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I was travelling with a valid ticket. I was stopped by a ticket inspector, checked and marked my ticket.

Whilst she was serving the customer opposite I rubbed it off, dunno why really. I am of a nervous disposition those are the kinds of things I do, always doodling, pacing around etc. Don't always put thought into all my actions.

I was sent a letter (to the wrong address mind, they asked for my drivers licence so this isn't my doing) saying that was trying to defraud the company. I can see why but honestly (and lets be honest why would I lie on a forum) wasn't trying to.

Sent a letter explaining that I wasn't doing it deliberately, no intent etc just me being a fool and rubbing it off. Also told them they had my wrong address.

Just got a reply saying that I was sat opposite the head of business who has written a statement to say that it was deliberate and the case will proceed. To the wrong address again.

Basically, I feel like I am in the ****. Any ideas on what kind of action will be taken against me? Has anyone any experience of a similar situation to this and how it resolved?

The annoying bit is that I always travel with this train company and always pay for a ticket.

Any help in the matter would be appreciated.


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I don't think I have Aspergers Syndrome to be honest, and if I do, then I'd have to go and get it diagnosed before it could work to my defence. :razz:

Quite honestly I now realise I'm at liability, because I did deface the ticket, even though it was only a little miniscule biro squiggle and I did so in a moment of absent-minded daydreaming. I haven't done it to reuse the ticket or anything like that, this was my only time in the timeframe of the return that I travelled along this route or was planning to. Usually I just get singles, if it was a single it wouldn't have been an issue. Just dont really want the whole hassle of court as I've never been before, first offence etc, and I wasn't actively trying to defraud but proving otherwise may prove tricky.

Also in the second letter a different date has been written down to that of the day that I travelled on this route.

Just want to know what course of action is likely.

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Yeah, I must admit that I haven't really given the biggest picture possible here. I'm 22 by the way, just graduated, clean record.

I had my ticket checked, the woman did a little biro w squiggle and I rubbed it off straight away why she was serving the customer opposite. They'll be thinking that I wanted to re-use my ticket again. I still had another leg of the journey to travel though which takes about 2 hours. I keep saying these things but it still doesn't make it feel any more believable if I was on their side and reserving complete skepticism. I can see why I've acted like I am master defrauder of train systems with my eraser like thumb but it honestly wasn't the case.

So when I've rubbed it off she's come back and marked it less ambiguously, a HUGE squiggle. I've thanked her and thought 'geez thats odd to have her come back and mark it with a HUGE squiggle,' but didn't REALLY think anything of it. Not until I left the train. Asked by two transport inspectors a series of questions, read my rights etc. I think that represents a transport caution...

Have I used the ticket before? - No.

Was I planning to use the ticket again? - No.

Was I planning to re-do the journey any time during the next month? - Not that I know of.

Have you ever rubbed the stamp off before with intent of reusing the ticket? - No, I don't think so. Maybe when I was a wee kid but not that I know of. (DUNNO WHY I SAID THIS)

Do you accept that you rubbed the stamp off the ticket? - Yes.

Why did you do this? - No motive.

There must have been a reason. - I just did it without thinking about it. No motive.


I think that was the general jist of proceedings.

They then sent me a letter to ask me to explain my actions which I did.

Absent mindedness, nervous disposition, ignorance I was doing anything wrong, no intention to defraud, please use a pen that cant be rubbed off in future.


They've written back to tell me that the person on the table opposite was Head of Business of the train company who saw me use my thumb to rub off the ticket and then lick my thumb and carry on. It then says that I scrupilously checked the ticket for any evidence. I don't agree with that bit, I was in no way thorough and to be honest even after alighting there was still a bit visible. Just a victim of my own personality but seeing as I've already tried to explain my actions and this has been fruitless, and furthermore the train company sees no reason why 'the case should not continue' any advice would be great. Also as I haven't actually dodged any fares or defrauded them in any way, settlements also seem a bit unfair but I need some sort of resolution to this and hope that the resolution won't be 'guilty in court'. Because that would suck.

I'm also currently unemployed having just finished uni, but I think disclosing that might count against me rather than for me as that would provide a motive to try and re-use the ticket I suppose. Thanks for your help all.

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If it is as you suggest it is, maybe you should just go to court. You say that you feel it would be unfair to offer the company any compensation etc, as you weren't intending to defraud them of any money. That being the case, court might be the better option. What are they charging you with? Byelaw 20.1 or 20.2 I would imagine (although the ticket itself and its original state wasn't altered, I'd imagine this covers stamps that an authorised official puts on them, too), that being the case, you should plead not guilty of either of those, as you had no intention of reusing the ticket. Simples.

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I would take Stigy's advice seems very sound.


Instead of a pen squiggle whatever happened to the ticket clippers?


Just don't fret about it, at the end of the day it is the train company that will look like 'IDIOTS' :der:





















most of my knowledge is from the school of hard knocks


not based on any legal background


As quite a lot fellow caggers state seek Legal Advice




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Several things:


If they copied your address from your drivers licence, and the address is your old one, then there is an offence (which the railway aren't interested in) of failing to notify DVLA. If, when they asked you for something with your name and address on, you allowed them to take 'the wrong address', then you may have committed an offence, byelaw 23.


The offence of 'altering a ticket' does require proof that you intended to defraud the railway. (From memory, defraud may be too strong a word, but in someway avoid a fare)


At a practical level, if you indicate that you are 'not guilty', I am not sure that the 'fat controller' will want to spend one of his days going to Court, but they could be under pressure from him to 'do something'. Mind that they do not become 'vindictive', and take you to court for the 'false address'.

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An aside but I thought that marking tickets with pens was frowned upon by ATOC and they should always make a printed mark with ticket stampers designed for the job.

Clippers were withdrawn not from H&S in my old company but as:

a) one clip on a number 5 could have been done on any train and so they are untraceable compared with coded stampers.

b) the punched out parts make a right mess up & down trains and stations.

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a Pen mark on a ticket means nothing, i'm sure there are some guidelines somewhere, which train operator ws it?

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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Ok, a few notes:

1. I didn't give them the wrong address so cannot be done under that byelaw, I gave them my DVLA card and they must have copied the address down wrong. Was not an error on my part.

2. What does H&S mean? This point I made to them in the letter I sent to them, basically saying that I hadn't actively thought about rubbing away the mark, but if it was marked with something that I couldn't have rubbed away then there's no problem. I would imagine that ATOC would frown upon this and there should be some law to say that you cant just do a little biro squiggle, it should be checked properly in my opinion and that means some official stamp.

3. In response to RPI, are you sure about this? It was CrossCountry trains. As aformentioned, I said in the reply if they had used a proper method of marking then there wouldn't have been any worry. In their reply they said that there were guidelines for marking tickets and this met them (somehow, not sure how). Also said that I was sitting opposite the lady that was head of business support for the company and saw me rub it away with intent and scrupilously check the mark was removed before returning it to my wallet. I will imagine that her statement will go some way for them making a quite easily resolved case against me, depending on how strongly she pushes what she believed she saw. I did wipe away the mark - or else I wouldn't be in trouble, but the way that she said I did it is just going a huge way far in my opinion. No intent to defraud, but yes, an intent to wipe the mark.


It's a huge error on my part to do it, but I didn't really try to get away with any fares, had a ticket, was an idiot etc. Just don't know how easily XC will be able to prove my 'intent to defraud' that is all. The sad thing is if it does go to court I really don't know how well 'I don't know why I did it' is going to look really. Hence why I am a trifle worried despite the stupid cirumstances.

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And also, I'm not hugely worried if I just have to go to court and get a fine. Unless it's astronomical. Yes, it would be a trifle unfair considering the circumstances but **** happens and they have viewed my actions badly. I just don't want a criminal record as I'm not one, so having the brand of someone that is, is a worry to me. Does anyone know or can guess what they believe the punishments to be if I was found guilty of trying to defraud. Given A) I had a ticket. B) No attempt to avoid inspector. C) Complete compliance with guards, no motive stated in questions. D) Written back to express my views and that there was no motive. It's the eye witness that worries me though, given she is head of business support at the company, if she believed I was trying to be ultra discreet about it or plays it up in court then what is my defence really?

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National Railways Byelaw 20 says


(1) No person shall alter a rail ticket in any way with the intent that an operator shall be defrauded or predjudiced

(2) No person shall knowingly use any ticket which has been altered in any way in breach of Byelaw 20(1)


You have said you didn't intend to re-use the ticket and I guess it depends on what the detail in the statement from the witness says, whether they believe they have a strong case.


I don't think you have any argument that you didn't give a wrong address. If you handed an inspector your driving licence when he or she asked for confirmation of your address, they cannot be blamed for writing down the details of what you gave them.


If it was not your current address you would certainly be likely to be charged with giving a false address if they later discovered that it was incorrect. It was up to you to tell them that was out of date and give your proper address.


Coupled with the fact that you have said that you did remove the examination mark made by the inspector, and have said you did let him take an old address, knowing that you didn't live there, it's a matter of whether or not they feel they can prove that you intended to use the ticket again after that check and I'm sure they will point to the claim of giving a false address as part of that evidence.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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I didn't have anything to do with them obtaining my address - I just gave them my DVLA card and two members of the transport police took it away, whilst I was questioned and later on brought it back. So now I have to prove that too? This just keeps getting better. :mad2:

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I was sent a letter (to the wrong address mind, they asked for my drivers licence so this isn't my doing)


So if you gave your correct address, first time by showing your driver's licence and that address is correct, how is it that they sent you a letter to a different address if you didn't give it to them?


I'm confused on that bit.

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When I got off the train they didn't ask me for my address, they asked me for identification. They then took my identification whilst I was questioned, and returned it later on. At no point was I asked for my address, that I can remember anyway, although my mind was whirling. The address they have is one of my neighbours 5 doors down. Hence they've just replaced the number 2 with a 3. For instance from 222 to 232. A copying error.

Edited by littleandroidman
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