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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

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

Just an accident? No such thing.

What excuses for this one?

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.

shoppingbagsundereyes Thu 15-Nov-12 14:29:14

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.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:27:49

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

fanjoforthemammaries7850 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.

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