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gleamcat22

Using found Freedom Pass

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Hi,

 

I found this forum after being inspected during a bus ride earlier this morning - here are the notes I've put down to change to letter form to send to the prosecutions team at TFL.

 

Does anyone have any insight on how they think this will go, and any handy contacts for this letter, or anyone I could call? Just want to get this matter out of the way asap, and especially avoid a criminal record, as I'm very worried about having one.

 

 

- Several years ago a friend and I found an old-age Hillingdon Borough Freedom Pass. I intended to return this, and put it in my bag, but forgot to do so.

- Sorting through old bags recently (14th Nov), I pulled this card out, having forgotten it even existed. I put it in my wallet again, intending to return/destroy it, which I know should have done immediately. It could be that I swiped it on a bus that weekend to see whether it was still valid, but as this was something that would be covered by my own Annual Z1-2 travelcard, I thought nothing of it. I had no idea that it would even be in operation, due to the time that elapsed since I found it.

- The card was in my wallet for the time between 14th-29th November, and as I have been using my Barclaycard Visa Oystercard to make Christmas purchases, they have been in and out of my wallet, and in different parts of the wallet.

- On Sunday my valid oyster card happened to not be in my wallet, but was in my wife’s handbag. When the ticket inspectors came, my wife accidentally swiped my card, although she had a valid PAYG Oystercard in her bag. When I went to swipe my wallet, the card in there didn’t register – the revenue inspector asked to see the card, and on asking I realised that I had the freedom pass noted above in my wallet. Unfortunately, I became very panicked as I realised that using that for a paid journey I would be committing a serious offence by accident, and didn’t realise that between us we had two valid oyster cards, which makes this situation even more distressing.

- I am extremely sorry, the offenses I have committed have been accidental, and haven’t given me any financial benefit. I understand that this is an extremely serious offence, and I hope that the circumstances noted above will be taken into account.

 

 

This is very distressing to us, my wife and I are at the point where we are thinking jail time is a certainty, as is a criminal record - if anyone has any insights and experience they could use to shed light on this, we'd be very grateful.

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I doubt you would be sent to jail for it.

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do some reading in this forum.

sadly this will be classed as fraud.

 

you have had ample time to get rid off it & pers i dont believe your story but thats no matter, they will not take that into account anyhow.

 

write to them, as other threads suggest pleading guily and wanting to sort the matter without going to court,

you should be ok.

 

dx


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I am planning to plead guilty with mitigating circumstances. Sadly, as stupid as this story sounds, it is true. The only real mistake that was made is that the PAYG Oystercard hadn't been topped up. If I had even remembered the stupid thing was in my wallet, I would of just told the inspector I didn't have any credit. I would much rather have had that fine instead of being in all of this trouble for nothing.

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ok fair enough

you should be ok going by other threads

 

dx


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Lets hope that the freedom pass wasnt obtained through robbery/burglary as you could become the prime suspect or be charged with hangling stolen goods.

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Hadn't thought of that - hopefully plenty of people will vouch for my character and whereabouts, as I've had that pass for a long, long time without even realising I still had it.

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Trying to get through to the prosecutions team, but not having a whole lot of luck - does anyone have the number for the bus prosecutions team?

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I doubt you would be sent to jail for it.
I would like to know the outcome of this problem as I've been told in the past that using someone else's freedom pass is classed as 'benefit cheating' and does cover a massive fine or jail time.

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On buses I believe its classed as fraud.


All I ask is to be treated fairly and lawfully.

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I would like to know the outcome of this problem as I've been told in the past that using someone else's freedom pass is classed as 'benefit cheating' and does cover a massive fine or jail time.

In these circumstances it would probably be classed as fraud, although I can see why some Magistrates may class it diferently. Bearing in mind if you go to Court for somthing like this, it's almost always a Train Company or TFL or something, and they would more than likely prosecute using the Regulations of Railways Act, or railway Byelaws, and benefit offences wouldn't come in to the question, as that's not why they were taken to court.

 

If however the Police were to prosecute for such an offence (unlikely, but it does happen on occassion!), I guess it could be different, as they're not prosecuting in order to get compensation of travel costs etc, namely BTP, as local forces probably wouldn't know how to report for such an offence.

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