I am not entirely sure what type of letter it is, as the letter only states what I quoted above and my name, date of the event and reference number. The form at the bottom I have to fill in asks my name, date and it says to write on the back my version of events, if I wish to. However, I presume typing out a letter and enclosing it will be acceptable?
Some more details:
I was travelling from a station where the ticket office was shut. During my journey, the ticket officer did not come round or ask to see any tickets. I was stopped for not having a ticket upon my leaving Manchester Picadilly station, I was walking through the exit doors. I had not previously passed any guards who had asked for a ticket. It was early afternoon and certainly not rush hour. It was a single journey and my ticket should have cost £1.85. I was going to include these details in my reply but after reading forums I see I should have actively seeked out a guard on the train.
I did walk past the ticket office in the centre of the station on my way out, without attempting to buy a ticket, as I was in a rush for an appointment and ultimately, although I was wrong, I didn't think it was my responsibility at that stage, after my single journey and near the exit, to buy a ticket for that journey or that I would be stopped at any other point for a ticket. Although I now know that was wrong and I would never do it again.
Two ticket guards came up to me. One cornered another passenger and one cornered me. I do not remember anything being said about it being used as evidence but at that point, I was very shocked so they may well have said it, but I don't remember it at all and I generally have a good memory.
The guard was quite harsh in dealing with me even though I had evidence there and then to show I always buy a ticket, including my Railcard and many, many past tickets which I had in my purse. He didn't pay any attention to that. As I said, this is my first and last unintended offence.
The guard who questioned me (he was not a police officer but he also didn't tell me his job role or position, he flashed his card very quickly and not long enough to read it) asked me why I didn't buy a ticket. I told him that the ticket office on my boarding station was closed and there was no guard to be seen on the train. He then asked why I hadn't bought one on my exit and I explained that if it was a returning journey I would have, as I always buy tickets, but I was in a rush for an appointment and this was a genuine mistake. He then took my name and address and rang someone up to verify them to make sure they were correct - so I am hoping he could see I was honest and up front - and that's all that happened really, until this point. He wrote down my explanation in a little black notebook and I signed it after checking it was what I said - especially about the ticket office at my home station being closed and there was no guard on the train.
"If they make you an administrative offer and you accept, the case will be closed." - I hope you are right. I would certainly pay up straight away and in full amount. I would certainly not want to continue this any longer than necessary and at this stage I would do anything to avoid a criminal record.
Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your help.