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MrPaulJames

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Hi all, had a read through this forum, will explain my situation and hopefully someone can suggest what to expect or what action to take.

 

The other day, I was at London bridge with my girlfriend and best mate, we planned to get a train to Elmers end (zone 4) on the Hayes line, but at the last minute decided to go into Croydon. Usually I make this journey by bus, as a result not realizing it's a zone 5. Now I have a zone 1-4 annual travel card, cost me a small fortune, which i used to get through the barrier at London bridge. Now I would have double checked the zone for East Croydon station at the station, but the train was in two minutes and we had to run to catch it.

 

Upon arriving at east Croydon I tried to get through the ticket barrier, obviously didn't work. I showed my ticket the gentleman at the gate and he told me to pay for the extra at a booth behind the gate. When I approached, i was rather rudely told that it was shut and to go around. So I went back to the barrier guard and told him this, and he said to pay at the main ticket booths....

 

This is where I did something extremely stupid and out of character, with my girl friend and best friend, I attempted to walk out. Next thing I know a 3 large burly gentlemen are behind me, out of uniform, one with his hand on my shoulder. He asked to see my ticket while flashing a badge, which i showed him straight away, he then led me behind the barrier again to take one of the usual questionnaires, which i signed, like most, without reading it (I was panicking and just wanted out of there). I explained the situation, and was very apologetic. He said I should receive a letter within a month or so from the train company.

 

Now I don't have a problem paying a fine or what have you, I'm well aware I did wrong. I'm just hoping that I don't get a criminal record or what have you.

 

Anyone have any advice? I'm really bricking it here, could possibly loose my job if I get some sort of criminal record :(

 

Thanks,

 

Paul

 

BTW the train was from London Bridge to Brighton I believe....

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Hi Paul,

 

Now had you have done what you were advised to, you wouldn't be in this predicament, and at worst, probably have to pay a Penalty Fare. The problem is, by attempting to leaving the station after first having been told to go to the Excess Fares window, you showed intent to avoid paying for the full journey you had made. No doubt they cautioned and questioned you, and one of the questions was regarding your inent to avoid payment? Chances are you'll be reported for the offence and receive a letter from the company. Worst case scenario is that you'll end up in court and get a hefty fine with expences added etc. It could potentially get you a criminal record, but most companies requiring some form of discloser (CRB check) wont worry too much about such a conviction as long as you tell them about it.

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Thanks for the reply. I know I did wrong, and I explained to gentleman asking the questions at the time that it's the only time i've done such a thing, and was a stupid mistake to make.

 

I did comment that I seemed like a sensoble person and seemed very decent about it to be honest, I understand I did wrong and he was just doing his job.

 

See what happens I guess...

 

Must remember not to be such a bloody idiot in future.

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You're welcome.

 

When he questioned you, did you admit the intent?

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Well yeah I did, like most people I believed honesty was the best policy, but I did explain it was a stupid mistake on my part.

 

Think that will make things alot worse?

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That will depend on your response when you get any first letter from the rail company. Your admission at the time may encourage the TOC prosecutors to go straight to Summons, but they will often write to you for an explanation of your actions first.

 

Given the detail of your original posting here, I suggest most rail companies will be satisfied that a prosecution is warranted and the issue of a Summons is likely.

 

Most importantly, when you get any letter or Summons, don't ignore it.

 

Write to the office that send you the letter explaining that you:

 

regret your very stupid action in attempting to leave without paying.

 

I can only suggest that you state something along the lines of:

 

that this was completely out of character and that you have no real explanation other than to say that it was a momentary act of silliness for which you are extremely remorseful.

 

Your letter should include a request that you be allowed to recompense the rail company for the fare and their reasonable administration costs so as to settle the matter without the need to trouble a Magistrates Court and should include an undertaking not to repeat the offence.

 

Say that you understand that what you did was wrong, but that the likelihood of a conviction for this first (and last ) offence would have a detrimental affect on your employment. Ask the rail company to recognise that the likely damage to your career might be wholly disproportunate to the level of offence committed.

 

If that doesn't work and you still get a Summons, don't ignore it. You can use exactly the same response if you are entering a 'guilty' plea by post.

 

This will allow the Court to dispose of the matter without you having to attend. You would then be ordered to pay a fine, a victim surcharge, compensation of the fare and probably have to pay a proportion of the costs that the rail company will claim.

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old-codja answer sums this up

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Deleted.

Edited by SRPO

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Thanks for all your help guys. I was speaking to my soon to be brother in-in-law, who just happens to a REO...

 

Fact is I haven't had a level head at all recently, even at work (silly mistakes) and although I didn't want to admit it to use it as an excuse, I've recently lost a very close member of the family. In fact the funeral was today.

 

Like I say I dont want to use it an excuse but think I may mention it, I haven't been acting my normal self since it's happened, not to mention being tired since not being able to sleep properly, just a bit traumatic (the circumstances for the death have yet to be explained).

 

I wouldn't normally even mention this on a forum, but seeing as you all seem very mature and decent people, I thought I'd get your opinion on mentioning it...

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Thanks for all your help guys. I was speaking to my soon to be brother in-in-law, who just happens to a REO...

 

Fact is I haven't had a level head at all recently, even at work (silly mistakes) and although I didn't want to admit it to use it as an excuse, I've recently lost a very close member of the family. In fact the funeral was today.

 

Like I say I dont want to use it an excuse but think I may mention it, I haven't been acting my normal self since it's happened, not to mention being tired since not being able to sleep properly, just a bit traumatic (the circumstances for the death have yet to be explained).

 

I wouldn't normally even mention this on a forum, but seeing as you all seem very mature and decent people, I thought I'd get your opinion on mentioning it...

 

Yes, of course you may mention the traumatic effect of your loss.

 

It is not a defence, but it may be considered to be a mitigating factor.

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Deleted.

Edited by SRPO

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