Liverpool

Georgia Varley train death: Guard guilty over rail death fall

CCTV image showing Georgia on the platform
Image caption Georgia Varley fell between the train and the platform at James Street

A Merseyrail guard has been found guilty of causing the death of a 16-year-old girl who died after falling under a train at a Liverpool station.

Georgia Varley died when she fell between the carriage and platform at James Street station in October 2011.

Christopher McGee, 45, had denied manslaughter but was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court.

He signalled for the driver to depart as Miss Varley, who was drunk, stood on the platform leaning against the train.

The prosecution said McGee should have been able to see that she was in an "intoxicated state".

But he told the jury he thought the sixth form student was moving away from the train when he gave the signal to depart.

Fall down gap

He also said he did not know how drunk she had been.

Image caption Georgia Varley had been on a night out in Liverpool

McGee, of Wallasey, Wirral, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and the jury was then discharged from reaching a verdict in an alternative, lesser charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Speaking outside court, Miss Varley's mother, Paula Redmond, 41, said: "Christopher McGee will complete his sentence and return to his family. Mine is now gone forever.

"We have listened as our daughter was portrayed as being a drunken liability when, in all honesty, she did no more than what many teenagers do of a weekend - she went out to celebrate her friend's birthday.

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

"For he had very little, if any, regard at all for our daughter and her safety."

Ms Redmond said her daughter was "an absolute joy to be around".

"To say she was a wonderful, amazing daughter would be a massive understatement," she added.

Faces prison

Image caption Christopher McGee was found guilty of causing the death of Georgia Varley

Miss Varley, from Moreton, Wirral, had been at a house party before she went into Liverpool for a night out with her friends when the tragedy happened on 22 October last year.

A blood analysis following her death showed she had 236mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in her system - the legal driving limit is 80mg.

She also had the drug mephedrone in her system at the time of her death.

During the trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the moments before the teenager's death.

The footage showed Miss Varley mistakenly getting off the train just before 23:30 BST, before turning around and leaning against the side as she realised her friends were still on board.

She was then seen to stagger and fall down the gap as the train moved off, before stopping after travelling about 30ft (9m).

Mr Justice Holroyde said he would pass sentence on Thursday morning.

He remanded McGee in custody saying it was a "very serious offence" and said he faces a sentence of imprisonment.

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