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  1. I wont list all the details but i used my husband season ticket today and got caught. I stated he was aware of me having his ticket but i only told him this as i was on the train in the morning and got caught on the return journey home. Wish i was not so honest telling the truth but there i am, i shoulg have never took his ticket. I dont think it would look good having made a false journey once already plus it is a season ticket, plus the owner was aware of this. As you advised, i will await for the letter from swt but sigh,, , dont really wanting to end a year in this way but read all the posts related to fare persecutions on this site which help.. .just waiting for the letter
  2. Hello, I don't have any questions, but I used this forum a lot to read similar cases to mine and as mine has been resolved today I thought I'd share my story as a source for anyone who has the same problems. I have had a gambling problem for a few years, which often leaves me short of money each month. Unfortunately, this led to me making the terrible decision to buy a zone 1-2 travelcard when I live in zone 6 as the station I go to doesn't have barriers. I often work late so I rarely get the train home (usually a cab paid for by the company I work for) and so I justified it to myself this way. I would say that I did this for around a year and a half until I got found out. I didn't get caught in person, I just got a letter from SWT requesting that I attend an interview. I was very panicked, particularly as it was around 3 weeks waiting and the letter only said it was due to an inconsistency either on or before a certain date. I made sure I bought the correct ticket from the day I received this letter, and attended an interview mid April. I didn't take anyone with me, and I'm glad of that. A man came to collect me from the station entrance and was quite abrupt, making me more nervous, but explained that they would ask me questions and they were looking for an admittance of guilt. I was taken to the interview room where it became apparent that this man was a scribe (they were unable to record the interview for some reason). The man conducting the interview put me at ease quickly, he was kind and calm, offering me a break whenever I wanted. I was surprised to see that they had an entire file on me, including my facebook profile picture and my place of work. This worried me instantly as I work for a finance company and therefore any prosecution could ruin my career. The interview took a very long time, around 2 and a half hours in total as everything was handwritten down. Every time they start a new line of questioning they have to re-caution you and this being written down was quite annoying and just made me more nervous. I answered everything honestly. I will admit I thought about lying and saying it had been less months but I had noticed the transcript from my oyster card had a date from 2015, so everything I had read here about them only being able to go back around 8 months is not correct. I was completely honest and apologised for my actions. Once the interview was over, I was taken to get a copy of the transcript, I can't say I particularly wanted it but I was glad I did. The man who conducted the interview took me aside and said it was not up to him what would happen but the likelihood of me being offered a settlement was very likely due to the following reasons: 1. I am only 23, and prosecution would likely result in future lost revenue for SWT if I lost my job 2. It was a first offence 3. I had come to the interview and been honest I then had to wait a few weeks, I got the letter a month after my initial interview. My total settlement was offered at around £900, with over £700 of this being admin and operational fees. I will say I was surprised as I was expecting to be asked to pay around 3-4 times this amount. The total avoided fee charge was only £150 which again I was surprised at and very generous of SWT. I am paying the bill today and hopefully that will be the end of the matter. I would like to thank CAG for being a place I could use to ease my mind, there was one thread in particular that I can no longer find that seemed to be very similar to mine that really calmed me prior to the interview. And to anyone who finds themselves in this situation, it is not the end of the world but it is a good wake up call to make sure you make some changes in your life. I'm looking forward to putting this behind me.
  3. Hi All, Many thanks for reading this entry, if anyone has any advice just to settle me that would be ideal. I sent an email to the south west train customer service desk before the letter arrived but haven't heard back as of yet. The events were as follows I had been travelling to xxx from xxx late afternoon and proceeded to tap my contactless card at the entrance gates to xxx train station. The gates opened and my card was logged. I proceeded to take the train towards xxx and upon my arrival, attempted to leave the station by tapping my card out, I was unable to do so. I was in a rush at the time and spoke to the gate attendant who told me 'sort it out the other side'. In my confusion I left the station on the belief the issue has been rectified, i told my friend who had been waiting for me at guildford train station who told me if i didn't tap out, i would have an incomplete fare and just be charged 8.80, i was then reprimanded by a revenue enforcement agent who overheard the conversation. At the end of the conversation the agent informed me that I had deliberately avoided paying the fare to which I had responded that it was merely an oversight as the maximum fare imposed on my card for not tapping out would have been more then the cost of my journey and so it was not in my best interest to avoid the fare. I just got back from working abroad for four months and had only travelled around London using my debit card since i was home. I assumed that xxx would have the facilities available but i was wrong in this assumption. My job relies on me having a US visa, and with a possible criminal record i would most definitely lose my job. I have one previous penalty fare from a few years ago at the beginning of student years where a drunken haze led me purchase the wrong ticket. I paid the upfront fine and didnt hear back from them after that. Can anyone tell me what the likelihood of SWT settling out of court in this matter. I have a transcript of my travels from the TFL website that shows i tapped in at xxx. Im sure this is a repeat of the plenty of posts on here but i am yet to see one where a contactless card was used. Many thanks for taking the time to read this, any help would be appreciated.
  4. Back in July I bought a ticket at Richmond station (Zone 1-4 travelcard) and travelled into Waterloo I used the ticket to enter the platform (The barriers are 99% in use at the station and always at the time travelled i.e. 17.30). Once I arrived at Waterloo and upon getting to the barriers I realised I no longer had the ticket. I approached the attendant and explained the situation he then instructed me to see the Enforcement officer. Having been once bitten (not enough balance on my oyster on one occasion four years ago) I considered just using my oyster to go through but stupidly thought I would be able to put my point across. Once getting there I was told a) I was liable for a £20 fine b) i had to buy another ticket. I explained that i'd bought the travel card using a credit card and could provide the statement as proof. Since then i have sent an appeal letter into Iracs, accompanied by proof of transaction and the appeal was rejected on the basis it arrived at the office after their deadline (the fact they backdate all of their correspondence a minimum of 7 days makes this a touch ironic). To summerise I replied that I will wait for them to refer it back to SWT and deal with them - I have now received an letter from Capital Resolve threatening a home visit and am debating whether to just pay the £90 fine. At the same time I would hate to give a penny to a bullying debt recovery agency without it absolutely being the best option. Having read a few of the other threads on this site and it would appear much of the advise is to pay the fine that said I have not found a case where a ticket was bought and lost on route. I have approached SWT separately but as expected they have said they cannot discuss any matters of a penalty fare (very quick response time) and I then asked separate to this specific fine - do they have access to a time stamped transaction history at the station? (asked twice - with no response at all) My personal view is that I am not in the wrong at all and would hope once this is referred I can actually put forward my case - equally i don't want to risk a mark on my record if the odds are against me. Any advise or experiences anyone might be able to provide would be greatly received.
  5. Good Morning All, I was up in London from 9/2/15-13/2/15 on a training course. I bought a car parking ticket at Salisbury station for the duration and put it up in the top corner of my windscreen. On the Wednesday I got back in the evening to Penalty Notice attached to my windscreen about 6 inches below the ticket. I wrote to CP Plus Ltd using the address given on their Notice (which helpful states that appeals can be sent in writing to that address). I attached copies of both my actual parking ticket and also the receipt from Salisbury clearing showing the validity purchased and the date it was bought. I heard nothing more until 61 days later when I had a Penalty Notice Reminder through the post telling me that I now owed them £120. They had completely ignored my earlier appeal. This notice also came from an office in Ashton Under Lyne. I phoned them up to seek some explanation for this letter. Apparently they had not been sent my appeal letter but advised me to email their enquiries and resubmit through them. This I did that very day. I got a response from the enquiries "people" yesterday which basically said we are always in the right, pay up. I believe that by not responding in a timely fashion to my original written appeal they have forfeited any right to claim their money. I also believe that by using two completely different postal addresses they are indulging in a deliberate attempt to misdirect the public for their own pecuniary advantage. Lastly, having provided incontrovertible proof that I had a legal parking ticket, I believe they should withdraw their Notice. I would be interested in hearing others' views. Attached are the original parking notice, my original letter to the company and copies of my ticket for parking at Grateley and the receipt for same.
  6. I had a weekly ticket, but forgot my photocard. My ticket was taken from me (still had 4 days left on it) and I was questioned by an RPI guy. Unfortunately, I have no recollection of what I said to him because being forced to stand on a crowded train platform caused me to have a panic attack. I think I was so desperate to get out of there that I just agreed to everything he said. A few months later I get a letter saying that I had 14 days to give my side of the story. I wrote back apologizing for my error and I also sent them the photocard. I have had panic attacks and chest pains ever since this happened and I'm so scared that this will go to court. I know I've brought all of this on myself but I really need to know how much trouble I am in. Thanks.
  7. Hi All, In late November last year, I was stopped at London Waterloo, having walked through open turnstyles without a ticket. On 5th January this year I received a letter from SWT Prosecutions Department asking me to submit any mitigating factors to them within 14 days, which I did. Then a couple of weeks ago, a summons arrived, with 2 charges: 1) Did travel, or attempt to travel, upon a railway without having previously paid the fare and with the intention to avoid payment thereof, 2) Did contravene Byelaw No.9(2), in that you did without permission from an authorised person, enter or leave railway premises without passing through the manned or automatic barrier, in the correct manner. Background. In August 2014 my family moved to Farnham, Surrey, having lived in London for 15 years. From then on I began commuting into London Waterloo from Farnham, buying a weekly season ticket each week. On the day in question, I'd got on the train before realising mine had expired. Usually a ticket inspector checks everyone's tickets and offers new ones to people wanting to purchase one. The train was unusually busy, and I did not see him before arriving at London Waterloo. On approaching the ticket barriers, one was open, so I stroud through. At that point I was detained by a very hostile ticket inspector, who alledged I'd barged through behind a fee paying passenger, and the rest is history. My gut feeling for a defence here, is that the title of the first charge, simply isn't true. I never had the 'the intention to avoid payment thereof', and renewed my season ticket later that day in order to commence the return leg of my journey. I spoke to the Prosecutions department recently, who said settling out of court was unfeasible. They also said that they'd looked into whether I was a season ticket holder, but nothing turned up - as I only buy weekly tickets, as can't afford the lengthier ones - and coupled with the fact that I had barged behind a passenger, a prosecution was appropriate. The honest fact of the matter is that the gate was open, and I barged behind no-one. I simply - and niaively - said to myself, I'll renew my ticket later, which I did. I can deal with the Byelaw infringement, but have relatives in Australia and the US, and am likely in the future to need CRB checks, so am keen to avoid a conviction. I've left this rather late, as have to be in Court at 10am on thursday, so am desparate for any advice anyone can offer. Jamie
  8. Hi In August of last year I was caught by an inspector on a train to Waterloo, with the wrong ticket. I had purchased a cheaper ticket that would not reach my destination, when I was questioned I panicked about the fine and initially gave a different address to my own. I then admitted this and signed the inspectors statement. I won't make excuses, it was the worst decision I have ever made and was something that has caused me great pain and regret since. All I can say is that I was travelling up to a temporary work placement for which I was not getting paid and was short of money at the time, also my mum is a recovering alcoholic and had a relapse the previous day. These are the only factors I can give that contributed to what was a stupid and idiotic action. I cannot stress enough the pain and regret I have experienced since. It was a first time offence and I'm not usually the sort of person to get in trouble. In December SWT sent me a letter asking for further details to which I duly responded, humbly apologising as much as I could and asking whether they would consider settling out of court. I have just heard back from them yesterday as I have received a court summons to attend in February. I have read many forum posts and believe the next step I should take is to ring them up and try to get them to agree and out of court settlement. Is this the best way to go about this? James
  9. Hi All Looking for some advice / guidance please. Yesterday I received a letter from SWT Prosecution Department to attend an interview at Richmond Station next month under caution in accordance to the police and criminal evidence act 1984 in relation to use of my weekly rail ticket back in June. I have now been travelling from Shepperton to Wimbledon every week day. I had always paid the correct ticket. Sometimes daily ticket sometimes weekly or monthly depending on cash flow. 3 years ago my partner gave birth to twins, I stumbled on the fact that Hampton which is only 2 stops and 7 mins from Shepperton on average was around £20 per week cheaper than travelling from Shepperton. £80 per month is a hell of a difference when you have two extra mouths to feed!! Shepperton did not and does still not have barriers. when money was particularly tight I decided to purchase a weekly ticket from Hampton to Wimbledon. As money was getting tighter and tighter this became more frequent and I was never challenged on the train or at Shepperton. There was a couple of times when the revenue team turned up en mase at Shepperton and I would either just buy a single from Shepperton to Hampton or on some occasions just show them my weekly and they don’t even read the properly and just let me through. I knew this was wrong but it just became the normal thing to do , buy a weekly ticket every week. On the day in question, I was traveling from Shepperton to Wimbledon there are no ticket barriers at Shepperton I boarded the train as normal. Just as the train departed the station a revenue protection office came through the carriage asking to see tickets. I opened my railcard which she looked at quickly then moved on slightly. She then back tracked and asked to look again more closely. At this point she noticed that the ticket was for travel between Wimbledon and Hampton. She asked what station I joined the train. As we had only just departed Shepperton ( this is the start of the line) I could hardly say anything other than Shepperton. She asked why did I not have ticket for travel between Shepperton and Hampton. I said I normally start my journey at Hampton and just forgot to pay for the difference. She was just about to let me pay for the difference when her colleague came through asked what was going on. Once explained he took over and started asking for ID and personal details, The lady officer said to him are you sure you want to do this and he just carried on and started to call someone to get ID verification. Once verification had been established he said I was now under caution and would now write down in his black book questions and my responses. He asked me to clarify thing like where did I get on today, where I was going. Did I have a ticket for the correct journey etc etc. The final question he asked and before he asked this he reminded me that I was under caution was “how long have you been traveling on this journey with this ticket type”. As for some reason I still had all my tickets up to November last year in my ticket wallet which he was holding I said “about a year”. He then re read all the questions and answers and made me sign his book, gave me a card with his badge number , advised that I may be contacted by the revenue team in the future and let me carry on with my journey. Since that day I have now stopped buying tickets from Hampton and have purchased weekly and monthly tickets from Shepperton. I deeply regret my actions, I have never been in any trouble in the past. The last 3 months have been hell for my family and myself waiting to see if the SWT were going to pursue this matter. Now the letter has arrived I need some advice on how I should proceed with this interview. Do I need to attend? Do you think SWT have a history of my previous tickets? Do I need a Solicitor ? Can I offer to pay back the difference and or fine and costs at the interview or am I destined to end up in court? As I have mention I have a young family and the thought of ending up in court and possibly prison is scary. Many Thanks
  10. Hi all, first post here but i was looking for some expert advice please. A few months ago i was traveling with a standard ticket on a packed South West Trains (SWT), i managed to squeeze on to the overcrowded train and was jammed in the vesting area between first and standard class. I had recently had surgery on my knee and it had been it was in the first few days after i was off crutches. It was extremely difficult and uncomfortable to stand for a long period of time in a packed vesting area. After waiting 15 minutes in extreme discomfort the next stop arrived and some further passengers got onto the train. At this point I couldn't stand any longer so i went into the empty first class carriage to take a seat. Just my luck 5 minutes later, a Revenue Protection Officer literally bursts into the first class carriage and angrily demands to see my ID. I was initially in shock, it felt like i was being arrested for robbing a bank, such was the ferocity of the protection officers! I explained to them the situation but they were very stubborn and claimed i was breaking the law. I offered to pay for a first class ticket or go back into standard class they said they had to take a statement of the offense - they also stole my weekly travelcard which had a few days remaining. I had wrote to SWT with my mitigating circumstances but they have completely ignored my case and are arranging a court date. I have been accused of committing an offense contrary to the Railway Byelaws: Bylaw 19... "In that you did, without permission of an authorised persion, remain in a seat, berth or any part of a train where a notice indicates that it is reserved for a specified ticket holder or holders of tickets of a specific class" What options do i have? - frankly i can't afford a solicitor so i was thinking of attending court and pleading guilty with mitigating circumstances. I find it extremely disturbing that after having paying tens of thousands of pounds to SWT over the last decade, the one time i needed a seat i am being charged with a CRIMINAL RECORD! It's simply absurd, for what would have been a £11.70 ticket which i have offered to pay but has been rejected. I admit i was wrong by being in that carriage but it seems inhumane given i was not evading fares at all. There seems to be no appeal process now. so i would like to hear from people who have been through this on how i should proceed in court? Thanks!
  11. Hi all, I’ve spent some time looking at this site and it’s finally time to put forward our situation and get some advice from the helpful people on this forum. It’s very similar to the situation of Noveum and the current one of Sharris 100, but as ever slight variance on each situation I guess. My wife took my season ticket, without the photocard (no, it was not given to her, I must stress, I had been at home working that day and it was sitting on the side in the kitchen) on a one off occasion to go up to London. Needless to say she was caught on the way up to London on SWT. From reading here, no reason and no point delivering excuses, but like most people here we are mortified, and like most probably didn’t realise the seriousness. The first period of shock through reading this forum, especially the criminal record piece which may affect my wife’s future employment when returning to work, has given way to a more practical view due to the advice I’ve seen given out here. So our situation is that we have NOT received the letter yet from SWT. This incident happened at the beginning of February so this is seven going on eight weeks. Thus I will give an update on what SWT will want to charge us with and will ask for some advice then. but this does seem a long time compared to others on this forum I have just a couple of questions initially. SWT still have my annual season ticket, I’ve been thus buying weekly season ticket passes, now adding up (it’s £400 a month), and I presume there is nothing I can do to expedite the situation? My wife was told by the guard that it would be several weeks before my card would be returned to me (though from what I have read here, that depends on the prosecution and what they want to do I presume?), but I guess it’s just a matter of sitting tight and waiting til the letter comes from the prosecution department? Plus assuming that I will receive my card back, what would be the process with the prosecution department for getting refunds for additional costs while SWT hold onto the ticket? I’ll be sure to update everyone here once we receive the letter, but an answer to the above would be appreciated, though I presume it will be to hold tight Thanks
  12. Hello everyone - thank you in advance for any help you're able to give me. I have been sent a court summons for travelling without having previously paid the fare and with the intention to avoid payment. I would like some advice please because I do not think I am guilty, yet would prefer to pay than go to court. The situation is that last October I was travelling from London to commuter-land after work. It's not a journey I do at all regularly. I had a railcard for London zones 1-3 and as I was running slightly late for the train I asked the member of staff by the ticket barrier in London if it was OK to buy the remainder of my ticket at the other end - i.e. from the boundary of zone 3 to my destination. He said this was fine. On arrival I explained this to the staff at the ticket barriers and they let me through to buy a ticket, whereupon I joined the queue. I was supposed to be met by my mother and I saw her in the foyer from the queue. I shouted out to her and she, thinking that my voice was coming from elsewhere (she's quite deaf), turned to walk out of the station. I left the queue and walked after her, reaching her just at the exit to the station. I was about to give her a hug and say hello when the Revenue Protection Assistant ran up to me and accused me of fare evasion, etc. because I was outside the station boundary. I cooperated and answered all the questions, and was very civil to him. The thing I didn't tell him, because I didn't think at the time that it was relevant, was that I was only making this journey to visit my mum and grandmother because my grandfather had passed away two days previously. It was a highly emotional time and the first time I had seen my mum since she'd lost her dad. Obviously giving her a proper hug was a more important priority at that moment than paying the £8 ticket, although I had every intention to do so. I was sent a letter asking for my details etc back in January and I wrote in response giving this additional info because I believe it was a mitigating factor. And then yesterday I received my court summons. It's a first offence, and yes, I did travel without previously having paid for the whole journey, but I checked with a member of staff beforehand and they said that it was fine. I had every intention of paying for the full journey. It was absolutely not my intention to avoid the fare. I am happy to pay a fine, but I am very worried about getting a criminal reference - I work in the civil service and am at the beginning of my career. I don't want to plead guilty because I don't think I am guilty of having the intention of avoiding payment. However, I also do not want to go to court and would prefer to settle and quickly and painlessly as possible. I'm really quite worried about this and have no idea how to go forward... What should I do? Any advice would be much appreciated! Many many thanks.
  13. I’m hoping someone might be ableto help me..I have been sent a letter by SWT to attend a meeting I was stopped on the train a couple of months ago, having just boarded a train after touching in at a zone 5 station, I live one stop passed this station in zone 6 and had begun my journey there. I was asked where I had got on which I stated and asked to provide theticket forthe rest of my journey which I didn't have. I was suffering with an illness at the time and not 100% with it and I now have a couple of concerns. Firstly I remember very little of what I said during the 20 minutes or so they were questioning me. I also remember signing his book. The Guy took my oyster and explained there was lots of journeys beginning at the zone 5 station and as I didn't live there I must be continually avoiding paying my fare from zone 6 which I denied doing repeatedly. Not only can I not find any evidence to support my claim of having a ticket the day before I have very few old tickets to prove I was buying tickets. It seems to my shame that I hadn't been buying my tickets as regularly as I thought for the last stop of my journey. I know thereare no excuses for not doing so, I know I live outside zone 5 and need to pay for all of my journey. I have the money to buy theticket and have no issues with doing so, as to the obvious question 'why didn'tI then' I have no idea. I didn't get up in the morning and think I'm going tosave £2 by notbuying a ticket. I normally drive to another zone 5 station and get a better service but due to not being well I'd been using my local station for a couple of months. Where to go from here? I knowI've beenpaying for 98 % of my journey and wantto be honest about the rest. But I genuinely believed when being interviewed that I had tickets to prove I'd been buying them. I have a few old tickets but not as many as expected, I don't know how many I've brought with cash and thrown away and how many I've forgot to buy. Also should I take someone to this meeting with me?
  14. On a Saturday I used my husband’s season ticket on a journey into London, using South West Trains. I know it was wrong and I completely underestimated the consequences. I absolutely didn’t intend to break the law. This has been an incredible learning curve, not just for me but my friends and family. I'm so angry with myself. Having researched the situation on the internet I’m now a complete mess. I am a professional person, but currently raising my son full time. I’m always very honest and have never done anything like this before. I received a speeding fine and 3 points in the late 90’s, and that is all. It was completely out of character, a momentary lapse of judgement at a time I was not myself. I was very emotional, distracted and running late for a very important occassion. The ticket was confiscated by who I think was a guard/conductor and I was given a receipt. The guard wasn’t familiar or confident about the process, just said it will be investigated and I’ll get a letter. Because of my panic, concern and persistence he offered to call a revenue inspector once we reached Waterloo which I accepted. I offered throughout to do whatever I needed to settle the matter there and then, and even pointed out that I hadn’t therefore got a valid ticket and could I purchase one from them please – which they did for me. My husband didn’t give me permission or know I had his ticket, I did however call him while with the guard and inspector thinking that his retrospective permission would help. The very next day he purchased a new ticket, effectively forfeiting the month remaining at a cost of approx £360. He didn’t bother pursuing a duplicate, with us both accepting that the loss was part of our punishment. I’m looking for any advice available. I understand I need to wait for SWT to write to me. In the meantime I want to prepare while the information is fresh in my mind. I also need to do something for the sake of my health while in this horrible waiting period. I will accept any kind of fine but need to do all I can to avoid a criminal conviction for the sake of my career when I return to work. - Will this affect my husband? It was absolutely my fault not his. - How can I show that I haven’t done this before, or even anything similar. I have travelled into London only 7 times in the last 12 months and would be able to prove payment on my bank statements for each journey. My husband’s ticket will have only been used on a couple of Saturday’s in the past when he is either working (where he could provide proof), or where I was with him, or he went to the Rugby or the Olympics so there are reasons for these journeys. - Yes I had his ticket with me. But how can I show it wasn’t premeditated? Sounds weak, but I was borrowing his leather passholder for my Oyster. He assumed I’d take his ticket and things out, I didn’t want to in case we lost them. - How much will they care about my emotional state at the time? - Are the details about being late etc worth mentioning or not. - How long will they give me to respond? I will be on holiday for 10 days at the 6 weeks point after the incident and don’t want to miss their letter and their deadline. - Will it help me if I instruct a solicitor? - Is there anything else I should explain? I want to ensure I’m focusing on the right things. Thank you in advance
  15. I purchased a ticket, Trowbridge to Waterloo, via the FGW website. Ticket issued no problem, got the email and SMS confirmations as usual. Arrived at the Station - train is cancelled. Station staff told me I can claim a refund for the ticket, plus compensation (as I told them I would then have to drive to London). Filled out the form, attached (and luckily scanned) the tickets. Waited. A while later, get a letter from FGW apologisin. No refund. No compensation. A while later still, get an email from SWT saying they don't have to offer compensation for a cancelled train. I repled to the SWT email saying my claim is not for compensation due to a cancelled train, but for a failure in their IT system to inform me when they cancelled the train. I was also told the system should not have allowed me to book that train, so I advised it's actually 2 failures in their IT system. 2nd response from SWT was "I don't believe I am going to be able to respond to your satisfaction and I'm afraid that further correspondence will only serve to frustrate you." I am about to take this to the small claims court but before I do, I wondered if you have any other routes to sort this mess out. Many thanks, readers.
  16. Hi CAG; I've been holding out on posting here since the incident as I have been checking other topics, but now I would like to ask for advice. I traveled on South West Trains on March 20th from Poole to Holton Heath (HH is unmanned and no barrier). I got to Poole train station and boarded without a ticket. I had previously purchased tickets a number of times on the actual SW train and have never been warned for doing so. Of course I have used ticket machines on platforms before, but that today was not one of those occasions. The train was quiet, so I sat down and took out my wallet to prepare to pay. The train started moving and around halfway through the journey, two people entered my carriage. The inspector came up to my seat. I had my money already out at this point. I said to him "One single to Holton Heath please" and offered the money. They both sat down and then started asking me my personal information. I was confused and nervous, but cooperated fully. They both got off at the next station. One of them was asking me the questions, the other was my replies. I remember he said to me "Where would you have purchased your ticket if we had not come?". I was in a state of shock with the money still in my hand. I said "I wouldn't have been able to, but I was not intending to fare dodge". The thought had never crossed my mind. I have always been prompted for a ticket whenever I have traveled on SWT. I used to be a railcard holder for three years, and since the incident I have paid over £100 for train tickets. They let me leave after I had signed the page and they said that I might or might not hear back from them. It has since been two weeks and no letter yet although of course the bank holiday does not count as working days. I told my parents and they have been worried. I called up SWT shortly after the incident and the man said "If this is your first offence, you will just get a warning letter, just please try and get your ticket before you board". My mother has also emailed them, but they have not replied yet. Additionally, on my last train journey I told one of the conductors on the train what had happened and asked him what will likely happen. He said "you are likely to get a fixed penalty notice in the post plus the fare, do not worry about getting a criminal record". After reading these topics, I am now much the wiser - I just wish ticket people on the train would have told me the consequences. I thought I was abiding by the rules just fine. I have since purchased tickets online and through platform ticket machines. A criminal record would be devastating to me. I am on anti-depressants and I had tried taking my life earlier this year. In an effort to turn my life around, I hope to teach English in Japan this summer and prosecution would stop me from doing so. I realise I have done wrong, on several accounts. I expect criticism and the worst case scenario, for it seems my life feeds off of misery. I will update when I receive the letter for court summons.
  17. Afternoon all, Id appreciate some advice in responding or managing a prosecution letter from SWT. The issue arouse when my partner was travelling and unable to buy a ticket on a Sunday from a small unmanned station. She arrived at Guildford informed the ticket staff who directed her to the entrance of the station to buy one. I knew the time she was arriving and had parked in the drop off/collection point. She saw the que by the ticket machine and could see me in my car waving for her to get in and the que behind. She came out of the station to tell me to move to a more suitable place due to the ques at the machines and was subsequently collared by a Rail Revenue Officer and he went through the process of informing her that she had left the station without intent on buying a ticket etc. Aside from being rather scared as she was read her rights etc and presumed it policeman and as nothing like this has ever happened to her befor. The Officier didn’t give her the chance to explain what had happened and why she had left the station. We have now received a letter from SWT giving us 14 days prosecution department giving her the chance to explain the case. Could anyone help give advice on how to respond please?
  18. Hi folks, I dearly need some advice. Yesterday, I received a letter, summoning me to appear before the Magistrates Court on Monday to answer alleged offences under Byelaws No. 19 and No. 23 (1). I'm very worried. I had previously correspondended with the Prosecutions department (i.e. confirming my details and listing mitigating factors) but heard nothing back, until the summons. The background to the summons was that I was travelling in the First Class cabin without a valid ticket, hoping that I could get an upgrade. The carriage was empty when I got on [and for 10 stops, thereafter] and believing that since my trip was 58 minutes long that a Commercial Guard or Revenue Inspector would have asked for 'tickets'. The problems started that the eleventh stop. The carriage suddenly filled, and along came the Inspector. When I asked for an upgrade, the inspector said 'No.' I asked whether or not they had ticketing machines on board.... to which their reply was 'No.' [nb: Ironically in the inspector's witness statement mentioned that their duties included 'issuing tickets']. The inspector clearly didn't like my questions... Any way a penalty notice quickly became a report - which seemed disproportionate and unecessary. Needless to say, I felt like I was being treated like a criminal. This is the first time that this has happened to me and I'd like to know whether or not I should plead guilty. Are these strict liability offences or do they require intent? What would be the case if one or both applies? Please help. Anxious
  19. Hi all, 1st post here and I will try to keep it short. In January this year I travelled on a train from Earlsfield to Waterloo on a South-West Trains route with friends. Through my own stupidity I failed to buy a ticket before travelling and when getting to Waterloo, panicked and passed through the barrier behind a friend. I was with a group of friends (all who had paid). I stopped them and began explaining that I had made an error and ought to go get a ticket. Then I was approached by the 'Station revenue assistant' who asked me to go with him. I complied and then apologised, explained my situation, offered to pay and gave all details requested. Eventually I receive through the post a letter of intent to prosecute from SWT. I replied to this letter but not within the 14-days of the date of the letter. (I should point out that I'm not from London and don't often use the railways) Today I have just recieved summons to Richmond Magistrates Court! Two charges. 1) Did travel, or attempt to travel upon the railway, without having previously paid the fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof: 2) In that you did, without permission from an authorised person, enter or leave railway premises without passing through the manned or automated barrier in the correct manner: Now, I hold my hand up, I was an idiot. My friends and I had travelled earlier that day between Earlsfield and Dartford (Rtn), we had all bought tickets for that journey but I guess that they all bought the Earl>Waterloo tickets then as well, I obviously did not. Also, I shouldn't have tailgated my friend through at Waterloo, but I panicked and made the wrong choice. But, I had no intent to avoid payment and this is what gets me. Anyway, I don't think there is anything I can do to avoid being convicted of a criminal offence is there? I can't afford a huge fine and I don't want to go to court but I think the only thing I can do is plead Guilty and allow the magistrtes to deal with it in my absence and then have a criminal conviction?! My only thought was that I had no intent to avoid payment thereof, I really didn't.... but I suspect that having tailgated through the barrier (despite not then trying to leave the area) will be seen as the intent? Does anyone have any thoughts? Like I said I think there's nothing to do now but plead Guilty, it just seems so disproportionate for a £3.70 fare that I offered to pay there and then. Thanks in advance for any help.
  20. Yesterday I received a £20 penalty fare at Waterloo. Later that day I discovered that the ticket inspectors are supposed to offer you the chance to pay the penalty fare upfront- this one didn't, he insisted upon me giving my details of address so that SWT could bill me the fare which is a real inconvenience as I'm at University and don't live at home much these days. When I asked him if I could pay it upfront he said that I couldn't because he'd already started filling out the form- but this is not in line with SWT policy on penalty fares. I've heard that the penalty fare can be paid online but I'm still irritated that SWT now have me on record and can use this case against me in the future. Have I been mistreated here? Is there such a thing as appealing against the unfair retention of my personal information? Would I be likely to succeed in such an appeal? Thanks.
  21. Hi everyone, This is a long one!I wonder if anyone can help me. I travel Monday to Friday to Waterloo and then get a bus or the Tube to Holborn. For June and July I purchased a season ticket from London Road, Guildford to London Terminals including underground at a cost of around £330. The service is run by South West Trains.I have been living back in the UK since the end of May, mainly staying at my dad's in Guildford which is why my Season ticket originated there.However, I also travel to Pulborough in West Sussex on Thursday evenings, travel to London and back on a Friday and again to London on a Monday morning, always purchasing a separate ticket for these journeys.I worked out that I was not using the Season ticket from London to its full cost and therefore at the beginning of August when it was up for renewal, spoke to a ticket officer at London Road station and explained that as a general rule, my travel was as follows:Monday am PUL – VICMonday pm WAT - LRDTuesday LRD – WAT – LRDWednesday LRD – WAT – LRDThursday am LRD – WATThursday pm VIC – PULFriday PUL – VIC – PULTwice a month I will stay in North London with my cousin, therefore travelling on the Underground and not using my season ticket at all for two journeys.I asked him whether I could therefore buy a season ticket from Clapham Junction to London, and then daily buy tickets from either London Road or Pulborough depending on where I was travelling from/to. He said this was fine, and sold me said season ticket valid for a month, with a separate ticket for that day to and from London Road.Yesterday morning I woke up very, very late, got dressed and ran out the door and all the way to the station. I usually get the 0711 from London Road but yesterday arrived at 0720 as the 0721 was pulling in. So, I jumped on the train, sweating (nice), sat down and got my purse ready for when the inspector came through.She did so within about 5 minutes. Straight away I asked her if I could purchase a ticket from London Road to Clapham Junction. She asked to see all my tickets (I keep nearly all of them as there is no ticket barrier at London Road nor Pulborough). She took them and looked through, and then asked me to stand with her by the doors.She then told me I was under caution and read me the caution speech (You do not have to say anything etc etc). At this point I was a bit bewildered and asked her why I couldn’t buy a ticket as I had done so on two previous occasions, and she replied that it was not possible to buy tickets on the train (even though she had a portable ticket machine with her)She told me she was going to ask me some questions. She asked why I had a season ticket from Clapham to London if I was travelling from Guildford. I explained all the above.She then asked me to write down my name, address and telephone number in her notebook which I did willingly. She made a telephone call, I presume to check my address, and then proceeded to ask me whether the information I had provided was correct, and would I like to amend it? I confirmed it was, and that the reason she wouldn’t be able to verify it through the electoral roll, presuming that was what she was doing, was because I am not on the electoral roll and living at my dad’s temporarily, and we have different surnames because he is not my biological father. I showed her my driving licence to prove that my address was correct and she wrote down the number.She asked if it was my intention to travel without paying the fare and I assured her it wasn’t which is why I had been prepared with my card to pay the fare as soon as I got on board.She wrote all the questions along with my answers in her notebook and then asked me to sign and date, which I did. She then told me she was confiscating my ticket (valid for another two weeks), she would accompany me to Waterloo to let me through the barrier and that I was to go to Wimbledon station revenue office that evening to collect a receipt. After that she wouldn’t speak to me again other than to let me through at Waterloo.So last night I went to Wimbledon – revenue office was shut and nobody there could help me or knew what I was talking about. I spent 40 minutes there wandering around to absolutely no avail.So excuse the long explanation above – could anyone tell me what I can expect to happen next and do I have ANY say in the matter? I showed her several previous tickets to prove that I buy tickets every single day. I have nothing at all to show for what happened – no paper from her, no receipt, nothing. Many thanks in advance for the advice.
  22. 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.
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