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Hi All,

 

Its been a while but thought I would post the outcome in case it helps anyone else in a similar situation. My daughter wrote to TFL clearly stating the facts and urged them to review it. She received a letter last week, stating that following review, no further action would be taken, she did not have to pay the £60 and the matter was now closed.

 

So, sense and truth can prevail after all.

 

Gribbly

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Hi All,

 

Its been a while but thought I would post the outcome in case it helps anyone else in a similar situation. My daughter wrote to TFL clearly stating the facts and urged them to review it. She received a letter last week, stating that following review, no further action would be taken, she did not have to pay the £60 and the matter was now closed.

 

So, sense and truth can prevail after all.

 

Gribbly

 

Good to see that where there is any element of doubt, commonsense prevails as it should.

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I'm about to call the prosecutions office to plead my sons case.

 

My son who was 17 at the time was caught using his friend's Oyster 16+ going to college in September. In his statement he explained that his own valid 16+ card was defective and that he was waiting for his new card to arrive. He usually carried his own card with him but due to sod's law the day he was approached by an inspector he didn't have it with him.

As TFL have a record of him having a valid Oyster 16+ which entitled him to free travel I thought this would be enough to prove that his intention was NOT to avoid a fare and it was just a stupid error of judgement.

I was expecting a deservedly warning/harsh words/fine, but they sent a summons instead.

I am going to offer to pay out of court as I don't want to risk my son recieving a criminal record for such a petty misdemeanor.

I just can't believe how petty this is especially for first offence.

 

ooops found this thread through Google and just realised it's for the underground not tfl in general maybe a mod can move it?

Edited by maggs437
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I'm about to call the prosecutions office to plead my sons case.

 

My son who was 17 at the time was caught using his friend's Oyster 16+ going to college in September. In his statement he explained that his own valid 16+ card was defective and that he was waiting for his new card to arrive. He usually carried his own card with him but due to sod's law the day he was approached by an inspector he didn't have it with him.

As TFL have a record of him having a valid Oyster 16+ which entitled him to free travel I thought this would be enough to prove that his intention was NOT to avoid a fare and it was just a stupid error of judgement.

I was expecting a deservedly warning/harsh words/fine, but they sent a summons instead.

I am going to offer to pay out of court as I don't want to risk my son recieving a criminal record for such a petty misdemeanor.

I just can't believe how petty this is especially for first offence.

 

ooops found this thread through Google and just realised it's for the underground not tfl in general maybe a mod can move it?

 

 

Where in the TfL area was your son travelling then and if he 'was 17 at the time', is he now over 18 years of age?

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Where in the TfL area was your son travelling then and if he 'was 17 at the time', is he now over 18 years of age?

 

Thanks for replying :)

just looking at the summons again and I see I made a mistake - he was 18 when it happened which was on the 29th Sept, he had turned 18 on the 20th. His 16+ Oyster card is valid for the school year he turns 18 in (he is in last year of 6th form). 30th of Sept is when the 16+ Oysters are renewed

It happened in Barking and he travels there from Waltham Forest.

The following day I phoned to check the progress of his new card and I was told that due to the postal strike he ( and other students) were allowed to use their out of date cards. So he was able to use his defective card until the new card came through some 4 weeks later.

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This is something he must deal with himself as he is over 18. You can write a letter on his behalf of course, as long as he signs it, but you cannot deal with it for him unless of course you are also his formal legal advisor (lawyer)

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This is something he must deal with himself as he is over 18. You can write a letter on his behalf of course, as long as he signs it, but you cannot deal with it for him unless of course you are also his formal legal advisor (lawyer)

 

yeah thanks I realise that, in fact I can deal with it if he calls them and gives me permission. ( TFL's words)

The advice I wanted was whether the lack of intent to avoid a fare would be a reasonable arguement given that he would be on TFL's records has having a valid card.

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That depends on what they have charged him with on the Summons

 

If they have charged him with the strict liability Byelaw offence of failing to show a valid ticket, intent isn't relevant

 

Furthermore, S5.1 of the Regulation of Railways Act is pretty well a strict liability matter too. It says: must produce a valid ticket or pay if demanded

 

The principle of actually having a valid ticket is qualified by the rule that says to be accepted as valid, the ticket must be shown at the time of travel.

 

They might be pursuaded to accept a settlement offer, but that will depend on whether there are any other aggravating factors in the report.

 

Was he unco-operative or aggressive? Did he give any false details? Were the Police required to assist?

 

I'm not saying that any of these did happen, but we all know how some people can react albeit on the spur of the moment and these will be relevant factors for the prosecutor.

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...and what teenage tell their mothers could be completely different from the truth.:)

But I've seen the witness statement from the inspector and it only states what was said, there is nothing to indicate he was aggressive nor any other aggravating factors and it is his first offence. My son did say that the inspector varified his address on the phone - Oyster card records I assume?

Sorry if I have misled you but this happened on a bus and he has been charged with 71B "Using a pass issued to another person".

There is no denying he is guilty I just have an issue with the punishment

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Aah, that extra clarification was important

 

The likelihood of getting a settlement in a case of a transferred pass is pretty slim these days

 

It is seen as a much more serious matter.

 

Using someone else's pass or season ticket so as not to have to pay a fare yourself is considered to be a fraudulent act and clearly an issue of intent.

 

No, they don't have to use Oyster records to confirm ID. These days the Electoral Roll and a host of other data records can be accessed together by a quick phone call to the checking agency by an authorised person.

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ok thanks this is the point I'm trying to make, he had a valid card though and entitled to free bus travel. Is this really the same as someone avoiding payment?

It was pointless trying to get a replacement as he was already waiting for his new card, it would've been likely the new card would have arrived before the replacement.

As he uses 3 buses there and back = £12 a day, it wasnt like finding a couple of quid for a few days.

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I fully understand the point you were making and whist I personally may have some sympathy, I have tried to answer the question that you were asking about settlement at the outset.

 

The key thing to remember is that your son is entitled to free travel ONLY on production of a valid card in his own name at the time of travel.

 

If he hasn't got his card with him, he has to pay like everyone else.

 

The use of someone elses card to claim a free entitlement only compounds the issue

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I'll really appreciate your reply, at least I have some idea what they may say to me when I try and speak to them, my main objective is stop him getting a criminal record.

 

thanks again

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'll really appreciate your reply, at least I have some idea what they may say to me when I try and speak to them, my main objective is stop him getting a criminal record.

 

thanks again

 

Update

 

Spoke to the Prosecution Officer on Thursday, today my son received a letter from TFL informing him that they were dropping the case. :)

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  • 1 month later...

I would just like to say that this is a fantastic thread. I used to be an RCI for TfL about 5 years ago, and this took me back to the days of working on the job. Some very good advice given.:)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Everyone,

 

An update for what has happened so far - after getting stopped back in October, I received a letter several weeks later to which I was unable to reply to because of complications with the owner of the card (my friend) and his job. I was urged not to try to appeal or ask for a settlement until he was able to sort things out with his job.

 

I have now received an official magistrate court summons with the charge reading "that you did attempt to travel on the London Underground Railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof."

 

Due to the implications of the truth of the matter conflicting with complications with my friend and his job, I realise it is practically impossible to walk away from this with the hope of coming away "not guilty". Not wishing to add costs to the fine if we should go to court and witnesses called, I intend to plead guilty in writing, to which there will be a £120 fine in addition to the £4 for the fare not paid.

 

I was a bit confused by the possibility of a "Plea of Guilty" being rejected. Why and how could this happen? Would this add to costs? Can somebody advise me on what I might write in this letter?

 

Does pleading guilty mean having a criminal conviction for the rest of my life? Will I now need to apply for visas everytime I ever leave the country or go on holiday? Do I need to let potential employers know of this conviction when I apply?

 

Also, is there even a chance for me to not have a criminal conviction somehow? Is it worth me even asking at this point in the matter? I couldn't feel worse about this terrible lapse of judgement. I just feel that a criminal conviction for the confusion and my first ever offence seems wholly disproportionate to what happened. I am completely willing and content with the fine, lesson learned, but I would like to avoid the conviction as I am a US national and have yet to find a career here.

 

Thank you so much for any advice - I really just cant wait to put this whole miserable event behind me. I've learned such a valuable lesson - albeit at a terrible cost. I've learned never to trust somebody just because they say it's ok. I should always, always, always listen to my gut.

 

Thanks again, everyone, for any advice.

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I intend to plead guilty in writing, to which there will be a £120 fine in addition to the £4 for the fare not paid.

 

I was a bit confused by the possibility of a "Plea of Guilty" being rejected. Why and how could this happen? Would this add to costs? Can somebody advise me on what I might write in this letter?

 

Does pleading guilty mean having a criminal conviction for the rest of my life?

 

Two points need a spot of further clairification for a start:

 

Firstly, if a figure has been quoted in addition to the fare not paid, that is not a fine. That £120, to which you refer will be the costs application being made by the prosecutor. Any fine will be set by the Magistrates and will be in addition to the fare and any costs award. There will also be a victim surcharge of £15 added.

 

From recent experience, if you plead guilty the maximum total is likely to be made up as follows: Fine £175, Costs £120, Fare £4, Victim Surcharge £15 = Total £314 - it can vary at the discretion of the Court

 

Your confusion regarding the possibility of a 'plea of guilty' being rejected is understandable and if this happens, it will usually be as a result of something that you might say in respect of mitigation.

 

If you plead 'Guilty' to intent, but in your explanatory letter or statement then say something to the effect of 'but I didn't mean to do it', then your plea may be considered equivocal and the case may be adjourned for you to attend Court and explain yourself.

 

A conviction for the offence of intent to avoid a fare may make it onto the PNC because the ultimate penalty for serious cases is a term of imprisonmet, but these matters remain only on record for a short period. In my opinion it is not something that will need to be declared for life.

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Hi Old-CodJA,

 

Thank you for your response and for clarifying the difference between the "fine" and "costs". That number is staggering. :( On the Statement of Facts sheet, it says "Compensation for the outstanding fare avoided of £4 is claimed, together with the sum of £120 as a contribution towards prosecution costs."

 

You said in your experience, the maximum total is £314, varying at the discretion of the court.

 

At the time of questioning, my investigator asked about my employment status, to which I truthfully replied unemployed. She said something to the effect of "if a fine should be imposed, your employment status will be taken into regard when the fine is issued." Do you know anything about this? What sort of offence would incite a maximum £175 fine? Would the fact that I'm currently unemployed be taken into account?

 

What exactly does "victim surcharge" mean? What is that £15 for?

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Hi Old-CodJA,

 

Thank you for your response and for clarifying the difference between the "fine" and "costs". That number is staggering. :( On the Statement of Facts sheet, it says "Compensation for the outstanding fare avoided of £4 is claimed, together with the sum of £120 as a contribution towards prosecution costs."

 

You said in your experience, the maximum total is £314, varying at the discretion of the court.

 

At the time of questioning, my investigator asked about my employment status, to which I truthfully replied unemployed. She said something to the effect of "if a fine should be imposed, your employment status will be taken into regard when the fine is issued." Do you know anything about this? What sort of offence would incite a maximum £175 fine? Would the fact that I'm currently unemployed be taken into account?

 

What exactly does "victim surcharge" mean? What is that £15 for?

 

 

It sounds as if the person who reported you has tried to give you some idea of what might happen and should be applauded for that, but of course the decision as to whether a fine is imposed or not is entirely down to the Magistrates.

 

If you have been charged with 'intent to avoid a fare' contrary to Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889), the maximum penalty is a fine of up to £1000 (a term of imprisonment is only relevant in very serious & persistent offending cases.)

 

The sentencing guidelines for the Magistrates suggest that if you do not tell them what you earn and are convicted of the offence, the Magistrates should assume a weekly income of £350 and impose a fine accordingly.

 

If you plead guilty at the earliest opportunity they will take that into account and will reduce the fine by at least one third.

 

If you provide evidence to the Court that confirms you are unemployed and on benefits, they will take that into account and may allow a further reduction. You should complete the 'means enquiry form' provided and return that to the Court with your indication of plea

 

The Court may also order you to pay all or a part of the costs claimed by the prosecutor and the unpaid fare.

 

The Victim Surcharge is a compulsory fixed £15.00 levy imposed by the present government on any person who is convicted of an offence and who is subsequently fined in the Magistrates Courts.

 

The money goes to the Court central funds and is used to pay out compensation to victims of crime where such awards are made.

 

The summary that I gave in the previous post was an example of a first time offender, who is employed on an average wage and who pleads guilty to intending not to pay.

 

 

.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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No, it will not negate your unemployed status.

 

You simply fill in and sign the declaration of means as unemployed and with no income. I suggest that you add a separate note explaining that you are wholly supported by your Husband.

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  • 1 month later...

I would appreciate some advice on the following matter. Last year i was caught using a friends pass on the underground. The pass belonged to a friend who works for london transport is entitled to a free pass. I was honest with the inspector about this and he helped me out abit by not writing this in his note book so that he would not get into trouble. The inspector that stopped me asked the following questions which he wrote down on his note book, "Does this pass belong to you? I answered no. "Does the owner of the staff oyster card know you are using this pass?" I answered no "Why did you use this pass?" I answered to save money. I then signed the note book to confirm the questions and answer's.

I received a fine for this offence which i paid off immediately and called the prosecution offices a week later to confirm that this matter was now resolved. I was told that the case was now closed as they had recieved payment.

What i would like to know is, can the underground prosecute me for the same offence if my friend denies knowing me as he has applied for a replacement pass and it has been put to him that his pass was seized from a friend of his?

 

Would really appreicate some advice a.s.a.p

Thank You

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I would appreciate some advice on the following matter. Last year i was caught using a friends pass on the underground. The pass belonged to a friend who works for london transport is entitled to a free pass. I was honest with the inspector about this and he helped me out abit by not writing this in his note book so that he would not get into trouble. The inspector that stopped me asked the following questions which he wrote down on his note book, "Does this pass belong to you? I answered no. "Does the owner of the staff oyster card know you are using this pass?" I answered no "Why did you use this pass?" I answered to save money. I then signed the note book to confirm the questions and answer's.

I received a fine for this offence which i paid off immediately and called the prosecution offices a week later to confirm that this matter was now resolved. I was told that the case was now closed as they had recieved payment.

What i would like to know is, can the underground prosecute me for the same offence if my friend denies knowing me as he has applied for a replacement pass and it has been put to him that his pass was seized from a friend of his?

 

Would really appreicate some advice a.s.a.p

Thank You

 

You said that you paid a 'fine' and the matter was closed.

 

Did you receive a Court Summons for the offence or, was this just dealt with by you paying an administrative penalty?

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You said that you paid a 'fine' and the matter was closed.

 

Did you receive a Court Summons for the offence or, was this just dealt with by you paying an administrative penalty?

 

 

 

Hi,

I did not recieve a court summons but i received a letter which gave me the option of appealing by not responding or agreeing to a Formal Warning and paying the administrative costs which was £60. The agreed to the later.

 

Thanks

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Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3212 days.

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