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    • Spoke to my SIL a short while ago Andy and he had the following to say.....     No, he had left their employment by this time, in fact he left January of this year.     August 2013 up until January 2020     Yes, in fact he had a staff MORE card.     He laughed and said "Hell Yes" This even extended to the pubs deputy manageress whom he described as the worst offender and knew that my SIL was doing it as well as other staff members.   There is a story here....   He told me that after he had left, the company fraud guys came in to do an audit with her unofficially being the main target. He has an idea that she may well have been caught with her hand in the till and so she sang like a canary to save her own arse.
    • this is what shell have just sent me in email, confirming mistakes were made it the final response / deadlock letter, they are only telling me this now, 6 months after the deadlock letter was sent to me and long after court action started   please is the actual deadlock letter binding, or can they just noll and void it like this?   Thank you for taking the time to speak with me this evening regarding your account. As agreed, I am emailing you with the details of what was discussed during our phone call so you have a copy in writing. I advised that you previously had an account with Shell Energy (formerly First Utility) for property  and this has an outstanding debit balance of £187.24. However, due to the age of the account and when the invoice was produced on this account, this balance is being cleared. This balance will be cleared within 10 working days and the account will be closed at a zero balance. In regards to account  I advised that back billing credit of £630.45 that was applied in April 2020 was applied in error and was later withdrawn. I explained that the reason it was applied in error is because the back billing period this amount was calculated for, is the same period that the back billing was previously calculated for and a credit applied to the account in February 2017, with the amount of £1192.32 being applied to the energy account. I advised that at the time the deadlock letter was written, the information within this letter was accurate based on the account at that point. After receiving the deadlock letter, you then escalated your case to the Ombudsman. It was at this point, an agent investigated your case and realised that the back billing credit of £630.45 was applied in error. This was addressed within the Ombudsman's findings in writing and they confirmed that the £630.45 was an error and it is correct in being removed, leaving the account balance at £644.48 which is valid and liable to be paid. I appreciate that you have advised the Ombudsman case is null and void as you did not accept their decision and you are right in saying that the actual final decision that they issued was non-binding upon Shell Energy. However, this does not change the outcome of their findings or the fact that the back billing credit of £630.45 was not due to the account. You queried if our call was recorded as you would need it for a judge, to which I confirmed it was recorded. If you want me to raise a SAR for a copy of this call recording, please do not hesitate to reply directly to this email and let me know and I can arrange this for you. I advised that as your case has now been escalated to Shakespeare, legal fees have now been incurred. I advised of the breakdown of these fees: Legal representative cost £70 , Court fee £60 and interest £146.06. I also confirmed that these legal fees were on top of the account debit balance, resulting in an overall balance of £920.54. As discussed, due to the case now being with Shakespeare, I am unable to offer any settlement figure internally. However, I can arrange for Shakespeare to call you directly to discuss your account and options available. You queried if they would be able offer/discuss a settlement figure/payment plan, to which I confirmed that I could not comment on this as I do not know their process, however they will be able to discuss the options in more detail with you directly. As agreed, I will arrange for Shakespeare to call you tomorrow; Friday 27th November 2020. If they are unable to get hold of you, they should be able to leave a voicemail for you. During our call, you also queried who would appear in court to represent Shell, whether it would be a member of staff directly from Shell or whether it would be a representative from Shakespeare on our behalf. I have gone away and spoken to our legal team who have confirmed that it would be Shakespeare who would lead with a representative on behalf of Shell. I hope the information in this email clarifies our position. As advised within our phone call, I am genuinely sorry for the shortfalls you have experienced and I fully appreciate the frustration this has caused. As above, if you would like to request a copy of our call recoding from today, please not hesitate to let me know and I can raise a SAR for this. You can reply directly to this email or you can call on 0330 094 9158. Our lines are open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm. Please note that my working days are Wednesday to Friday each week. Yours sincerely,  
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Hi all,

I have been prosecuted and set a summon for not having a train tkt during a revenue check by southern rail at Gatwick airport.

I plead not guilty and I due for a hearing on the 31st of Jan. in frotn of the Magistrate Court

As I cannot afford a lawyer I am defending my self with little knowledge apart what I can read on line.

 

Here the facts:

back in September I took a train in a hurry at East Croydon Station with the idea that I could do a train ticket (tkt) on the same train. That's what I always knew since I have done it in the past (I have proof for that). This time a tkt officer did not pass by so I was gonna go at Gatwick tkt office to pay the train tkt for that same journey.

 

Once off the train a revenue check was in action at the gate. As I saw them instantly I also saw a revenue officer before them dealing with a customer and I APPROACHED HIM waiting till he finished. When my turn came I explained the situation and asked kindly if I could do the ticket paying him.

He said it was not possible and that I had to pay a Penalty Fare(PF). I refused to do so as I believed was not fare for the fact that I did my tkt on the train in the past, He said that it was not possible to do a tkt on the train.

 

I refused to pay the PCN but he wrote a Witness Statement (WS) which I signed.

The statement is a standard one where he put the case as he stopped me, asks me a tkt and I had not tkt to show hence the PF.

There is part of the WS where the question is...

'I put it to you, that if I had not stopped you today, your rail fare would have been avoided. is that correct?'...

My reply on the WS: 'I was going to the office to buy the tkt' .

The officer said:' Why did you refuse a penalty fare?'

I replied:'The gate was open at East Croydon and the train to Gatwick was arriving. I took the chance to do the tkt on the train as I have done in the past." I then signed it reading it quite quickly even realizing soon after that the way it was put it was as he had stopped me but I was the person to approach him.

The prosecution in fact is based on the fact that I was stopped.

 

I also asked a copy of the statement and he refused to give me one even if they had a double carbon copy there , he also asked to another officer in the distance and he confirmed that I should not be given any copy.

Is this possible? It should be our right to have a copy.

 

Before receiving the summon I exchanged few letters with the Prosecutor where I re-wrote my statement explaining again the situation and how the facts went including the fact that I had done a tkt on the train in the past with no Penalty and that I had proof. Those were not accepted and they asked for a Summon.

 

The prosecutor in this letter says also: ''You will have noted that if a conductor sells a tkt on board one of our trains the tkt is endorsed with a Penalty Fare Warning as conductors are not licensed by DfT to issue Penalty Fare notice.'

When I buy the tkt on the train I thought that's it I am done, I am not going to read the terms and condition behind the tkt . How many people would do that?

Also in those terms and condition there is nothing saying that 'conductors are not licensed by DfT to issue Penalty Fare notice hence a warning is issued'. I think all should be more fair and clear to citizens.

 

A lawyer gave me a free 1st consultation saying that he noted that:

 

- You have pleaded not guilty to the offence. Hence, you will now no longer need to attend the Court on 23 December 2011 for the summons. The Court will now write to you with a new date for the trial. Please note that it is likely that the prosecution costs will also increase.

 

- You will be appearing at Court because you could not produce a valid ticket for your train journey. The offence under which this relates is 18 (2) of the Railway Byelaws. The section states;

 

'A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person.'

 

The potential defences to this are contained within 18 (3) of the Byelaws. I do not think that you have a defence under these as they are essentially when there are no facilities, a notice stating you do not need to pay, or permission to travel without a valid ticket.

 

However, under section 2 it states that you should show a valid ticket when asked to do so. You may have a defence here as you were not asked to show a ticket by the inspector, instead, you approached him. You will have to confirm if he ever actually asked you for a ticket.

 

 

Could I argue the inconsistency of the operate of Southern rail because I have done the ticket on the train before?

 

On their Terms & Condition there is a point saying (I was not aware of all the Terms & Cond. till I read them now):

"Can I pay at my destination if I am in a rush?

No, if you board on a train with no ticket, then you may] have to pay a Penalty Fare."

I am underlining the word MAY which I believe is a further point to argue as they may issue or may not issue the ticket

 

Could this be a winning case? is anyone gone through a similar situation? Still did not understand if this is a criminal or civil matter.

I also fee that the statement should had been sent to me before the summon and when there was a first conversation with the Prosecutor where initially was offered to me to pay 35 pounds to resolve the matter. Reading the Witness statement I signed, I could have remembered what I said or how it was putted from their side so for me maybe deciding differently and may be paying the sum. Or point put to the prosecutor that I was to approach them not that I was stopped so to make them think twice. Who knows!

 

Would be nice also to know whai and if I could ask money back for damage or else in case I win. I have no idea how it works for this in Court. I look forward to hearing from some one back!...

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You stand no chance I'm affraid, you were reported for a strict liability offence here, it doesn't matter that he didn't ask for a ticket as you didn't have one anyway, just because the gate was open doesn't mean you should just hop on without a ticket.

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Could I argue the inconsistency of the operate of Southern rail because I have done the ticket on the train before?

 

On their Terms & Condition there is a point saying (I was not aware of all the Terms & Cond. till I read them now):

"Can I pay at my destination if I am in a rush?

No, if you board on a train with no ticket, then you may] have to pay a Penalty Fare."

I am underlining the word MAY which I believe is a further point to argue as they may issue or may not issue the ticket

 

You have answered your questions with this little extract, MAY being like southern pointed out to you that not all conductors are penalty fare trained and ALSO the issue of a penalty fare is a discretion to the inspector. The guidance of your solictor has mislead you a little affraid, As for the notes of the inspector you argue about, that was correct procedure as he/she would have given you the opportunity to have read or to read the notes taken before signing.

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I am surprised that they appear to have charged Byelaw 18.2 in this instance, although it will stick.

 

If Southern had charged 18.1, the OP makes clear s/he doesn't have any defence. Para.4, line 7 of the original post says 'I took the chance'

 

Facilities were there to get a ticket, you didn't use them, you had not been given authority to board without a ticket.

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In the officers statement does he/she ask you if you have a valid ticket?

If they do, then that is the request for the ticket & by saying you dont have one you are unable to hand a ticket over IMO.

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thanks to all for the support, got few points more clear...

I still would like to make them understand that when I took the train I was sure I could do the tkt on it or would have gone to the tkt office to get one when there. Hoping they'd give me a chance as never had any train penalty before, that's all I wish ...

could I discuss all at the hearing and try to find a solution or now the trial in unavoidable?

Any one suggest what could I do now at the hearing?

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Hello there. I'm not sure the guys are around at the moment.

 

I don't know what the legal terms for the offence are for this, but from my knowledge of threads on this forum, you may well have passed a notice that told you not to board the train without a ticket. And if you do board without one, it's your responsibility to seek out a member of staff to buy one.

 

I don't know if you can try to negotiate an out of court settlement if the case has progressed beyond the magistrates' court, hopefully the guys will be able to tell you.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Any one suggest what could I do now at the hearing?

 

I don't know if this answers your question or not, but have you read Old-CodJA's sticky on court appearances?

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?313909-What-happens-when-you-get-to-court-by-Old-CodJA

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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From my experience, guards on the overnight Brighton Mainline services sometimes offer to sell tickets. As I understand it, they are not duty bound to sell any tickets at all as their job is to ensure the safety of the train.

 

As it's a Penalty Fare area, there is a buy before you board policy in effect. East Croydon is staffed 24 hours, the are at least 8 ticket machines on the concourse and if I'm not mistaken, the ticket office is open all night. Contrary to common belief, these are not provided for decoration. If you choose to ignore these and board a train without a valid ticket, the Train Operating Company is within its right to issue a Penalty Fare. And if you refuse to pay, they're within their right to proceed with a prosection for intent to avoid paying the fare, or at least failure to produce a valid ticket.

 

Many members of the public have a lax attitude to paying upfront for the service that the railway provides, which is not good enough. Obviously providing publicity on Penalty Fares and trusting people to buy a ticket when the barriers are open is not enough to ensure the fare is paid so perhaps the only way to get the message into some people's mind is a hefty charge and/or a prosecution.

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