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I am being taken to court next week for attempting to use my mother's oyster card. Admittedly that was wrong but my action was due to the effects of powerful steroids I was taken at the time and this was backed up by my doctor's letters to TFL. My solicitor tried to reason with them stating that I had been in hospital with a debilitating illness and getting C. difficile whilst in there for 18 days, and was under a lot of mental and physical stress and so lacking judgment. Also that it was the first time I had been out in over 6 weeks. However, they think that after 3 weeks out of hospital I would have been fully recovered despite the fact that I was still on very high doses of steroids, had only just completed a course of iron tablets for the anemia and was still signed off work. They feel there is still a case to answer. It seems they don't care much for health professionals' opinions or medical evidence and is just hell bent on indiscriminate prosecuting.

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For a dishonesty crime, the prosecution needs to prove "mens rea" - guilty mind. If you are right, and they no longer need to prove intent to gain a successful prosecution for fare evasion then it can not be regarded as a dishonesty crime.

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  • 1 month later...
Just thought I'd update you on this. I have managed to settle out of court, paying TFL costs (over £200 mind!!). I called the office of the prosecutions manager so many times and put forward my argument so persistently that they agreed to drop it.

 

My tactics were to write to the prosecutions manager, Steve Iontton, and then follow up with a phone call. Obviously, you don't get to speak with him but i did get the attention of a guy there who's email i subsequently got and basically plagued until he probably crawled bleary eyed to his bosses desk to plead that he make me stop. Dialogue with TFL is hard to engage in because they basically don't want to talk to anyone once they've issued a summons. Once the matter is settled, the costs payed and the case dropped, i'm going to post this one particular guy's details on this forum for all who are in a similar position to use.

 

I never had a problem with a fine, just the ridiculousness of a court case over a mistake and a £1 fare. Expensive lesson learnt!

 

Thanks to everyone on here for the advice.

I have exactly your problem. My Oyster card did not record my touching the reader and I was assumed to be a deliberate offender, with no possibility of any mechanical error. I had no idea that the decision about a Penalty Charge Notice or prosecution rests with the inspector who stopped me.

Like you I have been a regular user of public transport over many years, and have never had any trouble let alone a criminal record before.

 

I would very much like to try to bother TfL before I am due to appear in court, and am astonished to be in this position.

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I have exactly your problem. My Oyster card did not record my touching the reader and I was assumed to be a deliberate offender, with no possibility of any mechanical error. I had no idea that the decision about a Penalty Charge Notice or prosecution rests with the inspector who stopped me.

Like you I have been a regular user of public transport over many years, and have never had any trouble let alone a criminal record before.

 

I would very much like to try to bother TfL before I am due to appear in court, and am astonished to be in this position.

P.S. Sorry, I meant to ask for your contact's details if possible please.

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P.S. Sorry, I meant to ask for your contact's details if possible please.

 

 

Here is the guy that i resolved my issues with at TFL, and his contact details. The reason i'm posting them on this forum are because it is extremely difficult to get to talk to anyone at TFL about court summons and prosecutions in general, and he was a nice guy.

 

Tim Caig

Court Advocate/Prosecutions support manager

Internal Auto - 43691

External - 0207 918 3691

E-mail - TimCaig@tube.tfl.gov.uk

 

He was very helpful and I got the feeling that he was aware of a) the dubious nature of TFL's current campaign to punish absolutely everyone regardless, b) the flaws in Oyster technology, and c) the bad press that TFL are getting over this at present.

 

I should point out that my case was resolved 4 months ago so i don't know if he is still there. And i still had to pay costs!

 

Hope this helps all those that TFL are trying to prosecute for minor offences and/or mistakes or failure of Oyster technology.

 

Lilp

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WHAT WERE THE RESULTS, HOW MUCH DID U HAVE TO PAY? MY COURT CASE IS ON WEDNESDAY FOR USING SOMEBODY ELSE'S CARD WHICH I JUST HAPPENED TO FIND. tHAT GUY GOES TO MY COLLEGE, I'M SCARED THEY MIGHT KICK ME OUT!

 

Does anyone know how long it takes to get the results when pleading guilty and not attending the court case?

 

Don't try it!

 

 

I am being taken to court next week for attempting to use my mother's oyster card. Admittedly that was wrong but my action was due to the effects of powerful steroids I was taken at the time and this was backed up by my doctor's letters to TFL.
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WHAT WERE THE RESULTS, HOW MUCH DID U HAVE TO PAY? MY COURT CASE IS ON WEDNESDAY FOR USING SOMEBODY ELSE'S CARD WHICH I JUST HAPPENED TO FIND. tHAT GUY GOES TO MY COLLEGE, I'M SCARED THEY MIGHT KICK ME OUT!

 

Does anyone know how long it takes to get the results when pleading guilty and not attending the court case?

 

Don't try it!

 

I am being taken to court next week for attempting to use my mother's oyster card. Admittedly that was wrong but my action was due to the effects of powerful steroids I was taken at the time and this was backed up by my doctor's letters to TFL.

 

I paid £270 in court costs. If you're going to plead guilty try calling the guy I listed above to grovel your way out of it. You will get a criminal record if you plead guilty by post. Cite the doctor's letter when you speak to them. Ask them if they received it and if they have taken this into account. Chances are they know nothing about it, in which case take the line that if they are prepared to allege something so serious then the least they can do is take the time to consider the doctor's letter. Be polite, reason with them, apologise, offer the costs and don't complain that it's so much.

 

It worked for me, i hope it works for you.

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hi lilp

i just received a similar summons last week. do you think contacting your guy Tim Caig above can help me out too. my case that i had a valid oyster, but i didn't tap in. the inspector told me i would recieve a letter that asks me to explain why i didn't tap in, i never recieved such letter, now months later i get this summons. the bad thing for me is that i'm graduating from uni soon with a masters, now the job market is competitive enough, the last thing i need is a criminal record to go with. i haven't had a wink of sleep since receiving this letter last week. all these years spent studying will have gone to waste just for 90p.

i wouldn't mind paying a fair amount in fines in order to avoid a criminal record.

 

thanks in advance.

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hi lilp

i just received a similar summons last week. do you think contacting your guy Tim Caig above can help me out too. my case that i had a valid oyster, but i didn't tap in. the inspector told me i would recieve a letter that asks me to explain why i didn't tap in, i never recieved such letter, now months later i get this summons. the bad thing for me is that i'm graduating from uni soon with a masters, now the job market is competitive enough, the last thing i need is a criminal record to go with. i haven't had a wink of sleep since receiving this letter last week. all these years spent studying will have gone to waste just for 90p.

i wouldn't mind paying a fair amount in fines in order to avoid a criminal record.

 

thanks in advance.

 

You should have been sent a letter stating TFL's view of events and whether you had any comments to make. Phone that guy and explain that you never got that opportunity, that not swiping was an honest mistake and that you're sorry. Be nice, sound upset and regretful. Ultimately, you didn't pay the fare so a fine is to be expected. That said, this is where Oyster and their prosecutions are flawed - technically, if you don't swipe in it is meant to penalise you later by charging the maximum fare. Ask why this wasn't what happened in your case?

What i advise is that you offer costs, which at £270 are steep, but believe me, it's better than a criminal record. Good luck.

Edited by Lilp
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thanks for the quick reply first of all. i had a word with him, he said doesn't deal with cases involving buses. he did however give me a number to contact, i did and i explained my case, that on the day of incident i was on my way back to uni in birmingham, i never got their letter, so he offered the option to pay 102 pounds and they'll withdraw the case. i should get the letter within two days. i can breath easy now.

 

thank you and everyone else on this forum.

btw anyone with similar case should call this number: 0207-918-3467

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thanks for the quick reply first of all. i had a word with him, he said doesn't deal with cases involving buses. he did however give me a number to contact, i did and i explained my case, that on the day of incident i was on my way back to uni in birmingham, i never got their letter, so he offered the option to pay 102 pounds and they'll withdraw the case. i should get the letter within two days. i can breath easy now.

 

thank you and everyone else on this forum.

btw anyone with similar case should call this number: 0207-918-3467

 

Nice work. Seems it's cheaper to get f**ked over a bus than a tube train, but well done - it's a relief isn't it!

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  • 1 month later...

I have just had a similar situation on the buses. I didn't have enough money on my oyster to pay for the bus fare and was issued with a court summons. I called the prosecutions department at tfl and explained that it was an honest mistake, I was a student and that a criminal record would affect my chances of getting a job in the future due to one mistake. I was then told that if I paid an out of court settlement fee of £102, my case would be dropped.

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Just a note to bear in mind - TfL isn't a cover all for buses and trains in how they deal with alleged fare evasion. Entirely different law applies to each. It is worth knowing which law you are being taken to court under in order to prepare a decent defence.

 

Having a little bit of experience of this from an enforcement side (trains), I've always found that the majority of inspectors do need a little more than 'you didn't touch in' to take it to court. The poster who was using a card belonging to another would not only be guilty of fare evasion, this would probably be compounded by the fact that it's also technically theft. That kind of thing does make an inspector decide that perhaps there was an intent to avoid paying.

 

That said, there are some complete spanners out there in the role, much as in any industry.

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  • 1 month later...

Re Busses

 

Anyone wanting to settle out of court after being summoned for Bus fare evasion; call this number: 0207-918-3467 and ask to speak to 'Nicole Curren.' Plead your case with Nicole over the phone.

 

Good luck and Merry Christmas!!

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  • 1 month later...
I just got a penalty fare today. I had 80p on my oyster pay as you go, and the barriers in wimbledon let me in through. But when I was in zone 1, the ticket checker said I am not allowed to travel through zone 1, but instead use overground. But my destination being Stratford(zone 3) and the minimum fare being £1, I would have been in negative figures anyway. I paid £2(zone 3 to 3 via 1) when I eventually finished my journey.

I can't justify my fault for the penalty fare cause I would fill up my negative balance anyway when I top up next time, and there isn't any notice stating anywhere stating I need to keep a minimum balance while travelling! If there is at all a fault, it's TFL's cause they didn't program their ticket barrier to block a card having less than £1!(Some of the barriers in zone 1 do block if there is less than £2, so the fact that the barrier in wimbledon didn't block me made me think that I was alright)

 

I did pay the penalty fare of £20. Is my argument valid for an appeal? What about criminall conviction and court appearence every one's talking about? The penalty fare notice doesn't mention anything about this.

 

 

 

Whilst no-one pretends there are not some problems with this system, I think it is worth pointing out that travellers do have some responsibility too.

 

This post states 'there isn't any notice stating anywhere that I need to keep a minimum balance while travelling'

 

 

What the notices do state throughout the underground and DLR is that you must have a valid ticket before travelling. There are also constant announcements on London Underground urging you to touch in to avoid paying maximum fares or penalties.

 

I think much of the confusion arises when travellers do not recognise that a pay-as-you-go oyster is not a travel ticket.

 

It only becomes a travel ticket when you touch in if it has sufficient credit for the journey that you want to make.

 

In this case your intended journey was through zone 1 and therefore at the start of the journey, your card must have sufficient credit to cover the fare for that journey.

 

By its very definition, you cannot have a negative balance on a pay-as-you-go oyster.

 

Negative balance can only apply where you have a weekly or season ticket on an oyster and also have pay-as-you-go facility for those trips where you want to travel outside your normal journey and then only once. The next time that you travel outside your paid for ticket your card will be rejected until you put credit on it.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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  • 4 months later...

i havent got a penalty fare, but being a 15 year old and insufficient funds on the oyster by 10p, noone else that was around me with any money. and all i was trying to do was get home and not be a anti-social stereotype. Anyway, i jumped the barriers and the ticket sales guy at the counter caught me, and confiscated my oyster card. Whats gonna happen to me and what should i say.

Also, they are very condescending and aggressive people, i had to tell that guy at north harrow to stop shouting at me. Got his name, R Brown. Any advice?

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...Anyway, i jumped the barriers and the ticket sales guy at the counter caught me, and confiscated my oyster card. Whats gonna happen to me and what should i say.

Also, they are very condescending and aggressive people, i had to tell that guy at north harrow to stop shouting at me. Got his name, R Brown. Any advice?

 

My advice is not to jump the barriers, approach a member of staff & tell them you dont have the money to pay the fare home.

They can then take your details & bill your parents.

 

However thats academic now, they will probably send you some sort of penalty notice through the post, ask your parents to lend you the money to pay it.

Then you need to pay your parents back, I suggest a saturday job or perhaps a paper round.

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i only jumped because i couldnt see a ticket sales guy that would have let me through. Therefore i had no alternative but to jump the barrier. Until i found out there was someone there lol. Is there a way of getting my oyster photocard back, or can i just re apply or will they just send it back?

Edited by sonneybouy
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I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but there is always an alternative, no matter how difficult it might seem. Jumping the barriers is breaking the law.

 

I have noted your young age, but must say we all have to learn some of life's hard lessons at some time or other.

 

You do not have a right to travel on a train without a valid ticket.

 

As SRPO says, because of your age, you will probably get a demand for payment of a small penalty.

 

Technically, you could be prosecuted in a Youth Court, but TfL very rarely resort to such action where youngsters are concerned and it would have to be a very serious matter for them to consider it.

 

A better idea would have been to try ringing home to see if anyone could pick you up or pay your fare by other means?

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  • 5 months later...
hi all

 

could any1 please post the prosecution department phone no. or prpsecutin managers no.

 

thanks

moral

 

I've looked back through this thread and cannot see where you have posted previously, so the answer in short is no.

 

Cases detected on different parts of TfL are dealt with by different offices

 

Where in particular was the incident that you want to discuss detected?

 

Was it on a Bus or Train? Was it on the DLR or Tube? Was it on an overground train within the TfL area?

 

If we get the answer to those questions, we may well be able to put you in touch with the right office.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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