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I was travelling with my husband when approached by a revenue officer. I initially showed an invalid day return ticket for the previous day which I had bought by mistake. When I noticed the mistake, my husband passed me a spare entirely valid return ticket. The inspector refused to accept this on the basis that we did not have the outward portion and that I could not prove that I had made the outward journey, given my husband had been in possession of this ticket. We argued that it was unreasonable for us to have the outward ticket and any rules on lack of transferability of tickets should not apply to families who regularly buy tickets for the use of various members of that family. In either case, we had no intention of withholding any revenue from the railway company, given I used a ticket for that journey which we had paid for. We have both now have received a notice of intention to prosecute - me for evasion, he for "transfer with intent" and do not want to get a criminal record, particularly as we feel we did nothing wrong. Any advice as to how to respond would be much appreciated.

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Always difficult to 'advise' without seeing the Inspector's report.

 

I always like to try to understand 'the other side', and see how it looks with the 'full facts'. I have never seen a story where 'both sides' fully agree, and the 'prosecutor' will be looking at the facts as they were presented by the Inspector.

 

Inspector was wandering through a train, he said something like 'tickets please', you showed an out of date one. What did you husband show?

 

When the Inspector spots that your ticket is out of date, and points it out to you, your husband produces a ticket (from where?) and the Inspector is not happy that the ticket was issued for (Note, for, not necessarily 'to') you.

 

I would be asking the Inspector what it was that caused him to not accept that the ticket was properly yours. I assume that you both have the same surname and address, and that it doen't look like a (misguided) good samaritan giving you his spare ticket.

 

In terms of what happens next, it is normal to recommend that you write a reply, ignoring these things only ever makes them 'worse', and explain how your husband came to have 'your' ticket in (presumably) his pocket. Whether you did or did not have the 'outward' part of the ticket should be immaterial, as once it has been used, it is 'litter'. What is important is whether the ticket showed covered you to make the journey that you were making at the time that you were making it, and had not been issued to someone else, husband/boyfriend/complete stranger, as a booked ticket.

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Other issues that I would expect the prosecutor to ask the Inspector will be 'did they show at once?', 'did you have to repeatedly ask for details?' and so on. the time/distance between him asking for a ticket and the point at which one was shown does make a difference, as does the time between him asking for your name (suspecting that an offence might have been committed) and you giving it. Even if everything is absolutely 'correct', if he 'reasonably suspected an offence', and you were 'difficult' with supplying a name and address, you may have committed an offence (Byelaw 23? Old Codja will correct me if I got that one wrong)

 

I think that if everything is as you tell it, and if you are not 'Norman Stanley Fletcher', the prosecutor will not want to press this case further. But an old git like me remains 'without scars' by never believing the first version that a client tells! I am not suggesting that you have lied to us, far from it, but it would not be the first time that when I have seen evidence there are minor things like 'the blood covered knife in your handbag', which had remained unmentioned.

 

Without being too specific, this is an open forum, please let us know anything else that happened in this 'incident'.

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Brilliant replies from Wriggler7, but then I wouldn't have expected anything else. :-)

 

Yes, if having failed to produce a valid ticket, you were difficult and failed to provide your correct details promptly, the inspector could have grounds to proceed and spot on again, Byelaw 23 (1)

 

As Wriggler7 says, the time taken over the incident would be crucial in my mind. If an inspector says 'Tickets please?', traveller shows ticket, inspector says 'Sorry, this is out of date, do you have any others?' and traveller immediately replies 'Ooops! sorry, must have given you yesterdays, hang on my husband had them in his wallet, here's the right one.' I cannot see any offence.

 

Byelaw 21(2) states: no person shall transfer or receive any unused or partly used ticket, intending that any person shall use it for travelling unless the conditions of use for the ticket specifically permit such transfer.

 

An offence is committed if that strict liability condition is not met, but Wriggler7 is right, more questions need to be asked to determine the specific situation here.

 

If the outward half of a ticket had been used by your husband, you cannot use the return half of that ticket. It is his return journey ticket.

 

Having said that, I am a great believer in the fact that commonsense should prevail in such cases and unless you have omitted any important factors, I would expect that this could be resolved

Edited by Old-CodJA
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