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FCC Intent to Prosecute - 5.3.a of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889 HELP


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Hello

 

I'm 18s years old and received a letter from First Capital Connect last Monday stating they were in intending to prosecute me under 5.3.a of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889. Basically, I was an idiot and purchased a child's ticket in order to get to College for an interview. Upon getting to the ticket station I realised I was without the money to buy an adult ticket in my rushed state purchased a child's one instead, figuring it was better to pay something than nothing.

Upon getting to the station I then panicked further and stated I bought it by accident before admitting the truth on the form.

 

I desperately need 3 things answering and would appreciate any help given.

 

1: What is the maximum possible sentence for violating this part of the act?

2: What is the likely sentence?

3: What should my course of action be? Should I attempt a settlement letter?

 

Thank you

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Hi Ressy,

 

It's a common misconception that paying something (in your case a Child Rate Fare) is better than nothing. Paying only half the fare, to all intents and purposes is fraud, whereas paying nothing, could be seen as less serious as you're not necessarily out to defraud anybody.

 

In answer to your questions;

 

1. Maximum penalty at Court is £1,000 fine (plus costs etc.) and/or 3-months imprisonment for subsequent offences of the same nature (basically if you're persistent).

 

2. Realistically, it depends on your means and whether you've been convicted of the same thing before. Likely to be the equivalent of a weeks average wage in a fine (used to be £350, but might be a tad higher now!), costs (typically around £110 depending on the Train company), compensation (fare avoided...in your case, the other half of the cost of the equivalent adult ticket) and £15 victim surcharge (for charity....because courts are good like that).

 

3. Write to FCC as they would be indicating in their letter no doubt, and state how sorry you are, that this was your first offence, on the spur of the moment. Ask if they would be so good as to allow you to settle with them, without the need to go to court. Also state that you have learned your lesson and really don't want a criminal record as this could affect your future etc. They don't have to settle, but it's in your interest to offer.

 

Good Luck!

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Ok, thank you for the advice. Have written a settlement letter. The letter states it was for 'Travelling on the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avid payment thereof'.

 

As for my letter, should I write/copy it into the form provided or simply write it on the computer and print it off and send it? Or send the form with my sight of events and enclose the letter?

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Ok, thank you for the advice. Have written a settlement letter. The letter states it was for 'Travelling on the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avid payment thereof'.

 

As for my letter, should I write/copy it into the form provided or simply write it on the computer and print it off and send it? Or send the form with my sight of events and enclose the letter?

If there's a template suitable there's nothing wrong with simply using this and tailoring it to your needs.

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So it doesn't need to be written on the form sent with the letter from FCC?

 

I'd fill out the form if they sent you one, confirming who you are etc, but write a letter and stick it in the same envelope as the slip...

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It was asking for my side of what happened, detailing it. Is it relevant if i'm sending a settlement?

I'd send it back nonetheless, even if you put a note on it saying "see attached letter" or similar?

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It was asking for my side of what happened, detailing it. Is it relevant if i'm sending a settlement?

 

I don't see how it could help your case to give them a signed confession. Just use the space to say you're very sorry for what happened (without saying what happened) and that you'd very much like to settle this out of court, paying whatever administrative fees necessary.

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It was asking for my side of what happened, detailing it. Is it relevant if i'm sending a settlement?

 

 

 

You do need to remember that you are sending a request to be allowed to settle without a summons being issued. It is not simply a case of 'sending a settlement'

 

The rail company have the right to say 'No, we don't want to settle this outside Court'

 

A letter of apology, explaining that it is not your normal practice, that it was a one-off abberation and asking to be allowed to pay all of their reasonably incurred costs plus the outstanding fare does not need to include a detailed explanation.

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