I am writing as I too have received a letter from TFL where they threaten to prosecute me.
The incident happened in the train in March.
I use a type of ticket that you buy in advance and fill in with the date of the journey when you travel.
I was going back home after work, tired, sleepy, and I filled in the date on my ticket
and accidentally entered a future date as I am so dumb I was convinced it was a different date.
I was so convinced that I didnt even bother to double check in the calendar.
When I arrived at the destination station, I was asked to show my ticket and the inspector checked it and told me, hey this is not today's date.
He wanted me to pay the fine and I asked, is there any way to avoid this, as it's clearly been an honest mistake?
and he said, yh I can take your details and the company will write to you to ask for your version.
I thought, that is really fair!! I will give my version and then they will decide whether I have to pay or not!!
Surprise surprise........"the company asking for my version" is a letter of intention to prosecute.
I have already replied to them explaining what happened but I assume it is going to be useless.
I have some questions, and I was hoping somebody here could help.
I have read I could be prosecuted in 2 different ways
(I copy and paste from another thread):
- The most serious is section 5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, criminal, requires intent to avoid fare, fine up to level 3 (£1000), or for second or subsequent offence can at discretion of court lead to imprisonment up to 3 months.
- Railway byelaws (both sections 17 and 18), criminal, strict liability (no intent needed), fine up to level 3 (£1000) except byelaw 17
My questions are:
- Will I know before going to court what law they are prosecuting me under? Can they change their mind at a later point?
- If its the railways act, do they have to prove to avoid fare? I might have a fighting chance at demonstrating I had no intent of doing so.
- If its the railway bylaws, then they dont need to prove intent.
However is there any circumstance under which their evidence would not be admissible?
The inspector was a 17 yr old bully and I believe he made some errors,
e.g. wrote comments on my witness statement on a section that was meant for my comments,
pressured me into signing,
did not explain why he was taking my details and told me it was just 'to give my version'
- Can I subpaena documents/CCTV for my defence?
I am a fighter and will certainly not go down without a fight.
At this point I dont care about the money.
I only care about being turned into a criminal.
I am most certainly not a criminal.
I volunteer for two charities where I work with children
and I need an enhanced DBS, so criminal record would mean no more volunteering.
I am really shocked. In my country these issues are not covered by criminal law,
they are covered by administration law and you would NEVER get a criminal record for such a matter.
I don't know who had this idea but it sounds really out of proportion.
Thanks for any help that you might give.