Merseyrail Guard on Trial

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by BestWestern, 6 Nov 2012.

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  1. John55

    John55 Member

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    No problem with debate but I was pointing out it is the jury which decides on criminal matters not the RAIB or the members of this forum.

    If you were really keen to have all the evidence at your fingertips you could have sat in the court for the 8 days and you could have heard it all including the material the RAIB may not include.
     
  2. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    I have only just noticed that, if he can see that. you do have to question whether he should have given RoW, surely you can never presume anything?
     
  3. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    We can comment on the Jury's decision as they have decided that the guard is guilty of the charges brought against him. They have heard all the evidence and that would have included information from the RAIB, which they concluded that the guard failed in his deriliction of duties.

    Go and have a read of ANGs post early on in this thread again.
     
  4. 507 001

    507 001 Member

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    I said we can't comment on whether the decision was correct or not.
    Again, I say WE haven't seen or heard the evidence, just rumors and speculation
     
  5. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    To you they may be rumours and speculation from people off the internet but for others less so.

    Face it, you really want the decision to be wrong dont you? Which is why you are waiting for the RAIB report to pour over whatever is in there and try and pick out any detail which you think could swing the decision the other way on appeal, even though you have been told twice now that what is in that report would have been used during the prosecution of the guard and would have counted as highly respected evidence.

    IIRC the guard also changed his statement once he was presented with the CCTV showing him in action.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    No offence to bb21 here but this should also have been included from the story that he quoted from the BBC which he cut off about her having drugs in her

     
  6. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    I assume that you have never passed-out unexpectedly.
    You may not lose all perception immediately, but it may fade very quickly over a few seconds - and sticking your hand out to try and steady yourself is exactly what you do. There is nothing bizarre or sinister about it!


    If some good comes of this, I hope that train guards can be even more wary of complacency, and I particularly hope that young people (and their parents) can better see the dangers of going out and getting blind drunk - there are far, far more unnecessary deaths caused by the latter.
     
  7. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    None taken.

    However at the time I did quote the whole article as what was in my quotation was all there was.
     
  8. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    Ahh okey doke, I didnt actually read it first time round but its odd why they do that..
     
  9. ukrob

    ukrob Established Member

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    Another one here who rarely agrees with ANG here - but he is spot on. And that does not mean the girls actions were acceptable behaviour.
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Indeed he is, in addition I have a lot of respect for the views expressed by another guard, Ferret too. And yes, some balance is needed, this incident was not caused solely by one party.
     
  11. AlexS

    AlexS Established Member

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    I must say it does raise concerns with the McNulty recommendation to reduce train dispatcher provision particularly when you consider the amount of rolling stock that has no provision for the train crew to have any idea of what is happening outside it, for example 22x, 390, 15x and the like. Some companies allow the guard to key out and leave the door panel immediately after giving rightaway, regardless of if there is a dispatcher so there is nobody watching the train out of the station at all, and this is considered to be perfectly appropriate and normal. I can't say it leaves me feeling particularly comfortable sometimes. If something similar happened with a 220 and it was self dispatched, potentially no one would know anything was amiss at all and there would be no question of even shouting a warning once the local door is closed.

    I think all the railway trade unions need to make more of this than perhaps they are.
     
  12. HH

    HH Established Member

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    1. I didn't say I have nearly killed someone.

    2. Other posters have already disabused you of your foolish notions on this.

    3. I haven't been drunk in a long while. We were talking about this young lady who clearly did not know what she was doing, and the fact that people who are ill can behave in a similar fashion, which has been backed up by other posters.
     
  13. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Keep it civil please guys and leave out personal remarks.

    Debates get heated in these topics and we can understand that. Please make sure that you debate the topic and only the topic in question.
     
  14. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    I'm sorry but what you've said is despicable. Why should that be a problem for male guards?
     
  15. GadgetMan

    GadgetMan Member

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    Although the full story hasn't been published yet (which may alter my views on this particular incident), the situation the young girl was in up until she fell between the the train and platform is all too common when intoxicated passengers are involved.

    This is especially true on Friday and Saturday nights when you have a large number of very dunk people getting on/off trains.

    Some get great pleasure out of pushing their mates out of the doors just as they are closing, which then means the doors need to be re-released to let that person back on and consequently interrupting and delaying dispatch. This can happen at numerous stations on the same train or even numerous times at the same station and it usually only stops when I physically take the time to walk down to the doors the group is at and give them a ticking off which includes a warning that they will all be removed and refused travel if it happens again.

    Others play a similar game where they will voluntarily get off the train when the doors are released, walk a few meters away from the train and then suddenly dash back on before the doors shut while getting cheered on by others, and they take it in turns to do it at stations until they get a ticking off or reach their destination.

    The above are more a nuisance/cause of delays than a serious risk of fatality, although an injury is possible from them falling while the train is stationary.



    Then you have the traditional dropping pants and waving backside in the air on the platform for the amusement of passengers/mates on the train. This same class of passengers will also do other silly things like have their nose or lips pushed against the outside of the train window as its about to depart and no matter how many times you blow your whistle or shout stand back they remain there.

    These are the passengers who are of great concern to all frontline staff, they put their own safety/life at risk as well as our careers.


    As a Guard, we have to make a decision to try and keep the railway moving or cause massive delays both to our own trains and any services sharing the line behind us. I have given 2 on the buzzer while a drunk(s) are in contact with the train just as the girl is in that picture. I then also make sure I have my head out the cab window and the idiots in full view at all time with one hand on the brake lever. So when I see that picture, I can't help but feel that had this girl been travelling in a different part of the country, I could have been the Guard on trial.

    Should I be giving 2 on the buzzer with drunks touching the train? NO. The fact that I don't hear of extensive delays caused by other Guards in similar positions tells me I can't be alone in giving the RA with drunks touching the train.

    The only alternative is to have a stand off with the idiots on the platform while waiting for BTP. This could result in them walking away, or they as is usually the case then start to abuse the member of staff who dared to challenge their behaviour.

    Alot of people won't accept this as a reason, but if all Railway staff did exactly as we were supposed to then the railway would experience far more delays than it currently does.


    Here's a incident I experienced a week ago.


    I was working the last train on a particular line from origin to destination on a Friday night, a distance of around 65 miles. We have roughly 20 minutes between leaving the origin station and the first booked call.

    I attempted to make my way through the 3 carriage train which at any other time of day will take me around 15 minutes with twice as many passengers on.

    However on weekend nights in my experience a full ticket check takes 3 times longer due to the number of passengers who are too drunk to efficiently locate their ticket or go down the route of being abusive to get out of paying.

    I soon came across a group of 5 drunk males aged in their mid 20s. They gave me the usual run around of pretending to sleep, then claiming to have lost their ticket, having no money on them ........etc. Unknown to them there was a off duty Civil Police officer sat behind them. After a nod from me, she had a word with them and convinced them that paying was their best option.

    I relieved them of a small amount of cash each and started walking away when 2 of them decided to start shouting all sorts of abusive and threatening language including one of them getting up and moving towards me with one his mates holding him back.

    As we were fast approaching the first stop and the one where these lads were getting off I continued to walk away for my own safety, however this meant going towards the front as opposed to the back to avoid walking past the group.

    On this particular traction type, I can release the doors from any of the 3 carriages, however that is when I feel most vulnerable while stood on the platform as you just find yourself waiting for the angered male(s) to approach you.

    So I went into the leading cab and asked the driver to release the doors (his side) and then we both stepped on the platform, now 1.5 carriages away from where the lads should be alighting. They got off with 3 of them shouting, swearing and physically threatening somebody else in that same carriage. I then pressed the door close button while the 3 lads were still shouting and threatening this unknown victim and they were punching and kicking the side of the train.

    Was I going to approach them and ask them to stand clear? No.
    Both the driver and I got back on, and I asked him to keep his an eye on the lads while we pulled away to ensure one of them didn't end up on the track.


    Now when you read some of the comments on this thread that say that railway staff have a duty of care and are FULLY responsible for the passengers' safety, it makes you wonder whether I'd be held responsible had one of those lads been killed while we pulled out of the station.

    The truth of the matter is, whilst we do have a duty of care towards the safety of passengers, the passengers themselves should also bear some of that responsibility towards their own safe being.


    For anyone still reading and who isn't yet bored, the lads that were shouting and threatening on the platform were in fact directing it towards the off duty officer, so much so that she actually missed her stop because unfortunately she wanted the same station as the lads got off at and she felt threatened enough to miss her stop knowing there are no more trains back. Our control arranged for her to be taxi'd home from the next stop as I felt responsible for getting her involved. These are the sorts of incidents/people we have to deal with whenever large amounts of alcohol have been consumed.
     
  16. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    I've never known someone pass out, yet remain standing while leaning against something with their arms stretched out to support them, let alone then also appear to a bystander to be concious yet possible drunk rather than ill.
     
  17. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Exactly! Too many posters on this thread seem to have been caught up in their emotions and have forgotten that this young woman died because the guard didn't do his job properly. While there are no winners here, there should be no doubt that the guard failed to protect the victim of this tragedy.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2012
  18. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    The vast majority of people on this thread, including most of us who are Guards, accept that the Guard was at fault. Some people though have dared to suggest that she, being heavily intoxicated and having Class B drugs in her system, might have had something to do with it too...
     
  19. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    I can certainly give a very personal example of such a matter. In July of this year, I was leaving a hospital ward at the end of visiting time at North Manchester General Hospital in an area that still has wide Victorian staircases. I had only just begun to descend, when I was affected by the first effects of a stroke and the last thing that I could remember was trying to grasp the old-fashioned wooden carved handrail. It appears that I was not successful before losing consciousness and I was told that I had fallen face forwards on the handrail and struck my face with some force.

    Thank goodness that this occurred within the confines of a hospital and I was given immediate medical attention and spent some time then as an in-patient on their Stroke Ward.
     
  20. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I typed this up as a response to a forum member so thought I might as well put it here.

    The victim is not mentally disabled. She had the mental capacity to decide for herself and chose to put herself in a vulnerable position. It is no doubt a contributing factor to her tragic end. In addition, it is illegal for someone underage to drink alcohol without parental supervision. The same applies to people using illegal substances. She did do something wrong because what she did was illegal. It would be naive to say that she should not bear any responsibility for the accident, albeit arguably not the main responsibility.

    The same applies to those people who supplied her with alcohol and drugs, which may or may not include her friends.

    The guard is directly responsible for what happened. I think most of us agree on this.

    All this verdict tells us is that the guard is at fault for the victim's death. What this verdict does not establish is all other contributing factors to this accident. This is irrelevant to this particular criminal proceeding because no one else is being charged and tried in this case.

    As for the victim's family, while they may not be directly responsible for her death, the girl's behaviour during the evening prior to her death brings out questions regarding her upbringing. This however does not necessarily mean that they are bad parents.

    I hope investigations into this tragic accident do not stop here. They need to bring all those responsible for the poor girl's death to justice in order that we as a society learn from it. If we hear no more about this case, I will be in no doubt that the guard was being used as a scapegoat for all those other people who are responsible for this girl's tragic end.
     
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