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rosa2009

rosa2009, caught using Mothers Freedom pass.

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Hi guys!

 

I am in serious trouble! I was caught by an inspector on the tube using my mother's freedom pass.

I was coming from work last tuesday, the 11th august 2009, and instead of using my student photocard I used my mother's freedom pass. The gates opened and I thought I was free. My mother was waiting for me on the other side. A guy in plain clothes asks me to stop and show my oyster card, as I had loads of newspaper with me I gave them to my mother with her freedom pass inside. I opened my bag and gave him my photocard and he says I want to see the card you were travelling with as this card as money on it!??!?!? My mother was holding the newspapers in her hand plus her freedom pass and the guy was trying to take it from her but she was strongly holding to it, saying, no, this is mine, why do you want it?

Anyway, I told my mother to give the pass to the guy because my mother is 61 years old and has heart problems and she was getting very nervous with the entire situation. Plus the British Transport Police was there and I did not want to be arrested under the public order act!

He called another guy and the questioning started! at the beginning I was giving excuses saying that it was a mistake, bla bla bla. the guy said don't lie to me! Again embarassed and scared I admitted to everything I even signed the stupid sheet he gave me! To save my mother I told him that she knew I had the card but she wasn't aware that I was using it! I also confessed that I used the card other 4 times!

After all this was done with. I asked the inspector what could happen to me, he said that because it was the 1st time I could be fined and that was it.

I am waiting for the letter to come through the post any day and this is killing me! I can't eat, sleep or concentrate properly at work!

I want to be a solicitor but if I am convicted the dream is over!

 

You all seem to know so much about the process and all that is best to do. I would be extremely grateful if you could advise re my horrible situation!

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Hi Rosa2009, Firstly, don't continue to panic. Easy to say, hard to do I know.

 

This will start of by explaining the bad news and hopefully, progress to the good.

 

By your own admission you have committed a serious offence. The plain clothed inspector would have been part of a team undertaking checks to identify just such cases of fare evasion.

 

It was pointless trying to convince the inspector that you had used your own student photocard, the system will have recorded the use of the freedom pass and he would probably have seen you use it.

 

Being unco-operative in the beginning will not have helped, but admitting the previous misuses early on probably helps you both in the long run.

 

By both, I mean you and the inspector. It certainly makes it easier to clear up the fact that you intended to avoid a fare and had done so previously, but it also helps to show that you recognise you were in the wrong and have acknowledged that.

 

You don't say which rail station this was at, so I cannot advise the address, but you should write to the rail company prosecutions manager and explain the position.

 

Make sure that you apologise and express remorse for a foolish & uncharacteristic act. You could say that you have been under pressure in trying to improve you education. Stress that you are asking the rail company to consider the wholly dispropportionate effect that a conviction for a first offence would have on your chosen career in hoping to become a lawyer

 

Suggest that you will be happy to re-imburse the rail company for the fares that you failed to pay and any reasonable costs that they have incurred through your actions.

 

Good luck

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rosa2009,

 

I have moved your post to start a new thread.

 

Regards.

 

Scott.


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

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Old-CodJA

 

Thank you for your quick reply. The tube station were I was caught was Whitechapel.

If I write to them admitting my mistake wouldn't that give them reasons to prosecute me straight away? Or do you think it is still best to write to them still? I have not received a letter yet.

I am really scared because by admitting the offence I am giving them the required intention they are looking for to go ahead with the prosecution on the other hand they already know I am guilty because they've confiscated both cards!

Sorry to ask so many questions but I am really desperate!

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Also, how am I going to explain having the freedom pass with me? They are going to eat me alive... well they won't have much to eat, i'm so stressed I can't eat or sleep, I look like a zombie!

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Also, how am I going to explain having the freedom pass with me? They are going to eat me alive... well they won't have much to eat, i'm so stressed I can't eat or sleep, I look like a zombie!

 

Rosa2009,

 

The address is for LUL staff dealing with these cases is:

 

London Underground

Pelham House

63/81 Pelham Street

London

SW7 2NJ

 

Having said that, it might be better if you wait until you get a letter and reply to the actual allegations made.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about explaining why you had the Freedom Pass, if you admitted that you had used it on previous occasions, it will seem clear that you were carrying it for the purpose of using it.

 

The only thing I'm not 100% clear about is your student Oyster.

 

Was this a pre-pay card and if so, how much credit was lodged on it at the time?

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It was a pay as you go card, I am not sure how much money I had, but I am pretty sure that it was enough to cover the journey (£2.20). I checked online and the account is not active anymore.

I asked the inspector to pay a fine instead but he just smilled and ignored me!

Do you know if I am going to get only the summons and not the letter? I read a few messages of people saying that they never received the letter to explain what happened.

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Deleted.

Edited by SRPO

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SRPO,

 

Maybe you are perfect but I am not! and there are moments in life that you feel so desperate that you do stupid stuff without even thinking! Circumstances that are behind your control! If I was a millionaire I wouldn't be in this situation, don't you think?

 

I would appreciate to receive messages from people that want to help and not from people that want to bring others down! I hope you feel better now!

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SRPO,

 

Maybe you are perfect but I am not! and there are moments in life that you feel so desperate that you do stupid stuff without even thinking! Circumstances that are behind your control! If I was a millionaire I wouldn't be in this situation, don't you think?

 

I would appreciate to receive messages from people that want to help and not from people that want to bring others down! I hope you feel better now!

 

 

I do think using someone's freedom pass is one of the more serious crimes though from the research I've done..

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Deleted.

Edited by SRPO

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I am fully aware of the reality of my situation. That is why I registered with the Consumer Forum for help and I am super stressed.

I am not asking help in order to avoid paying for my stupid mistake I just do not want to have a criminal record. I Know I've made a big mistake and I should be punished for it but I think that a criminal record is a bit disproportionate. If I was rich or had good lawyers like Kate Moss, Pete Doherty or even the killers of Holly and Jessica or Jamie Bulger I would not be in this situation! I would be protected by the police and be able to continue with my life. That is the point I'm trying to make a criminal record for a first and ONLY offence is too harsh.

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Hang on there.... let's not get this out of proportion.

 

Wait until you receive correspondence from LU. If they state their intent to prosecute the best you can do is write a grovelling apology outlining your position and any mitigating circumstances and ask that the matter be dealt with otherwise than through the courts.

 

The address given above is for penalty fare appeals, Prosecutions is based at LU's head office at 55 Broadway.

 

Although you see prosecution as disproportionate, unfortunately fare evasion using Freedom Passes is extremely widespread and is very costly to TfL. Combine that with the fact that the Passes are paid for by London boroughs from the public purse and are intended as a benefit for elderly and disabled residents, you see why TfL take such a hard line when people are caught.

 

You really do need to relax a bit and not react so much when people try to explain in black and white what may happen to you.

 

Regards

UNDERGROUND :D

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Undergound,

 

I suppose you are right. I'm going to wait for the letter. There is not much I can do now, apart from thinking about it everyday and wishing to go back in time...

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Hang on there.... let's not get this out of proportion.

 

Wait until you receive correspondence from LU. If they state their intent to prosecute the best you can do is write a grovelling apology outlining your position and any mitigating circumstances and ask that the matter be dealt with otherwise than through the courts.

 

The address given above is for penalty fare appeals, Prosecutions is based at LU's head office at 55 Broadway.

 

Although you see prosecution as disproportionate, unfortunately fare evasion using Freedom Passes is extremely widespread and is very costly to TfL. Combine that with the fact that the Passes are paid for by London boroughs from the public purse and are intended as a benefit for elderly and disabled residents, you see why TfL take such a hard line when people are caught.

 

You really do need to relax a bit and not react so much when people try to explain in black and white what may happen to you.

 

Regards

UNDERGROUND :D

 

Yes, I agree totally.

 

I suggested the best advice I could give in putting the case for avoiding prosecution and I apologise, Underground is right, because I was thinking of how to convince them of your sincerity, I was thinking of appeals and gave the wrong address.

 

If you have not yet received a letter advising impending prosecution or, a Summons, you should not be panicking.

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Thanks guys for all your help. Let's see what's going to happen...

 

:?:oops:

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Wait until you receive correspondence from LU. If they state their intent to prosecute the best you can do is write a grovelling apology outlining your position and any mitigating circumstances and ask that the matter be dealt with otherwise than through the courts.

 

If you have not yet received a letter advising impending prosecution or, a Summons, you should not be panicking.

 

Dear Underground/Old-CodJA,

 

From what you have said in the quoted sections above, is it possible that what happens next could be something other than:

 

a) a standard letter requesting the person to comment on the incident and advising that prosecution may follow, or

b) a summons?

 

If so, what could this be, or is (a) or (b) above basically inevitable?

 

Does it happen often that they go straight to a summons without any letter beforehand (which would appear not to be in line with their published policy?) and for what reason/in what type of case would they do this?

 

Whichever way it goes, when can the person expect to hear, and does any scenario/outcome become more (or less) likely as time passes?

 

yours,

garage4

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Please do not panic,

 

Factually, if the rail company is satisfied that there is a strong case for charging an offence, they can go straight to issue of a Summons, but that would be reserved for very serious matters. In practice and in my experience you will usually get a letter of some sort first.

 

It may ask for your explanation just as you suggest, if so, you should write promptly in reply giving any mitigation that you consider appropriate

 

Ocasionally, it may by that the opportunity to accept an administrative penalty and written warning about future behaviour may be considered appropriate.

 

Timewise, a lot depends on how much work is being processed, but through most offices you'll normally hear something within a month

 

Please wait and see what happens before doing anything.

Edited by Old-CodJA

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Hi Guys,

 

I hope you are all well.

After 2 months I received LU's letter. It states the following:

 

"On (day) at (time) an incident took place at x tube station whereby you were spoken to by a member of London Underground staff regarding your train journey and the associated fare.

 

The facts of this incident are now being considered and I must advise you that legal proceedings may be initiated against you regarding this matter in accordance with the London Underground prosecution policy.

 

If you have any comments to make regarding this incident please write them on the reverse side of this letter and complete the information panel below, returning the whole letter in the freepost envelope provided which does not require a stamp, within 10 days.

 

You do not have to reply to this letter but it may harm your defence if you do not mention something which you may later rely on in court. Anything that you do provide in writing may be used in evidence.

 

Failure to respond to this letter may result in the matter being progressed by the London Underground Prosecutions Department without further notification."

 

There is a box at the bottom of the letter where they ask to complete the following info:

- Surname,

- Forename,

- Date of birth,

- Address,

- Post Code,

- Telephone number,

- Occupation,

- Signature + Date

 

The letter is signed by the prosecution manager and it also has a bar code.

 

I would be extremely grateful if you could give me some advice regarding the above.

 

Thank you so much.

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See my thread (missylow) for what I did! When I got this, I wrote the circumstances & sent it back - they completely ignored it! And I've heard of the same thing happening to others. Seriously - my BEST advice is to contact the Prosecutions Manager (not sure where LU's Prosecutions Manager is based - but London Overground is at Camden station. If you contact them they may be able to tell you who to speak to).

 

Call them today, explain the istuation & apologise profusely. Seriously - I worried and worried over this for months and when i called them it was sorted in a matter of minutes. In fact, the Prosecutions manager actually said, "If you'd have called sooner then we would have charged you much less". I ended up paying £182. But for peace of mind it was worth it.

 

Good luck :))

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Hi Missylow,

Thanks for your message & support.

Could you please let me know if you sent any evidence with the letter you sent them to support everything you said or you just sent a letter explaining the situation.

thank you.

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I didn't send any evidence - basically my Oyster card didn't beep in when i thought it had when I was at a station with no barriers! So all the eivdence I had was that I had enough money on my card to pay for the entire journey.

 

They completely ignored my letter anyway - I really would ring them first and explain your situation. I can't say it enough. They dropped my prosecution & it may not even cost you that much.

 

If you get no joy on the phone then write in anyway & send whatever evidence you have to support your claim. But I would make sure you send copies not originals!

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I'll try to call them, not sure what to say really. I was using a freedom pass that was not mine!

 

I'll try but I am sure I will not get away with it. Your situation can happen as TFL knows that the system and oyster card readers are sometimes faulty, so I suppose that is acceptable. I used a Freedom Pass that was not mine, so the "offence" committed as no excuse I guess...

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All you could say is that you made s illy mistake/if it was in a wallet you didn't check the card & thought it was yours?! Good luck :)

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Hi there,

 

Under the rule of the national 'free' concessionary scheme, miss-use of a pass can result in it being withdrawn. It is an expensnve benefit for the over 60's and disabled and as such should not be abused in this way.

If you had done it only once out of desperation then I would have a bit more sympothy for you but as you say you have done this on 4 previous occasions, then you were asking to get caught!


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3387 days.

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