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  1. Hi, I have an annual season ticket zone 1-2. I recently moved to Catford and yesterday I was stopped by an inspector. I produced my ticket but this is zone 3. He then asked me where I was travelling from and where I lived. I have money on my oyster to pay for the difference. But then he asked me where I had travelled from in the morning. I said I had forgotten to tap in the morning as I was running for the train. He then cautioned me. I have been living in England for a few years but I don't understand what that means exactly? Seems this a legal term with consequences... He did not identify himself, I asked him if he would not fine me for the journey. He said he was cautioning me and reporting me to the company: First Capital Connect. He asked if I understood that I was free not to answer but that not answering would be taken the wrong way in a court of law. I was totally surprised and mesmerised. Should I not get a fine, a penalty? He asked for the details and was trying to check if my details were correct of where I lived although it seems he wasn't able to check He was asking if someone else lived with me? What does that matter? What is a caution exactly? Can they still opt for a penalty or will I more likely get prosecuted? Shouldn't there be some more precise information being given? I asked what was going to happen and what this meant and he said "the company will decide" Surely this is not the correct way? I was travelling on my own so I have no witnesses. I did admit to not having tapped in in the morning but he was just assuming I wouldn't pay. Shouldn't there be some good will? Can they check past journeys to make a case against me? Thanks for any help and comments PSF
  2. I recently received a notice of intention to prosecute from First Capital Connect, where they explained my case of ticket dodging and what the maximum penalties that can be imposed on me. I sent them a letter to explain the situation and they replied back saying they will be continuing with the case. However, I was travelling on the same journey again and was checked again by another Revenue Protection Officer. I explained the whole case to him and his opinion. He stated that going to court was the last possible option the Company would pursue. The Prosecutions Department did out of court settlements. And so, my question was, considering the on-fare was £20, what would be an appropriate amount for an out of court settlement? Thanks a lot!
  3. Hi everyone, In June 2011 I was caught travelling on an incorrect ticket and was interviewed under caution by a FCC revenue Protection Officer. He didn't take my signatures on the statement or his notes although I clearly remember him stating the caution and then proceeding with the interview. Thnaks to this forum, I got some good guidance on how to handle such a case and managed to pay a charge to FCC prosecution department and persuaded not to proceed further with the case (a substantially high amount imho but I was travelling without a valid ticket so was clearly in the wrong). Now,I am required to apply for a job which requires me to have a DBS/CRB Standard Criminal Record Check. I am worried that the 'caution' may show up on the criminal record although I am certain that the caution procedure was not strictly adhered to. Please can you advise if such a caution will show up on my criminal record? Your comments are most welcome. Thanks,
  4. I was caught by the revenue protection squad after travelling from one of the outer London zones on a Zone two oyster pass. I've been cycling in regularly and then getting the train then some days I admit that I neglected to touch in on my card and so just paid for the zone two. i've done this a several times and I admitted it to the revenue protection folk after they checked my card and saw the record. i have bought a range of zones 2, 3 and higher in the past on the card and when I'm not cycling i mostly touch in and out when i travel by train but sometimes forget and admit I sometimes dodge the fare. I received a letter from prosecutions saying they want to take me to Mag.Court and want me to send a letter explaining my side. I know what i did was wrong but i've got a new baby and a crippling mortgage so being skint all the time it felt easier to do what might otherwise have felt definitely wrong. I know I dodged some of the fare but on days I'm not cycling in I generally pay the full fare. What I want to know is how can they calculate a fine? How large the fine may be? And whether it;s in my interests to try and settle or not and how best to do that?
  5. I have received a letter from First Capital Connect saying that they intend to take me to court for travelling without a valid ticket AND allegedly altering my ticket with intent. My ticket was in very poor condition and approaching its expiry date (so I thought!). The magnetic stripe no longer worked and the print on the front had become smudged and worn out. Glancing at it in my travel wallet I genuinely thought that the expiry date was the 18 March - however FCC staff urged me to look more closely and said they believed that it expire on 10 March. I explained that this was an honest mistake on my part and that I would pay any fare required for my journey that day. However, this offer was not accepted and I was asked to give a statement and told I might receive a letter at a later date. I now plan to write back to FCC to reject the allegations and explain that the age and condition of the ticket meant that I made a reasonable and honest mistake. However, is this going to be enough to avoid a court case? Should I repeat my offer to pay a fine out of court or hold off? Is it worth contacting them by phone at this stage to try and come to a settlement? Any help or advice gratefully received!
  6. Hi There Caught up in an unfortunate situation and need advise on next steps. Issue : I and my wife are good, hard working, law abiding, tax paying citizens. On 29-Sep, it was a stressful day after bad arguments at home. We both were not in a good state of mind. I have taken the car away to a Friends place, while wife decided to visit Luton Mall with my son so would have an peace of mind. We usually go to Luton from Leagrave by our Car, but as I was away, she thought to take train (FCC is the TOC in this case). When approached Leagrave station, she didnt spot anyone in counter and the train was already due, so we have rushed to the train, as I already had my monthly seasons travel card. She never realised its incorrect to use my travel card, until She and my son (4 yrs) was stopped by the RPO officer in Luton Station. She is not used to monthly seasons ticket and its terms and conditions, as She works locally in Luton in Hospital. Only I commute to London for work. Also whenever we travel to Luton or London, we used to go by Car. So she never realised the mistake of use of travel card, until she was stopped and told so RPO. Then he interviewed her, taken details, address etc and cautioned her, explaining that we'll receive the letter for prosecution in 2 weeks time. It was completely an error in judgement, she completely understand the mistake now, as well the loss of revenue to FCC. She never intended to evade tickets, but its lack of understading of the rules and regulations of my seasons ticket. She called me only when she has got held and signed-off forms with RPO. We certainly have some lessons learnt. Apart of loss of 15 days worth of travel card confisticated (which is worth £230), we are also worried on the prosecution or any other criminal records this would cause. My wife is in medical profession and will signigicantly impact on her career. We both are very worried for the past week for this unfornuate sitation. We are happy to compensate all loss of revenue and any adminstrative cost in this regard for FCC and sure have our lessons learnt, behing first time. But I'm really loss of next steps here. Should we need to wait for the letter from Prosecution Section of FCC, or shall we proactively call them, explain this and seek out of court settlement. We wish to resolve the issue amicably without an criminal records. Kindly advise on how to proceed. Thank you again for your assistance. Answers she provided for the Questions in the Form : Do you have a valid ticket or authority to travel for your rail journey at this time : No Where did you commence your rail journey today : Leagrave Where are you travelling to by rail today : Luton Do you have the means now to pay for your rail journey today : Yes, got cash Was it your intention to avoid your rail fare today : Not really. Usualy I used to go to Luton to visit Luton Mall with my husband in car. Since my husband is away and I wanted to visit, I have taken rail. And no one in counter, in leagrave and I have just rushed to take the train.
  7. Hello All, I need some urgent help and advice here please. Let me first describe the sequence of events happened to give the details: On Saturday 9th We (myself, my wife and two kids (less than 5 years)) were travelling from East Croydon to London Bridge. We boarded the 11:50 FCC Brighton to Bedford train. I had my monthly zone 1 to 5 pass. For my wife we purchased the day card (£5.90). In the train we were asked to show the ticket. We showed it. Asked for railcard. I had that and showed it. It was completed faded and date was invisible – so inspector took the lighter and then checked – to our extreme bad luck the card has expired in May. It was fully my mistake that I did not realize it and used it. I should have renewed in time. We rarely use the card. Infact after its expiration date we had only used it on that day – first time. As my wife does not know to speak fluent English – I was talking to the officer and told him I will answer the queries. He asked me if I had brought the ticket – for which I answered yes. He then told you have been using the card which is 6 months of date for buying discounted tickets. I honestly apologized and told that this was a mistake. Told him we use this card very less. But I was not offered to pay fine/or difference fare. He asked me series of questions which I truthfully answered. Gave my correct address and he made a phone call. I guess that was a MJ10 or 11 form and I had to sign on it. In that one question was did you intent to evade fare – which I answered NO and said it was a very honest mistake and I apologized for it. I was not knowing what are the consequence at that time. He only said company will write to us. Later in the evening I did some reading on this forum to find that it can result in conviction too – which has completely devastated me. Firstly – I fully accept my mistake and apologize for travelling on expired railcard. I should have got it checked. Can people on this forum please provide expert advice on what to do next. Also Few specific questions I have is: 1. Should I send an letter to FCC prosecution dept now itself fully apologizing and remorse. Also willing to pay the fine + admin charges. 2. Even though I had my valid train pass, I was talking to the officer as my wife is not fluent in English, and in that situation – I did not realize / was knowing any court or prosecution would be involved. I have given my name and I guess now the further dealing will be against my name right ? 3. I am a single bread earner for my entire family with two kids and dependant parents back in my country – if this goes to court this would lead to a devastating effect on me. I am a hard working IT person and don’t want this incident to be referred to court. 4. I have been judiciously buying my monthly pass for last 22 months (almost £200 per month), never done anything silly like this before. This was our first and last mistake. We have not being using that railcard after expiration – this was the first instance only. Will these facts help in anyway. 5. I have been to london for a 2 year contract work. By end of this year I am supposed to go back to my country. Hence want to settle before I go. Respected Members – any help from you will be extremely helpful. Sorry for the long post – I wanted to put in everything to give clear picture. I am having sleepless night and not able to concentrate in my work altogether , I am really sorry for the incident but worried of the outcome.
  8. Hi All, I need some advise please My brother took my season ticket and was stopped by a revenue officer on the train. He didn't want me to get into trouble and so gave my details, the officer took the name he gave and address but did not do any further checks and said he believed him but took the ticket and gave him a temporary ticket for the rest of his journey He told me what happened when he got home and said that he was really sorry and that my details were given and i can send my photocard and a letter to the prosecution department saying it was me travelling So i lied and said it was me on the train and could I have my ticket back The other day we received a letter in the post for a MR. xxxxxxx (Not his name- the name addressed is not my name or his)... There was no statement taken just name and address however they have got the name wrong. I have not received anything from the FCC and dont know what to do. My brother wants to take full blame and doesn't want to implicate me but we are both at fault here and dont know the best way to respond. Should I write to them or wait to see if they send me something?
  9. This morning, Wed 20th March I travelled from Enfield Chase, changing at Finsbury Park. I touched in with my Oyster Card at the barrier between to get on the tube at Finsbury Park and a man watching over the barrier in plain clothes asked me to talk to his colleague. This colleague scanned my oyster card, I genuingly thought that I had tapped in at Enfield Chase and it turns out that I didn't which I explained to the inspector. He scanned my oyster card and mentioned some of my regular journies and asked where I was travelling to and told him Westminster. He asked if I had any ID with my address and I only had a passport, but then found a letter from HMRC and showed him that. He completed the form with my name and address and then cautioned me. I paniced and said do you do this to everyone and he said yes. I was led to believe that it was standard, but was quite shaken up about it. He then read off 3 yes/no questions from the form. One of them was about was I intending to pay the fare, I think I misunderstood this as I thought he meant to pay the on the spot fine and so got my purse out to indicate that I was willing to pay the fine. He showed me the form and I he had written that I had not touched in and I asked him to add 'in error', but he said I could write it in the comments section, which I did and then signed. I then asked if I had to pay an on the spot fine and he said no they will write to you and let you know if you will be fined or not. He sent me on my way without a carbon copy of the slip, without anything. I was really paniced at the time, and I still am now. Also: - The man was in plain clothes and not a uniform and neither was his colleague who first stopped me - He did not show me any ID - He did not explain who he was or what was happening - He didn't explain why he was cautioning me - They never asked me to pay an on the spot fine, even though I questioned about paying one Sorry this post is so long. I am really worried about this and would like to know what I should do. Reading some other posts I need to wait until they write to me in 6-8 weeks, but there are going to be a lot of sleepless nights in that time. Any help and advice about the best course of action is most appreciated.
  10. Hello I wonder if anyone can give me some guidance on a letter I received from First Capital Connect? I was on my way into work on the usual packed train and I was standing in the guards area at the end of the train. There were about a dozen other commuters in the same area (as there are everyday I get the train). The train was stopped at Essex Road and we were asked off the train. In the time we were waiting for our details to be recorded another 10-20 people were taken off each train as it came through the station - one train every 4 minutes at that time. I know that you shouldn't stand in there and I know that it is very weak to say this, but people do it everyday on every train that is running, only because it is impossibly full due to the late running of the service. the Notice of intention to Prosecute states it is for - Occupying a part of the train not intended for use by passengers. I have been asked to fill in a form giving my side of the story. Is there anything I can do apart from being polite, apologising and offering to pay their administration costs? I really do not want a criminal record/prison sentence/etc. Any guidance would be really helpful. thank you
  11. Hi, Having read through various other situations on this forum I have decided to write an apologetic and begging letter to FCC (I was caught with no ticket and gave a false address before giving them the correct one) and offer them an out of court settlement. I work with children and a court appearance would be disastrous. I have yet to receive any letter from them but I would like to write to them immediately as it is making me horribly anxious. I cannot find the address for the relevant department anywhere on the internet, can anybody help? Also, what is an appropriate amount to offer - I was thinking £250 + penalty fare but could pay more if that will make it more likely to be accepted Thanks EF
  12. Hello, I recently returned from a holiday in Poland to find a delayed letter from the FCC wanting to prosecute me for an unpaid fare. I was travelling from Hatfield towards Kings Cross and before the stop at Kings Cross the ticket inspector arrived in my carriage. I was in possession of a 16-25 Young Persons Rail Card but I lost it on earlier on that day which I told the inspector. The ticket Inspector wrote me a ticket, i provided all the necessary details and told him that I could prove my Young Persons card from the receipt i received when i was originally issued it. He said that he will still have to write a ticket and you can write a letter in appeal once i receive a copy of the penalty. However, a week later I was due to leave for Poland and the penalty still didn't come and when I returned it still did not arrive in my mail. Only today I found a letter with my name on it regarding the FCC prosecution written to the wrong address. I am clueless as to what i can do. I attempted to contact them but no response. I am an 18 year old student wanting to become a teacher and a criminal record is the last thing I would want especially before my career has even started. Any help to avoid getting a criminal record even if it means paying an extra fine i would gladly take. Many Thanks, Szymon
  13. Hi all, Some advice needed please. I've posted this on one other forum on a different site already but received conflicting opinions about what I should do. I'm posting here too in the hope that someone may be able to offer something more concrete on how I should proceed. On Friday I received a Notice of Intention to prosecute from FCC. The notice stated that on the date in question and at time.....my details were taken by a RPI. No offence is mentioned, only that my details were taken. It then continues to say: 'This letter is to inform you of our intention to take this case to the Magistrates Court and the enclosed form provides you with the opportunity to tell us what happened from your own point of view. Information should be both factual and honest.' A list of potential penalties that the court can issue is then given. I continued to read on to the section entitled 'Details of Offence' which read: 'On the above date you were stopped and questioned in regard to the following alleged offence(s): ' beneath this statement it is just blank, nothing is written, i.e. they have not stated details of any offence once again. I am then asked to provide my own statement of what happened. Can anyone enlighten me as to what this amounts to, in respect of the fact that I have not been told what offence they allege I have committed and what they intend to prosecute me for? Are they looking for a statement from me incriminating myself before they decide how to proceed? The reason I had details taken is that on the date in question I was pulled by an RPI for the offence of being in first class on a standard class ticket, returning to Stevenage from Finsbury Park (1 stop, 17 mins). In hindsight it was stupid to do that, but I should point out that I only entered first class as the rest of the carriage (standard class) was full and 1st was empty. On entering the train I had every intention to sit in standard. Looking back I should of stood up, but stupidly I didn't. When approached by the RPI I explained why I sat in 1st and offered immediately to leave and stand in standard for the remainder of the journey. I was told that he could not allow this and that I would have to pay the penalty fare. I explained that I could not pay there and then and so he cautioned me and explained that the matter would likely go to court. Having not been in this situation before and not knowing if this was normal or not I just accepted and waited for the letter to come through. Now that I have that letter no offence is mentioned, only that my details were taken. I feel like I should not make any statement without having been notified of the exact offence that I am being prosecuted for so that at a legal level I know what I am accused of before I make a statement. Am I within my rights to withold my statement at this time and is that the best approach? I am not trying to dodge any fine here and I am more than willing to pay the fine/fare to have this matter resolved, but does this kind of thing count as an admistrative error on the part of FCC which would see the case get thrown out of court anyway? Any help would be much appreciated. Kind regards.
  14. Hi All, I think I've gotten myself in a fair whack of trouble and I've seen that this forum has really helped a few people out who have been in my situation in the past, I was wondering if anyone would mind looking over this letter? Hopefully it will explain everything, i'm planning on sending it to FCC. If you could tell me what you thought I would be extremely grateful. Thanks in advance. FYI I have not yet received any summons, I was planning on printing this off and delivering it to the prosecution dept in person. Dear First Capital Connect, I am writing to you to explain a series of events which began on the 13th of July. On the Friday 13th of July 2012 at around 6pm I was traveling from Brighton to East Croydon on the FCC Bedford service. I was distracted, and missed my stop at East Croydon, and so I alighted the train at Farringdon, hoping that I might be able to extend my ticket upon arrival. I proceeded to the gates and asked a FCC employee if I could extend my ticket and was told that I could not, and that a Penalty fare would have to be issued. Not having the funds upon my person to pay the fare at that time, I was told I could pay the fare at a later date if I gave my name and address. I live with my mother, and did not want her to see any communications regarding fines because it would have caused myself embarrassment and her stress, and so impulsively, I gave the name of an old school friend. I regretted doing this immediately, but panicked and thought that the consequences would be fare worse if I did not continue, and stupidly I gave an old address for this person, thinking I might at least then be able to intercept the communications from FCC at the given address and pay the fine that way. I left the station, realising that what I had done was stupid, but unsure of what to do. After realising the potential gravity of my actions I returned to the station on the next working day (Monday 16th, at around 6pm) and confessed everything to a member of station staff, who I think was called xxxx. I told him that I was there to take responsibility for what I had done, and to provide the correct details. He told me I would have to return and talk to the member of staff who completed the form, in this case a staff member called ‘xxx’. He told me she would next be working on Wednesday 18th , and so I returned again this morning at 7am and confessed my grave error to this member of staff, saying that I was willing to accept the consequences and wanted to set the record straight. She gave me the address of the Prosecutions Department to write to, which is why you are receiving this letter. I have enclosed details of the false details which I regrettably gave, and my correct details are also enclosed. I cannot believe how stupid I have been, and I feel an inexpressible burden of regret for my actions and the harm they may have caused to everyone involved in this situation, and I would particularly like to extend an apology to the station staff involved. I realise that fare evasion costs the industry 400 million pounds a year, and I understand the need for a Penalty Fare system. Although I never intended to evade my fare, or to give false details, I can solemnly swear that I have learnt my lesson, and will make sure nothing of this nature ever happens again. I realise that if FCC choose to bring this before court I will have to accept that decision, but if you are willing to settle out of court I would be willing to pay my full penalty fare and offer compensation of £300 pounds to cover all of your costs to this date. I have enclosed both cheques as a token of my sincerity. I would be extremely grateful if FCC were willing to consider this, as a criminal conviction would ruin my career as a social worker, in which I which involves care work with vulnerable and disabled and adults and elderly people. I also have family in the United States, and a criminal conviction would mean I would very likely never see them again. I realise that I have made a grave mistake and now I must leave the issue in your hands. I apologise again for my stupidity and ask that you consider my plea. Thank you.
  15. Help, my son received a notice of prosecution for incorrectly using a child ticket (he's just 18!) from First Capital Connect. He admitted the offence and wrote a sincere letter of apology for his actions and asked to not be prosecuted because of extenuating circumstances, reading difficulties, youth, stupidity and never having committed an offence previously. A letter arrived today dated 3 days ago asking for him to get in contact at his earliest convenience. I have tried the number all day on his behalf, because I wanted the Prosecutions department to know that he was away, could not be contacted and would be in touch as soon as he got back on Monday. I've left messages on the answerphone, but no-one has got back. I then rang FCC customer relations and the man I spoke to said that if I can't get through he should go and see them in person. Does anyone know whether this would help reduce the possibility of him being prosecuted? I am very afraid for him, he is not the sharpest knife in the box and a criminal conviction will reduce his already small chances in life. We don't live near the Prosecutions Department so it will be a big time and expense cost for him to go - which I'm happy for him to do if it's not a waste of time. Would it help if I went with him?
  16. ive been sent a notice of intent to prosecute. and im not sure what to do. i was travelling from hatfield to kings cross with a std ticket and i sat in first class. The only reason I sat in first class was because the train was overcrowded and I had been waiting for the train for over an hour. I walked down to the end of the platform got on the train and sat down. I really wasn't aware that you could be prosecuted for doing so. when the ticket inspector asked to see my ticket i showed it to him and this is when he told me that i would be fined for sitting there. He asked me to pay upfront but i didn't have the money so i asked if he could send it to my house so i could pay it that way. He did caution me and ask me a list of questions which i answered but he didn't say anything about this going to court. However what i did do is give a fake name which the inspector called to check and passed. Im not sure how because that person does not exist in that house. name but my real address. This was not because i didn't have the intention of not paying but because i didn't want to get in trouble when the letter got sent to my house. Im not really sure what to do now. I didnt get on the train with the intention of sitting in first class and not paying i just stupidly sat there. I was just tired and cold and wanted to sit down. any advice would be appreciated as im not sure if i should call them, write to them or to ignore this as its not addressed to me. Im a student with very little money and i accept what i did was very niave but i would really like to settle this out of court. thanks
  17. Last month my ticket failed to work in a ticket machine and so I approached a guard to let me through the barrier. I purchase a weekly travel card from the ticket machine each week and pay by debit card. The machine prompts you to enter a photo card number prior to paying. On this occasion whilst purchasing my ticket I did not have my photo card to hand and did not recall the number from the top of my head. Rather than key in a random number i opted to type my name in as the photo card number so that it would be readily apparent that the travel card was mine (even if it did not match my photo card). When stopped the guard asked to see my photo card which i duly produced. The number on my travel card obviously differed from the photo card as I am fortunately not called GH 8578 V. I explained the situation to the guard and subsequently produced the receipt which tied up with my debit card number and also my driving license which demonstrated that the number entered on the travel card was in fact my first name. The guard acknowledged that on reflection the travel card could only be mine unless by some miracle i had happened upon a travel card valid for my journey and who's photo card number by a miraculous coincidence happened to be my name. I was told that this was fine and that he had to fill in a form and that I just had to verify what he said and then i could be on my way. I was not placed under any caution. His statement said that the number on my travel card did not mach the photo card - I agreed that this was true and signed and with my ticket returned was allowed through the barrier to board the train. I subsequently received a notice of intention to prosecute from FCC stating that I was found to be entering a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling travel. To say I was shocked by this is a slight understatement. Surely if in the opinion of the guard the ticket did not entitle me to travel I should not have been given back my ticket and allowed through the barrier? I should have been asked to purchase a ticket which entitled me to travel and that would have been that? I would also suggest that whilst perhaps I was in the wrong to have a ticket which did not display my photo card number it should be obvious to all concerned that this was not an attempt to travel without paying. Further to this at this point I was not on a train and so would question the offence raised? Can anyone suggest a suitable response short of explaining the facts and circumstances above....? thanks in advance
  18. On 12th April my daughter travelled from Brookman's Park to King's Cross. She purchased a return adding the travelcard option which came to £8.60 as she has a 16-25 railcard. As far as I can work out using National Rail's online journey planner this is correct. The route is shown as Brookman's Park to Hatfield and then change for King's Cross. She returned later that day but once on the train from King's Cross to Hatfield got a text from her boyfriend saying he could pick her up at Hatfield as he'd finished work early. There was a revenue inspector at Hatfield and she went straight up to speak to him asking if it was OK to end her journey early on this ticket. He immediately told her he would not let her through unless she paid a penalty fare and the cost of a ticket from Brookman's Park to Hatfield. She said she would therefore carry on to Brookman's Park but he took her ticket. She was asking why and he just kept saying 'because I'm not letting you'. She asked to speak to a supervisor for an explanation at which point he took her name and address, cautioned her and she is now being prosecuted under section 18 of the byelaws. We wrote to FCC in response to their initial letter but only got court summons in return. Will someone who understands the convoluted rail rules PLEASE explain what she did wrong. As far as we can work out she did have a valid ticket for travel and on checking the conditions of carriage you are allowed to end a journey early unless you have an advance ticket. Although the inspector took her ticket we do still have the receipt.
  19. I'm looking for a bit of advice and help please. I travel on the Thameslink line a few times a week and use a carnet ticket to travel. On the relevant day I had validated my ticket (putting the required date of travel on the ticket) before entering through the barriers at St Pancras but used a childs felt tip pen as I couldn't find my biro and needed to get the train. I put the ticket through the barrier at St Albans to leave the station, but it didn't work. Looking at the ticket the pen had smudged and the date was now illegible. I went over to the gate and showed my ticket to the inspector who then said it was an invalid ticket. To cut a long story short he didn't believe that my story re the pen and told me he would make a record of this which would go to the prosecution office to decide. I started to get upset (crying not angry) as I never intended to do anything wrong and felt awful being accused by the RPI in such a way plus the caution that he read out really scared me and the way he behaved towards me was very accusative and hostile .I have to add that I was in a hurry to pick up my young daughter and was nervous and worried about how long this would take. He asked me for my address which I gave even though i was shaking and upset. He asked for some ID but i didn't have any. I then noticed that I had given him the wrong street for my address and had given him the street I had moved from 5 months ago, but the correct house name and postcode. He checked with the office to validate my address but I wasn't listed on their records for some reason (even though we are on the electoral role). We then validated my address through phoning my husband. He then filled out the statement stating i was traveling with and invalid ticket and that i had given a false address. I left the station in floods of tears and went home. 2 weeks later i received a letter with an intention to proceed to magistrates court. I responded with all the information above hoping that they would see the circumstances which led to the smudging of the ticket and that due to the stress caused I gave my old street name to the RPI. I received this morning their intention, having reviewed my letter to proceed to court. I'm in shock really - I can't believe that they are actually taking it this far. Does anyone have any advice as to whether I should just be trying to settle out of court with them? Or whether I would be best getting legal advice? Do you have any experience of what they are like in court? The thought of having to stand up in court against FCC and their lawyers frightens me to death. Any help gratefully appreciated
  20. Hi My sister has been summoned to appear at magistrates for 'failing to hand over a valid ticket for inspection and verification when asked to do so by an authorized person contrary to Bye Law No 18(2) of the Railway Byelaws made under section 219 of the Transport Act 2000.' She admits she offence (which took place at the end of July this year) but does not know how to proceed. Can she settle out of court? If so how is this best approached? (writing to First Capital Connect Prosecutions Dept?) If so is there anything specific she should put in a letter? Is it worth calling their prosecutions dept to speak to someone and ask about settling? In the event they don't want to settle and she pleads guilty will this offence give her a criminal record? Thanks all
  21. Hello please could anyone advise me i just got my letter forwarded to me yesterday and among the letter was a court summon from the magistrate court for falling to hand over a valid ticket for inspection. On the said day i topped up my oyster but did not realize that my oyster card have been exhausted when i got to the station(Haringey) thinking that i got money on my oyster card i tapped in but as i had headphones on did not notice it did not beep when i got to (finsbury park). i got stopped for inspection and i explained this to the officer in charge but he still issued me with a caution and that he would take it further - this information was not included in the witness statement( from ticket inspector) included in the statement from court. please what the best way forward as i work in a school and i dont want to have any criminal record on my file do i plead guilty or not guilty. do i attend court or not. who has been in the same situation to help.
  22. A few months back I was caught at Hitchin station without a ticket. I wasn't on a train, I was connecting to another to get home. It is true that I evaded the fare deliberately, but it is also true that I hadn't had a square meal in two days and needed to get to my parents to eat something and scrub up. The guy who stopped me looked through all my old tickets and scanned my Oyster and told me I was being cautioned (which bizarrely started with me being read my rights - by a guy in a First Capital Connect uniform). I thought this would be followed by a request for the £20 fine, instead FCC sent a notice of intention to prosecute to my parents' home and required me to write a statement of what happened. I wrote that I had no money and deliberately went through the barrier without a ticket. Apparently honesty is not advised these days because they seem to view this as a sure-fire win and seemed more willing to prosecute having received my admission of guilt. The fare evaded by me was £3.70 which is being claimed back plus £110 in court costs. I am self-employed and frequently poor and live in Berlin, Germany so I will have to plead guilty unless I want to fly back to attend magistrate's court. I have to inform them of my financial situation (frequently awful, sometimes great) but I have seen from other posters on here that the magistrates will not take that info into account when passing judgement. I only hope I can pay when I get the fine. Whatever happened to the £20 penalty fare? Does anyone have experience of dealing directly with FCC's Prosecutions Department?
  23. Dear All, PLEASE HELP! SHOULD I HAVE RECEIVED A COPY OF THE WITNESS STATEMENT THAT I WAS ASKED TO SIGN? I was recently caught using my husband's season ticket on a train into London. I was cautioned and signed a Witness Statement. The inspector said that I would hear from the prosecution department in the post. I then received a 'Notice of Intention to Prosecute' letter from First Capital Connect asking for information from my point of view. I explained that I was extremely sorry, detailed the reasons why I had done it and pleaded that they didn't take this to court. I then received a letter from FCC saying that my comments have been taken into consideration but they will be progressign with my case. My husband wrote a subsequent letter begging them not to take the matter to court but they have ignored this and I have now received a letter with a court date. With this court date letter I also received a copy of the Statement of Facts that will be read in court. These include a quote from the "Passenger Comments" section of the Witness Statement that I had left blank (purposefully not wanting to incriminate myself further). This is obviously the first time I've seen it and I have not had a chance to dispute what has been written. This section has had something written in it in the first person that I never said, and would certainly never have signed. Obviously my signature is at the bottom but I know that the comments have been added after my signature. I realise that it's my word against theirs and with my signature on the document I imagine that I don't have a leg to stand on. However, I am wondering if the Inspector has followed the correct procedures and if not could I get the case thrown out of court? I am intending to plead guilty as I did travel without a valid ticket and realise the seriousness of my actions. However, I really don't want to go to court and certainly don't want a criminal record. At 37 years of age I have never been in any trouble whatsover I am absolutely gutted. Please can you let me know if I should have been given a copy of the Witness Statement at the time of signing, or indeed with the original letter when I was asked to write my version of the events. And does anyone have any additional advice to avoid a criminal record? I am willing to pay any penalty fare and fine they feel appropriate and said this in my original letter to them which they have decided to ignore. Thank you all in advance
  24. I have spent the whole day in tears which normally I would solve by meeting up with a friend and talking things through over a bottle of wine but this time I really am too ashamed to tell even my closest friends. Plus they could not provide the same level of advice as the people on this forum. I have spent literally the entire day on these threads and think it's great there are people who are happy to help. What happened to me started rather innocently. I sat in the nearest available seat on a First Capital Connect train From Welwyn North to King's Cross on my way to work one morning in August and didn't worry about it as I had a monthly season ticket. This was the first time I ever encountered a conductor on one of these trains (I had started my job in London in June). They advised me I was sat in first class, although it is quite hard to tell the difference when the train is so packed - that compartment was empty in comparison, but I didn't really see how it was different to the rest of the train. I think I must have sat in those seats on previous occasions also without even realising when the rest of the train got too full. I honestly didn't think about it as I thought I had some sort of a superior ticket covering everything, because £223 is loads! They also advised my ticket only covered standard class travel - obviously not so superior Anyway, I said if that's the case I said I would upgrade and the lady said "that's 20 quid then". For some reason, instead of paying and shutting up, I decided to argue about how unfair the situation is. I got so into the frame of mind that it was "absulutely out of the question to pay £20 to upgrade to first class" - at this point that's what I thought it was, I didn't realise what they were doing was giving me a chance at paying the Penalty Charge. I believed this was so unfair when I spent so much on a monthly ticket and thought I had a right to take a seat on the train, especially as that particular carriage was much emptier than the others with free seats (now I know why... I honestly thought first class restrictions were only for long journeys, not commuter trains). When the conductor requested my details, I completely made up an address - somehow, in my stupid morning brain I thought this was the "fair" thing to do as "I clearly paid" and "did not deserve to be charged more". I am so ashamed now, it was just the pressure of the situation really and wanting to be left alone. I am not sure how I thought they were not going to check it out, but I certainly did not think this was a serious situation. I just thought it would be a bit of a laugh to see how things pan out. If by "a laugh" I mean getting questioned by the British Transport Police upon my arrival at King's Cross station and realising "oops, this is serious, I better give them my real details" then, yes, it was HILARIOUS (( I honestly don't know what was up with me that morning. I am a 26 year old girl, quite lively and generally happy-go-lucky taking things too lightly sometimes, but this was too much. So I provided my real details at that point to a female member if the British Transport Police. Luckily, st least she was sympathetic. She actually said she completely understood why I did it as the prices are ridiculous, but of course this still did not make it ok. What I am really upset about though is that at that stage, the FCC staff assured me that since I had done nothing like this ever in the past, they will not prosecute. Two months later, I am facing prosecution and because I attempted to provide false details, this is being treated as a criminal offence and I am looking at a criminal record, up to £1,000 fine and the maximum penalty can be up to 3 months in prison. Not so funny now. I have just finished my Masters degree and started a dream career in London; however, with what may happen, this could be a short-lived one. I feel so stupid for not realising the seriousness of the situation there and then. I thought along the lines of "I have paid, they can't touch me" and it was this arrogance that made everything worse. I will do my best to settle out of court, but it is serious and they have no reason to agree to that really because, as I have found out now, under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 this is technically fraud. Such a small thing, yet it could mean that I may not be able to get a job with some companies that are strict about the checks they carry out on prospective employees, and if I do get a criminal record, I may never be able to travel to America. I am absolutely gutted and can't believe this has happened to me. Do you guys think there is anything I can do to increase my chances of settling out of court? I have realised the seriousness of doing something like that and would never dream of doing this again. My family come from a country where honesty is a big thing in our culture and in my family and they'd be so disappointed. Also I would like to go to the US one day and I can't imagine not being able to. If anyone knows anything I could do to settle out of court and what a reasonable amount would be to offer, please let me know. I was told today over the phone by the Prosecution Department that I should send this in writing asap. Any help is much appreciated and I am honestly really sorry about what I did.
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