Christopher McGee was imprisoned for five years after being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following the death of 16 year old Georgia Varley at James Street Station in Liverpool on 22 October 2011. Miss Varley, who was intoxicated, had accidentally alighted the train at the station before realising her mistake. She turned and lent on the carriage. Despite seeing Miss Varley, Mr McGee who was the guard on the train, signalled for the driver to move off. This caused Miss Varley to stagger and fall between the gap with the platform, resulting in fatal injuries.
Mr McGee alleged that he had thought Miss Varley was walking away from the train when he gave the signal, but a jury found him guilty of gross negligence manslaughter. During sentencing, Justice Holroyde acknowledged that Mr McGee had not intended to kill or injure Miss Varley, but he had completely disregarded his previous training. Despite 20 years of “conscientious” service, he had direct responsibility in those seconds before starting the train, but gave the signal despite seeing Miss Varley. He also failed to countermand the signal once given, which would have prevented the train moving off.
Regardless of Miss Varley’s intoxicated state, Holroyde J made clear that Mr McGee’s duty of care towards her had not been relieved and that Mr McGee should have ensured that Miss Varley was safe from risk. Although it would only have taken seconds for him to step down from the cab, walk over to Miss Varley and ask her to move away, he did “nothing”.