A RAILWAY guard convicted of the manslaughter of a drunk teenager after he signalled for a train to move as she was leaning against the carriage has been jailed for five years.
Christopher McGee, 45, was told that Georgia Varley was “in the most obvious position of danger” when he gave the signal to start the train, causing her to fall to her death.
Yesterday a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.
In passing sentence Mr Justice Holroyde said: “You did not intend to kill or even to injure her, but you displayed an appalling disregard for her safety and she paid for your criminal negligence with her life.”
The judge reminded McGee that he had been repeatedly trained and instructed in matters of safety and must have known anyone falling between the platform and train was likely to be killed.
He added: “It follows that any risk you took in that area was a risk to the life of the passenger.
“You were not distracted at the vital moment, or required to turn away in order to operate controls. You had a continuous and perfect view of her.
“In the horror of what you had done you may later have persuaded yourself that you thought she was moving away, but I do not believe you did think that at the time.”
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There were gasps from the public gallery as the sentence was read out but McGee did not react.
The 45-year-old had been working on the last train out of West Kirby, Wirral into Liverpool city centre on October 22 last year when the tragedy happened.
Sixteen-year-old Georgia, who had been celebrating her friend’s 18th birthday at a house party in Hoylake, Wirral fell between the platform and train at James Street station in Liverpool and was killed instantly.
McGee, who had a duty to look after the health and safety of people on the train and the platform, was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
He denied the charge but, after an eight-day trial , the jury of five men and six women found him guilty of the Birkenhead Sixth Form College student’s death “by gross negligence”.
The jury was discharged from reaching a verdict in an alternative, lesser charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.