Hello all, i received a summons today and would greatly appreciate the advice of someone who knows what they are talking about. (Point three is my main concern/hope)
Here is a brief summary:
I have just recieved a magistrates summons, stating that on 10th January 2010 i was questioned between Surbiton and Wimbledon, having contravened railway byelaw 18(1) made under section 219 of the Transport Act, in that i did, in an area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, enter a train for the purpose of travelling on the railway without valid ticket entitling me to do so.
A witness statement from a PCSO is also included in the envelope, including plea entering etc. No information is included as to how i can appeal.
Just to state, fair enough; i was travelling with a Child Travelcard and i am 19 but at the time i literally had about £10 to my name. I would not do it out of choice but my journey was essential.
So my queries/problems:
1. I have now moved up north and am absolutely unable to attend court on the 24th August. Can i tell them that i will not be able to attend, without just copping out and paying them the fine/costs? Perhaps to appeal?
2. In the witness statement provided by the female PCSO (she was writing in a notepad at the time of offence) It states:
"At approximately 19.44 hours i cautioned him"
"I explained he was not under arrest and was free to leave at any time"
But im pretty much 100% sure that she did NOT state that i was "free to leave at any time", otherwise i obviously would have done so thereby avoiding this situation. Does it hold any bearing if she did not state this? Would i even be able to prove it?
3. The offence took place on 10th January 2010, but i have only received the summons today (12th August 2010). Now, it has been forwarded from my previous address, so we can assume perhaps 2 weeks delay at most from when it was supposed to be recieved. This still leaves a gap of more than six months between the offence and the issue of the summons. Is it not correct that there is a legal time limit which must be respected, between the time of the offence and the issue of the summons?
Any help would be greatly appreciated as it was a real shock to find a summons on my doorstep when i am trying to start a new life for myself!
Thanks in advance for any help