Jump to content
  • Tweets

  • Posts

    • And as for “what if I get sick the last week” (or those last three days)......   well, you’d get sick pay. Would you go into your new workplace?   HMRC may not be bothered by 2 overlapping jobs of course, but if NHS CFS (counter fraud And security) noticed that either: a) you were claiming over-lapping sick pay for 2 jobs, or b) you were claiming sick pay for one job while well enough to turn in for the other: expect them to view at least one of the sick pay claims as fraudulent!   if you annoy your “difficult” manager : they might be difficult enough to highlight it for the local NHS CF specialist
    • Hello, Can someone advise if the attached is a valid charge please?  I had parked in the car park and paid but then got delayed and have ended up with a ticket for parking longer than I should have done.   I know they will refuse the appeal but is this charge enforceable?   Charge Notice.pdf
    • The dealer is called Carwise in Epping. It's not the most established of premises. When i was there i'd say there was about 10-15 cars inside and an office. I've seen these reviews of them which seem to replicate my experience. https://www.cardealerreviews.co.uk/dealership/hr-autos-epping-essex-england (note previous name). It's quite worrying.    
    • To me, it isn't just about social distancing and hygiene measures. I'm far from the first to say it but until there's a reliable track and trace system, I don't think this can be managed properly.   Children may not suffer as much as adults, although some do, they can be asymptomatic and pass on the virus to the rest of the family.   https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/lockdown-david-king-second-wave-18739973
    • When will most schools actually re-open in September ?   And when they open, will they be providing teaching over the number hours 9am to 3pm  ?   I am thinking of the school I attended, which was a large Victorian building, with many modern extensions.  The classrooms which could accommodate about 35 Children elbow to elbow, will only be able to accommodate 20 at the most with any reasonable distancing.   Or does the whole class  of say 35 stay in a bubble and the teachers move around to teach the different subjects ?    I can see many schools opening later in September, not for all pupils for all days and not doing the full hours.   This is going to be very difficult to manage for all those concerned, including parents looking to return to work.     
  • Our picks

    • Curry’s cancelled my order but took the money anyway. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/423055-curry%E2%80%99s-cancelled-my-order-but-took-the-money-anyway/
      • 11 replies
    • Father passed away - Ardent Credit Services (Vodafone) now claiming he owes money. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/423040-father-passed-away-ardent-credit-services-vodafone-now-claiming-he-owes-money/
      • 9 replies
    • Currys Refuse Refund F/Freezer 5day old. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422656-currys-refuse-refund-ffreezer-5day-old/
      • 6 replies
    • Hi,  
      I was in Sainsbury’s today and did scan and shop.
      I arrived in after a busy day at work and immediately got distracted by the clothes.
       
      I put a few things in my trolley and then did a shop.
      I paid and was about to get into my car when the security guard stopped me and asked me to come back in.
       
      I did and they took me upstairs.
      I was mortified and said I forgot to scan the clothes and a conditioner, 5 items.
      I know its unacceptable but I was distracted and Initially hadn’t really planned to use scan and shop.
       
      No excuse.
      I offered to pay for the goods but the manager said it was too late.
      He looked at the CCTV and because I didn’t try to scan the items he was phoning the police.
       
      The cost of the items was about £40.
      I was crying at this point and told them I was a nurse, just coming from work and I could get struck off.
       
      They rang the police anyway and they came and issued me with a community resolution notice, which goes off my record in a year.
      I feel terrible. I have to declare this to my employer and NMC.
       
      They kept me in a room on my own with 4 staff and have banned me from all stores.
      The police said if I didn’t do the community order I would go to court and they would refer me to the PPS.
       
      I’m so stressed,
      can u appeal this or should I just accept it?
       
      Thanks for reading 
      • 16 replies
iline1983

Being Prosecuted by First Capital Connect - Help!

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3230 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

A few months back I was caught at Hitchin station without a ticket. I wasn't on a train, I was connecting to another to get home.

 

It is true that I evaded the fare deliberately, but it is also true that I hadn't had a square meal in two days and needed to get to my parents to eat something and scrub up. The guy who stopped me looked through all my old tickets and scanned my Oyster and told me I was being cautioned (which bizarrely started with me being read my rights - by a guy in a First Capital Connect uniform). I thought this would be followed by a request for the £20 fine, instead FCC sent a notice of intention to prosecute to my parents' home and required me to write a statement of what happened.

 

I wrote that I had no money and deliberately went through the barrier without a ticket. Apparently honesty is not advised these days because they seem to view this as a sure-fire win and seemed more willing to prosecute having received my admission of guilt.

 

The fare evaded by me was £3.70 which is being claimed back plus £110 in court costs. I am self-employed and frequently poor and live in Berlin, Germany so I will have to plead guilty unless I want to fly back to attend magistrate's court. I have to inform them of my financial situation (frequently awful, sometimes great) but I have seen from other posters on here that the magistrates will not take that info into account when passing judgement. I only hope I can pay when I get the fine.

 

Whatever happened to the £20 penalty fare? Does anyone have experience of dealing directly with FCC's Prosecutions Department?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just tell them you permanently live in germany, they can serve a summons on you overseas but there are special & more expensive procedures to follow which 9 times out of 10 they wont wish to use & the matter will most probably be dropped.

As for the £20 fine, thats not for intentional fare evasion its for people who cant be bothered to pay before getting on the train.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have read all other threads on here, you will see that many people are advised to ask if they can 'settle' the case without going to Court.

 

You, however, have told FCC that you can't/won't pay. Leaves them no option really, prosecution.

 

Service is deemed to be 'good' if it is sent to your 'last known address', so telling FCC that you live in Germany probably won't stop the action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There wasn't any point in issuing a penalty fare notice, you wouldn't pay it, it would be prosecuted.

 

Train operators who have penalty fare schemes in place don't have to use them.

 

People need to understand that if you commit a crime, you can't then expect to 'get away with it' by bunging someone £20.00.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about FCC as a railway service, but I have been in Court watching their prosecutor work. (A few years ago, in the City of London Magistrates Court.)

 

Seemed like a very nice chap, but also horribly proficient in presenting cases. His paperwork was in order, his understanding of the appropriate law was solid.

 

You could try writing to them offering to settle out of Court, although from your post, I guess you would need to scrounge the money from mum & dad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your advice, it's great that you anonymous lot are showing compassion that no-one else is.

 

I am trying to be as honest as possible with FCC and the magistrate's court, but it would seem that honesty only seems to make these people think that they have an open-and-shut case. Which is true. I never said that I was unwilling to pay the court fines, just that at the moment I'm wondering where my next meal is going to come from so ability, rather than willingness, is the issue.

 

I have to write a letter to FCC and plead stupidity/poverty, with skepticism on my part as to whether they will care. Perhaps my residence in Germany makes a difference but I think not - I am still a British citizen after all. What really makes no sense is fining someone who admitted an offence but whom explained that this was entirely provoked by extreme poverty, but of course, this is FCC we're discussing.

 

I will send that grovelling letter - and I am contrite about the matter, really - and simultaneously send the guilty plea to the clerk at the magistrate's court with a declaration of income, both to try to get the hearing aborted.

 

I could rest on the fact that I am an ex-pat, but I don't feel I want to run away from anything. Let's hope that this fact makes them give up on the idea of making a successful claim, but I can smell the tenacity seeping from their odious missives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is always difficult giving 'advice'. It is possible that FCC will settle, possible, but I don't know. If they do, it is likley that they would want their 'pound of flesh', that is costs, I think you mentioned £110.00, and the fare.

 

It is possible that the Court, on a guilty plea, with very low means, might look for less, but it is equally possible that the Court might ask for a lot more. The maximum fine is £1,000.00, although most Courts take an entry point of £350.00, reduced by a third for the guilty plea, and possibly more for your low income.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you plead guilty at Court, you get a conviction, not sure how that will impact on your 'life choices'.

 

The long & short of it is that there are many variables, which after Court, we can all explain, but before Court, we are all guessing at. If it was me on the sticky end of a summons, I would be offereing to pay full costs, do the washing up for months and so on. But I know what I stand to lose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not exactly happy about it. I am not sure what, if any, impact upon my life a conviction would have. I would certainly like to go to America, and I might like to teach kids or volunteer in a care home. So far none of these has become a reality for me. I do hope there is such a thing as mercy within a corporate like FCC. Their letters would indicate otherwise. Now I need to find the money to post a letter to Kings Cross. I'm serious, my life is that pathetic. Thanks again, Wriggler!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not exactly happy about it. I am not sure what, if any, impact upon my life a conviction would have. I would certainly like to go to America, and I might like to teach kids or volunteer in a care home. So far none of these has become a reality for me. I do hope there is such a thing as mercy within a corporate like FCC. Their letters would indicate otherwise. Now I need to find the money to post a letter to Kings Cross. I'm serious, my life is that pathetic. Thanks again, Wriggler!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, if you are 'honest' when caught and admit everything and sign at the bottom - of course they will take you to court and secure a conviction: they have a rock solid case with a signed confession!

 

Senior managers and government ministers love all those statistics after all, it 'proves' the TOCs are taking the matter seriously.

 

IME the only difference between someone being 'honest' after being caught bang to rights and trying to wriggle a bit under questioning is that the person who does the latter will waste more of their time and the railways staff (who get paid for you wasting their time anyway), delay your journey, and increase your costs after conviction anyway:

a) as the TOC will ask for higher costs - as instead of the prosecutions officer typing up one page to an easy success in court will have to type up several sheets taking up more of his time, and it'll take longer to present the prosecutions case in court.

 

b) after 'seeing' the struggle you put up under questioning after being caught 'fair and square' the justices may decide you are a habitual fare evader & obviously need to be taught more of a lesson -this will be further made clear to them by the higher amount of costs being requested by the TOC.

 

These are just my opinions, but based on seeing dozens of cases, typing up such notes and dealing with every aspect in my old job a few years ago.

 

Don't get me wrong: I've been at rock bottom when a student on the dole in the 80's so I sympathise, but I do think if you put yourself into a situation then you should 'take it on the chin' if caught bang to rights.

 

BTW: you were 'cautioned' as you would have noticed the questioner writing down your responses to his questions, this is normal procedure: 'reading your rights' only happens in the US FWIW.

 

I'd be interested in what the penalties are on DB (German railways) actually I suspect they'd be a great deal tougher than ours.

 

I assume what they have sent you is a letter of intended prosecution offering you the chance to settle out of court?

In which case £3.70+£110 is more than reasonable I am afraid: if it goes to court the court will also fine and add their costs too and the victim surcharge on top of that, along with the fact you end up with a criminal record.

If you decide to not settle then it will go to court anyway and when the fine is unpaid it could end up going to a collections agency and a CCJ being issued, with the obvious implications that has on you obtaining credit of any kind.

 

I am not sure if the collections agency would chase you to Germany on such a matter: they certainly can easily chase through the EU and the US AFAIAA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately the letter is a notice of intent to prosecute, I will re-read it after typing this but I am sure that they are asking for the £110 to cover court costs, plus the fare, plus whatever fine the magistrates award FCC in my absence. Deutsche Bahn are relatively similar I hear but the real bad guys here in Berlin are BVG, the metropolitan transport operators. As you may be aware, Berlin does not use barriers on its transport but in their place employ plain clothes 'kontrollers' who are quite intimidating in their approach. They walk you to a cash machine to get the instant 40 Euro fine, or else call the police, who will drive you home to pick up your ID if it's not on you (which is an offence officially also). Things can spiral out of control. I had a friend who was not a persistent evader but a bit dizzy. She ended up with the option of paying a grand or going to prison for two weeks. In the end we had a party for her in a ping pong bar and raised more than enough money to save her from chokey. While I'm not afraid of that fate, a conviction sounds bad to anyone's ear. Particularly that of my mother.

 

Jokes aside, I would prefer not to be judged by the members of this forum as a habitual fare evader; my honesty in this matter has seemingly painted me in a bad light. At no point have I admitted that, nor did I say that I did not intend to pay any fines. I am happy to rectify the situation, simply that it should be as a settlement and not as a conviction. I am not a 'bad person' for travelling home to get a square meal for the first time in two days, and I am aware of the weakness of this excuse, but I feel that honesty should always be duly noted when questioning whether to pardon or punish. I have yet to plead with FCC for leniency, I neither expect it or any fairness on their part. They have a job to do, after all. If they show absolutely no mercy whatsoever, I can stay here in Germany until the cows come home, but I would far rather face the music and attempt to soothe what seems to be a disproportionate amount of zealous tenacity on the part of FCC. I was stupid once, but all this over a fare less than a fiver?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry but being skint is no excuse to steal a rail journey, yes you've been honest etc but you still had no right to travel by rail with no ticket, would you go into Tesco with no money and expect them to give you free food? Just take it on the chin and stop going on about how FCC should let you off and how over zealous they're being etc etc YOU broke the law YOU have to face up to the predicament that YOU put yourself in! After all, the TOC's are running a business not a charity!


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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked for advice and practical steps to allow me to calm down a bit. Your condemnation helps no-one, but perhaps now you feel better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RPI - I find your comment remarkably narrow-minded. You have just summed the root cause of criminality at its basest level yet still fail to see hunger as a possible motive. Of course Tesco doesn't hand out free food to people who are starving, but if they did, street robberies would be cut in half overnight. I suppose it is this lack of foresight that means that you're earning your food money by collaring desperate people and sending them fines for crimes they could not afford to commit in the first place, and I'm digging myself out of a pit by means of a career that I have fought tooth and nail to establish. You have absolutely no right to judge me when I came to this forum in earnest and asked for help. But, I suppose, if I am to be trolled on the topic it would make sense that it was by you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

iline,

you cant come onto a public internet forum & expect that everyone will feel sympathy for you.

The only useful advice anyone can give you is to contact the railway company & cooperate with them.

You have been caught bang to rights, they hold all the cards & have to be humble & apologetic.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair the TOC and the magistrates won't care how much the fare was that was avoided: the case is proven and the amount avoided is irrelevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RPI - I find your comment remarkably narrow-minded. You have just summed the root cause of criminality at its basest level yet still fail to see hunger as a possible motive. Of course Tesco doesn't hand out free food to people who are starving, but if they did, street robberies would be cut in half overnight. I suppose it is this lack of foresight that means that you're earning your food money by collaring desperate people and sending them fines for crimes they could not afford to commit in the first place, and I'm digging myself out of a pit by means of a career that I have fought tooth and nail to establish. You have absolutely no right to judge me when I came to this forum in earnest and asked for help. But, I suppose, if I am to be trolled on the topic it would make sense that it was by you.

You asked for advice and you got it, you then carried on about how hard done by you've been hence my "opinion" comment, I earn my money by doing a decent paid job that I worked very hard to get, I started on the railway as a bog cleaner and worked my way up, I pay my taxes and I work hard by "collaring" (your words) people who fail to adhere to the law of the land, so long as people break the law I will have a relatively well paid job.


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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most Courts will 'take a view' on why a crime was committed. Punishment tends to be 'less' if the crime was from 'need' rather than 'greed'.

 

One should always be careful 'not to judge', or one may be judged oneself.

 

I wonder if any of us can claim to have never done something wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes yes, let he without sin cast the first stone and all that. I agree with the majority of responses here. Even RPI had a measured counterpoint to my angry reply. I have had the practical advice, I have had the admonitions and now I will send my guilty plea off to the magistrates court and wait for my conviction. I'll update on what happens next. Though the inexorable nature of the proceeedings means that it's now less about panic, or fear, or any of those emotions. It's more like trepidation. Sod it, I've learned my lesson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and I guess thats the whole point of the RP policy: to deter.

To be fair I met a few real regular dodgers at reading during my time as a RP manager there.

One would consistently play up in front of his mates almost weekly, getting to the point that all the gate staff knew him by sight and name.

I did pull him aside and give him some genuinely friendly advice one day that 'no matter how much your mates ''respect'' you by you baiting us and the staff on the trains, sooner or later you'll end up in court for the umpteenth time and the magistrates will decide enough is enough and put you away': imagine how much ''respect'' you'll get amongst the real nasties in Reading gaol when they find out what you did to be in there!?

 

Funnily enough, he calmed down a bit after that: maybe it hit home after all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been reading the forums and I am need of some help (real bad).

I made a terrible mistake whereby I bought a ticket from Kings Cross to St Albans at a gold card rate. I was caught by the revenue inspector and I said I was a gold card member but had lost my 2010 card. I was previously a gold member for over 5 yrs but decided not to renew end of Jan this year due to me moving. Whilst there was another person on the train who didn't have a ticket he was fined £20 I somewhat pointed that out to the inspector. I guess he didn't like me...In the end the inspector had to check my records and I had to confess that I lied . He took the statement down. I did not pay the £20 even though I was willing to do so as I was desperate to get home

FCC wrote to me and I wrote back to them (see below)

I have been commuting regularly between Kings Cross and St. Albans with First Capital Connect trains for the last 7 years and until recently, a gold card member for almost five years.

On 28th August I was in a rush to get back to St. Albans due to a family emergency and by habit quickly purchased the ticket at a gold member rate. Although this slip in concentration serves as no excuse I explained to the ticket inspector that I would be willing to pay the full fare and any fine. This was however declined. Furthermore, whilst on board the ticket inspector fined another passenger £20 for not having a ticket at all - worse for your company from revenue perspective than purchasing a ticket at 80% full price. However, it appears that your inspector wanted to impose upon me a more severe fine. I would urge you to consider the consistency of how the rules are applied and fairness of this.

I trust that as a company you value repeat business - in the last five years, I have spent nearly £10000 and would hope that you could reward my loyalty with settling this matter without progressing to the magistrates court, a costly and time consuming affair for all parties concerned. In lieu of this I would be happy to pay the full train fare cost, and/or any administration charges to close the issue swiftly.

I implore you show some leniency and once again apologize for any inconvenience caused

Only today did FCC write back saying they will forward the case (to Court).I've left them a message to call me (twice).

I am really worried as I have a good career, never had a criminal record... but have admitted that I was wrong.

What are my next steps? I've read the forums and there are similiar cases but really need some advice about next steps of what I should do/ expect from FCC?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice is to phone the Prosecutions Department on Monday. What is interesting is that I just got an email from FCC Customer Relations:

 

"Therefore I would advise you to contact our Prosecutions on 0044 2089 294 004 or 0044 2074 659 267 to discuss your case further."

 

At no point was there a demand for a fine nor a deadline by which to pay the fine, just a notice of intent to prosecute. I would therefore advise you to call the Prosecutions Department and offer to pay the £110 they are taking you to court for to keep from getting convicted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Iline,

 

Thanks for this...

 

I've been trying to contact them all of last Friday and today to discuss but no-one seems to pick up the phone. I've left several messages now.

 

I guess I will write them a letter offering them to pay £110. (Btw in their letter there was no mention of the amount to avoid going to court)

 

Thank you for all your help - i will keep you posted.

 

Fingers cross

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the prosecution team drop your case and just let you pay the fine, there's too many cases where people make one mistake and being prosecuted!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...