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Wriggler7

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  1. They 'face the same potential penalty' but I would imagine that a Court will see the difference between avoiding part of the fare or intending to avoid the whole fare.
  2. I don't think it is rude to inform you to write. It is correct. Why one case goes to Court and another does not is not important, the issue is what to do now that you have a summons. What we will want to know is what 'act and section' is being used. That will make a difference to our collective suggestions.
  3. I think that everyone involved in 'rail fare evasion' cases, prosecutors, potential defendants and the rest, need to keep perspective. Over the years, I have read a lot of 'evidence', seen many photographs, listened to many 'victims' and offenders. In my experiences, fare dodging is at the bottom end of 'villainy'. One of my heros is a man called Hartley Shawcross, I have a picture of him on the wall of my office, and one or two of his quotations on the office notice board. Whenever I think that I have read the worst 'story' ever, I compare it with the evidence that he was oblig
  4. As for 'an hour' taking details, I am a pedantic old chap. Many people I speak with tell me that they were held for 'hours'. The questions 'have you got a ticket' and 'what is your name and address' ought to be completed in less than 10 minutes. I have on many occasions accurately timed 'incidents', very easy if CCTV is available, or the matter was recorded, and very often both witnesses and alleged offenders are wildly wrong with their 'time estimates'. 'An hour' suggests the thought that the incident developed into rather more than a 'no valid ticket' chat.
  5. Codja and I would like to know what station you got on at to start your journey home, on the 'morning after'. If the ticket office was shut, and if the machines were not working, there may be a defence. If there is a defence, then you can tell FCC to 'go away'. Before you do, you would need to know if the ticket machines were working. FCC may very well settle for a payment equal to their costs and the unpaid fare. It saves them work, and gives them a 'result'. I must say, I am interested in how they calculate their costs, Essex Magistrates would be a tad sniffy about '£130.00', they only
  6. If I have followed this correctly, the matter is at the stage when FCC are 'thinking about it', and as such 'criminal record' thoughts may be premature. However, you ask some straight questions, which deserve straight answers. The one thing that you will learn with 'regulation' is that there are more twists and turns in a straight answer than the route taken by an old sow back to the sty after eating fermenting apples. Railway Byelaw offence convictions are not recorded on the criminal record. Offences charged (and proved) under section 5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889
  7. Magistrates do have sentencing guidelines for this type of offence. How the 'guidelines' are applied is a matter for a Court on the day, but generally, for a byelaw offence, the Bench will start thinking in the region of a fine of £175.00. A 'guilty plea at first opportunity' will reduce fines, good mitigation will reduce them further, and 'low income' further still. Aggravating features will increase fines. They would be things like 'behaviour', did you call the Inspector things that would annoy him, or were you 'unpleasant'? Previous convictions will potentially increase fines, and (if the o
  8. There are two sets of issues which you need to concentrate on. Is there a 'defence'? If you travelled on 'the first train', were there facilities at the station where you boarded to obtain a ticket? Was the ticket office open, or were there self service machines that were working? The second set is 'what mitigating factors' are there? A court is likely to want to know what you were doing prior to missing your 'last train'. Were you working a late shift at a hospital, giving aid and comfort to elderly and unwell former Magistrates, or were you out on the town, dancing round your hand
  9. As regards what questions the rail prosecutor will ask, if the charge is Byelaw 18, then there are very few questions likley. The evidence comes from 'the Inspector', you will, before any Court hearing, have a copy of the Inspector's statement. In a trial, the 'prosecution' evidence is presented first, you (or your lawyer) can then cross examine the witness. the most important questions would seem to relate to what happened at Sheffield. It is quite likely that the Inspector will come armed with various types of reports, which will show whether the ticket office machines were in use, and
  10. There are 'service level' which train operators should stick to, no doubt a cleverer man than I can look up queuing standards for Sheffield, but 'reasonableness' tests with a strict liability Byelaw are odd. The requirement is simple. If there is an opportunity to get a ticket, then the passenger simply must have a ticket before travel. If there were exceptional queues, then the train operator will notify 'other stations' that some travellers have been allowed on without tickets. Having been to Sheffield, I doubt that such a situation arises, unlike a station such as Tilbury, normally ha
  11. A common 'theme' in many threads is the resentment at being cautioned 'like a criminal'. At the time that any investigator cautions, the person being spoken to must have done enough that there is suspicion that he or she has committed an offence. The caution is one of the requirements in place to prevent 'investigators' from taking advantage of a person during question and answer. This country has a highly developed, and in some eyes, very liberal, approach to investigating 'crime', if a ticket inspector cautions you, perhaps you would care to reflect on the situation that might app
  12. I think that this one needs a 'Tfl/London Bus' expert. I never get involved with cases west of the M25, so I have no expertise in dealing with 'Tfl'. I have a vague thought that some of their matters are passed to 'CPS' (Crown Prosecution Service). Bottom line is that there is enough to prove 'theft' here, albeit 'by finding'. I would suggest that you need a carefully written response to Tfl, and that you might want to get personal advice, possibly from 'CAB' or perhaps from a high street solicitor. In an open forum, there may be too many questions, and potentially incomplete a
  13. A rare chance to take the 'p' out of Codja! His suggestions are spot on. When you do write to a prosecutor, or a Court, read your letter back to yourself before posting it. If you have just made a long journey from an exotic holiday, or perhaps enjoyed some very fine wine, simple mistakes will creep in. If writing is not your strongest talent, it may be wise to get a trusted mate to look it over. Avoid language that you would not normally use, no one 'proceeds in a northerly direction up the A20' we actually 'drive from A to B', and the Court, or the prosecution team will be lookin
  14. Seems that Codja and I were AWOL at the same time, not in the same place, I hasten to add. Is it a good idea to attend Court? Generally, yes. However, 'rail fare evasion' cases are very often dealt with without the defendant present. If the defendant, the 'alleged fare dodger', writes to the Court, their letter of mitigation will be read out. Take care with letters. I have just looked at another posters 'draft', with a spelling mistake in. I hope that he will not be offended, but the difference between 'writing' and 'writhing' would make a clerk to Magistrates smile. Whe
  15. Whether or not the FCC chap is a Magistrate will make no difference to an individual case. He would not be allowed to sit in any cases where his employment would potentially conflict with his impartiality. All of us who spend time in Court try to guess how a Court will view the cases we work on. Whether we are presenting a prosecution or a defence, it is sensible to try to look at our own positions from the persepective of the 'Bench'. After more than 30 years, I still cannot fully predict outcomes.
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