one.

How much we expect of teenage girls and how little of (paid) grown men.


Exactly. This is a reasonable conviction and a sentence in line with the magnitude of the offence.

sashh Sun 25-Nov-12 05:48:13

I also agree with those who think it's mad that he gets 5 years while motorists get sod all


This man was paid to make sure things like this don't happen. That is why his job exists.

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