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Court summons - S.5.3(a) regulation of railways act 1889

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My son has been presented with a magistrates court summons for fare evasion back in September.

 

Background......

 

Ticket purchased by 'friend' (use the term loosely) prior to boarding train.

 

They proceeded to have a heated discussion on journey home, 'friend' decided to leave son on arrival destination and sauntered off - ticket still in back pocket.

 

Son has attempted to explain himself on arrival but not very articulate.

 

Questioned by Railway enforcement officer...... extract of text in statement.

 

REO - 'Do you have valid ticket for journey?'

 

Son - 'No, its not in my possession'

 

REO - 'I suggest it was your intent to avoid the fare'

 

Son - 'No'

 

REO - 'I Suggest it was your intention to board the service knowing you had no means to pay'

 

Son - 'I had no means to pay, that is why my friend purchased the ticket'

 

REO - 'Do you have any proof of fare purchase?'

 

Son - 'No'

 

REO - 'Your friend has just departed the station without you, is that correct?'

 

Son - 'Yes'

 

Followed by signing notebook, reporting etc

 

3 weeks later received request for confirmation of details and notice of intent to issue PF.

 

Son responded agreeing to meet all reasonable costs and would await PF notice (hasnt kept a copy argggggghhh). I in the meantime had a 'chat' with his friend who agreed to pay any penalty imposed on sons behalf.

 

Yesterday morning received summons for court for 14th December under S.5.3(a)

 

Cannot afford legal help for him and he's just got a job (starts monday) after a year of claiming JSA. Not brilliant money 20hours a week at minimum wage.

 

Have spoken to Prosecutions office who deny receipting earlier response and state that they wish to proceed with prosecution - seems a slightly vindictive action but I suppose they see thousands of such cases every year.

 

Friend will not write statement for court as he feels he may then be prosecuted for wasting the courts time as he did not come forward earlier??

 

Is there any point in defending such an action or is travelling without a ticket in possession indefensible?

 

They are claiming fare of £1.80 + £125.00 contribution + any court costs imposed.

 

For the record, he has never been in trouble before...... not a blemish on his school records or since in adult life (just turned 18 )

 

Thanks

 

Gez

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i'll let SRPO and old codja comment on that actuals but i wonder if the existance of the valid unused ticket might well help.

ok he got on the train knowing he had no ticket so that might be blown right out the water by doing that, but atleast the journey WAS paid for in a round about way.

 

if not reclaim the unused ticket....!

 

dx


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Hi dx

 

The little git binned the ticket, don't think they spoke for a good couple of weeks afterwards so any defence would be based on hearsay evidence and convincing him that he would be doing the right thing by acting as witness at hearing....... although having read some bad experiences of court hearings in the past you have to wonder if magistrates live in the real world, have a feeling most would be looking for an easy guilty plea and an early finish.

 

Having thought about it I actually worked with someone who passed as magistrate and he was known to most of us as Tommy the grapefruit (rhymes with lagger), bored one out on a night shift and was 'allegedly' spotted by a security guard. Became the talk of the town for a while.

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aw!! bummer........

 

dont think you've too much to worry about really

i take it you have done a bit of reading here?

my take on it is to grovel and it should turn out ok with no bad record.

 

good luck

 

one or the other will be on tomorrow i'm sure

 

dx


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My son has been presented with a magistrates court summons for fare evasion back in September.

 

Background......

 

Ticket purchased by 'friend' (use the term loosely) prior to boarding train.

 

They proceeded to have a heated discussion on journey home, 'friend' decided to leave son on arrival destination and sauntered off - ticket still in back pocket.

 

Son has attempted to explain himself on arrival but not very articulate.

 

Questioned by Railway enforcement officer...... extract of text in statement.

 

REO - 'Do you have valid ticket for journey?'

 

Son - 'No, its not in my possession'

 

REO - 'I suggest it was your intent to avoid the fare'

 

Son - 'No'

 

REO - 'I Suggest it was your intention to board the service knowing you had no means to pay'

 

Son - 'I had no means to pay, that is why my friend purchased the ticket'

 

REO - 'Do you have any proof of fare purchase?'

 

Son - 'No'

 

REO - 'Your friend has just departed the station without you, is that correct?'

 

Son - 'Yes'

 

Followed by signing notebook, reporting etc

 

3 weeks later received request for confirmation of details and notice of intent to issue PF.

 

Son responded agreeing to meet all reasonable costs and would await PF notice (hasnt kept a copy argggggghhh). I in the meantime had a 'chat' with his friend who agreed to pay any penalty imposed on sons behalf.

 

Yesterday morning received summons for court for 14th December under S.5.3(a)

 

Cannot afford legal help for him and he's just got a job (starts monday) after a year of claiming JSA. Not brilliant money 20hours a week at minimum wage.

 

Have spoken to Prosecutions office who deny receipting earlier response and state that they wish to proceed with prosecution - seems a slightly vindictive action but I suppose they see thousands of such cases every year.

 

Friend will not write statement for court as he feels he may then be prosecuted for wasting the courts time as he did not come forward earlier??

 

Is there any point in defending such an action or is travelling without a ticket in possession indefensible?

 

They are claiming fare of £1.80 + £125.00 contribution + any court costs imposed.

 

For the record, he has never been in trouble before...... not a blemish on his school records or since in adult life (just turned 18 )

 

Thanks

 

Gez

 

 

Sadly, I cannot give you the answer that you perhaps hope for here.

 

'My friend has my ticket' or, 'My friend is going to meet me to pay the fare at the other end' are two of the most common excuses that Inspectors hear every day when encountering travellers without a ticket.

 

It is worth a look at the actual Act for guidance here:

 

Section 5 (1) Every passenger by a railway shall, on request by an officer or servant of a railway company, either produce, and if so requested deliver up, a ticket showing that his fare is paid, or pay his fare from the place whence he started, or give the officer or servant his name and address; and in the case of default shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine.

 

Your son is in breach of the Act, because he has failed to show a valid ticket and did fail to pay the fare, but has complied with the legitimate request for his name and address

 

Section 5 (3) (a) If any person travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine.

 

Again, your son may be considered to be in breach of the Act here.

 

Any person who has neither a valid ticket showing that the fare is paid or means to pay if facilities were not availabe to get one before travelling has no right to board any train. I understand the suggestion that his friend had it, but there was no evidence of this for the REO to take into consideration.

 

When questioned your son could not show a ticket and could not pay the fare due. He admitted both these points at the time of the ticket check.

 

It has been ruled that a person cannot give what he doesn't have available to give and commits the offence by default. He had no ticket and no means to pay and no evidence that his fare had been paid.

 

A ticket that is not present at the time of the ticket check cannot be accepted as valid for any journey for a variety of reasons.

 

Not least of these is the fact that any ticket produced later could be a ticket that had been used by someone else. For that reason alone it can be rejected (although in the case of a season ticket left at home a different view may prevail where it is shown to be valid and the photocard is held.)

 

In this case there is no evidence that any fare had been paid.

 

Your sons' best chance was for the 'errant friend' to write a statement explaining what happend and attach BOTH TICKETS to it showing that the fares had been paid prior to travel. (all tickets have the place & time of issue coded on them.)

 

This might have given a little hope, but as you say he has disposed of them and refuses to provide an alibi for your son I cannot offer much likelihood of success.

 

Your son could put the explanation to the Magistrates in mitigation, but I have to say that the 'my friend had my ticket' is such a well-worn story, it may not stand much chance of success I'm afraid.

 

I am rather surprised by the claim that your son had received a postal notice stating that a Penalty Fare notice was to be issued retrospectively.

 

Penalty Fare Notices have to be issued by a specifically authorised person at the time of any incident and the traveller is given 21 days to pay or appeal liability in writing.

 

This is a case of a report of 'attempted fare evasion', which is much more serious and Penalty Fare Notices are not used to report these matters as evidenced by the interview under caution referrred to in your original posting.

 

With no previous history of offending, your son should write requesting an opportunity to settle the case administratively by paying the fare and the costs incurred by the company in dealing with the case.

 

You cannot do this on his behalf as he is over 18, but you can of course write any request for him to sign if he so wishes.

 

The rail company do not have to agree, but it's worth a try.

Edited by Old-CodJA

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Hi Old-codJA

 

Thanks for the input, to be honest its pretty much what I expected. There are well worn excuses in every service or trade and to be fair I tend to tar everybody with the same brush in my line of work so can see why the railways and the courts are no different in this respect. Does present as a dilemma when its a genuine case though.

 

He has previously offered to meet all costs so I guess 1 more attempt at that wouldnt do any harm. Having read the previous correspondence from south eastern it clearly stated that they would issue PF on receipt of response.... just wish he'd kept a copy, although having thought further they must have receipted this as it requested his N.I number which now appears on their statement of evidence.

 

Given the above they have an admittance by default (ticket not in possession at time of travel) plus a second admittance agreeing to meet costs if/when issued.

 

He has 7 (now 5) days only to respond to the court, do we acknowledge with mitigation and advise we are in correspondence with railway? Really doesnt give much time to try to come to an agreement, I assume any offer would have to be in writing and the court would need to be aware they we have attempted to reach settlement before encumbering their valuable time?

 

Thanks again

 

Gez

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It would be advisable to send your out of court offer via special delivery, which is recorded and will be there the next day.

 

best of luck


Views expressed in this forum by me are my own personal opinion and you take it on face value! I make any comments to the best of my knowledge but you take my advice at your own risk.

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Yes, excellent advice from RPI, and make sure that your son advises the Court that he has made two attempts to avoid the necessity for a hearing by offering to meet the fare and their full costs.

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Arghhhhhhhhhhh, phoned prosecutions office Monday morning, agreed fee of £126.80 sent next day. Phoned the court today, proceedings discontinued........ all things considered a reasonable result and the little git will be paying dad back.

 

Just got in from work and 'friends' mum rings. Tells me how sorry she is that son got messed around by her boy and then proceeds to tell me she purchased the tickets for them and still has the receipt from her credit card and the ticket receipt.

 

Typical kids, half a story...... apparently she'd dropped them off in town whilst she went shopping, they (being the teenage idiots that they are) drove her to despair so she dumped them at the station on the way back and got them a ticket each to make their own way home.

 

She's now busy writing to the Prosecutions office to see if they'll relent on any or all of the fee and requesting CCTV of ticket office for time and date. Don't honestly hold out much hope but will wait and see what she can come up with.

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Meant to update this the other day and ermmmmm......forgot

 

South Eastern have relented and sent cheque back.

 

Strongly worded but somehow polite letter (guess they have dopey kids too) enclosed advising that after due consideration and as an exceptional gesture of goodwill they will not be requiring payment in the absence of any judgement and find the matter concluded with the evidence presented by Mrs C...........

 

They do however go on to quote Byelaws and a gentle reminder that son would have been best served by buying his own ticket for travel.

 

Gez

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Good result, congratulations.

 

Thanks O-C

 

Have decidely kicked idiot sons butt though........

 

If nothing else it should remind him to be more sensible in the future

 

Cheers

 

Gez

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Wow..so they are human after all ! :)

 

Lol...... wouldnt go that far :D

 

To be fair I did ring them to check (the details not the humanity thing lol) and the young lady was very pleasant and understanding on the phone.

 

Guess its not just me with stupid kids

 

Gez

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See, Southeastern do have a heart!

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Well done everyone

 

 

Dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

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Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

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