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I'm hoping for some advice please. I used my husbands annual season ticket to go into london on southwest trains yesterday. I had a free weekend travel pass in my bag, but when the inspector asked for my ticket I thought it would be easier just to show my husbands ticket without his photocard. His season ticket was confiscated and I think im going to be prosecuted. to say Im panicing about this would be an understatement, crying as I type right now. I now know this was an INCREDIBLY stupid thing to do, I know that 2 tiny children, no sleep, lack of judgement,severe post natal depression may not be extenuation circumstances enough... I've read a lot of these threads and so Ive got an idea of the sort of thing I need to do now, but I have some extra questions 1) His season ticket is new and worth £2500, are we going to be able to get it back?? most threads suggest waiting for the letter, but every week that goes past we will be spending £100's of pounds on rail fares hes already paid for so Id like to speed up the process if I possibly can. 2) Some of the threads mention being careful about what you admit to in case it gets you a criminal conviction, whilst others seem to say confess immediately, does anyone have any advice on wording of contriteness? Ive already drafted a letter so is it worth posting here for comment? thank you in advance,
Thank you for any advice you can give. Basically, I travelled without a ticket from Devon to Southampton as part of a temporary job (I could get this cost completely reimbursed). However, when I got to the station there were queues for the ticket booth (well no one was on it and there was a lengthy queue on the ticket machine). So I got on the train with the intent to buy the ticket from the guard (something I have done before but will never do again after this incident). The issue comes from the fact that the trains were extremely busy (completely unable to get a seat on the first train) and I was unable to find a guard. When I got to the change I went to the help desk (unmanned at the time) and the ticket machines/booths were on the other side of barriers when my train arrived within a couple of minutes. So I got on the train and thought worse comes to worse I can explain my situation and pay at the station. Could not find the guard on the second train and I was starting to panic. Now I get to Southampton central and go to a booth labelled buy tickets here or something like that and explain my situation. I get told she cannot deal and is calling for the manager. Well next thing I know I had an officer reading me a caution, taking my personal details, and questioning me (directly accuse me of fare avoidance, but he was surprisingly nice about it and I was cooperative and apologetic). He said he needs to put my details onto the system and I may get a letter. I had no financial gain from not getting a ticket and could easily show this (a single back cost nearly the same price £31) as my job would have covered the expense of the return ticket (£33). Well today I got the letter. I am tackling the evidence by just explaining what happened and avoiding mentioning that perhaps if they employed staff I might have been able to buy a ticket on the way. I may have to write two letters with one being a bitch about the services (then deleting it to get it out of my system) and the second being the professional apologetic letter. Now I have a copy of my recipe for the way back and I will be able to get a statement from my employer so I should avoid being accused of fare avoidance. I am expecting a fine which I will most likely just cough up the money for which is not something I really want to do when I am between jobs but I want to avoid any sort of criminal record. Any advice to consider when writing the letter? I will never just jump on a train and presume I will be able to buy on route again. I wish I had just hopped on a train to Southampton airport and got a bus into the city centre (no barriers and no potential £100 fine). Sigh.
Hi all, So a neighbor received a letter on Thursday with their address on it but with my name at the top. The letter reads, "On the Wednesday 25th April 2012, a person giving the above name and address was questioned by a member of rail staff about an incident that occurred whilst on stagecoach south Western Train property. Subsequently the matter has been reported to this office..." They go on to say I should reply in writing only within 14 days of the letter and ask me to fill out my details below. The details they ask for include, name, address, national insurance number and occupation. Now the thing is I wasn't on any South West Train that day - I remember it well and combined with the fact it was sent to the wrong address and them asking me for my national insurance number leads me to believe this might be dodgy. The letter look professional but I could knock that up in 30mins on Photoshop. Has anyone else had any experience of this before? I am planning to ignore it but wanted to see what you guys think first. Cheers!
Today I got back home and had the joy of finding some correspondence from the South West Trains Prosecution Department. The letter, I think relates to a time when I found out that I did not have the cash on me to buy a ticket but needed to get to work. I intended to buy a ticket and had the money to do so but I just didn't have it on me at the time, hence I could not pay any of the penalty fare either. (Now with the sob story over I will continue with my question.) Anyway in the letter there is an issue, firstly the date referred to as the "incident date" is not correct, not by a long shot and so the letter effectively refers to an incident that did not occur. Furthermore there is no reference to me having not payed a fare, it simply states to someone who gave my name and address having been questioned by a member of rail staff about an incident that occurred on their property. Had the letter that came through had the correct details I would have no option but to answer honestly and directly, however the details that they have provided means that the honest response is that I was not even close to their property on the date of the incident stated in the letter. So my Question is:: Do I have any obligation to correct the mistakes they have made on their correspondance? If am not obliged to do so, should I answer honestly that I was not involved in any incidents on the date that they mention? Do I risk a higher fine/ legal ramifications should they correct their mistake at a later date? Am i better of not responding at all and letting this incorrect date go to caught where the case would be invalid? Any replies will be greatly appreciated as I only have 2 weeks to respond.