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I got on a Northern Rail train with no ticket and was caught


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I am new to this forum, but I really need your help and advice please.

 

My journey started from A where was the booking office closed at 19:10 heading to the destination B. First I do not have any experience with trains and train stations before as I always use the car, and this is about the fifth time I use the train as I’m visiting a friend who lives in another city in England for two weeks.

 

All first times when I used the train were in the morning and I buy the tickets from the booking office, this time which was in the evening the booking office was closed and a lady there told me I can buy a ticket on the train, but the man who sells the tickets was not there .

 

I got off the train, and as I don’t know the train station system, I thought its ok to buy a ticket on my way back, and because I had no opportunity to buy one from the booking office and on the train and I don’t know that there are ticket machines, its ok to do that, it sounds stupid but this is the truth. On my way out from the station two men stopped me, had my name and address, asked me questions ,told them the truth that I thought I can buy a ticket on my way back, and I asked them if I can pay at that time but they refused and told me to wait for a letter from Northern Rail. Until that time I don’t know how series it is, until I searched on the internet.

 

By the way this is my first time and I never been in trouble with law before. I am really worried if this will go to court and I am willing to pay any fine just to get out of this.

 

What should I do? And what should I write to them after receiving their letter? Please help me, I'm panicking.

 

Any help would be much appreciated!!

 

Regards

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Hi there,

 

If they caught up with you on the train I'd say you'd probably be looking at hearing from Northern Rail with regards to them wanting to Prosecute you under a railway Byelaw (18.1). However, you were caught leaving the station at your journey;s end, presumably passing the last point at which a ticket could have been bought, and therefore seems a little far fetched tyhat you'd have bought one at all. That being said, they probably will want to prosecute you under the more serious Regulation of Railways Act 1889, This is a PNC recordable offence if convicted and carries stiffer penalties than the Byelaw. I suggest waiting for a letter from Northern and responding to it accordingly. I don't have time to go into the ins and outs of the penalties now, but someone else will be along soon who will go into that in detail. What I will say though is, that from the inspectors point of view, it would be clear that the fare would not have been paid and that is how Northern Rail prosecutors will see it.

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I am new to this forum, but I really need your help and advice please.

 

My journey started from A where was the booking office closed at 19:10 heading to the destination B. First I do not have any experience with trains and train stations before as I always use the car, and this is about the fifth time I use the train as I’m visiting a friend who lives in another city in England for two weeks.

 

All first times when I used the train were in the morning and I buy the tickets from the booking office, this time which was in the evening the booking office was closed and a lady there told me I can buy a ticket on the train, but the man who sells the tickets was not there .

 

I got off the train, and as I don’t know the train station system, I thought its ok to buy a ticket on my way back, and because I had no opportunity to buy one from the booking office and on the train and I don’t know that there are ticket machines, its ok to do that, it sounds stupid but this is the truth. On my way out from the station two men stopped me, had my name and address, asked me questions ,told them the truth that I thought I can buy a ticket on my way back, and I asked them if I can pay at that time but they refused and told me to wait for a letter from Northern Rail. Until that time I don’t know how series it is, until I searched on the internet.

 

By the way this is my first time and I never been in trouble with law before. I am really worried if this will go to court and I am willing to pay any fine just to get out of this.

 

What should I do? And what should I write to them after receiving their letter? Please help me, I'm panicking.

 

Any help would be much appreciated!!

 

Regards

 

I have often used Northern rail and when a ticket office has been closed I have purchased a ticket on the train. If it was me I would not admit liability at this stage..

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I have often used Northern rail and when a ticket office has been closed I have purchased a ticket on the train. If it was me I would not admit liability at this stage..

 

He would have more than likely admitted liability under caution, unfortunately like stigy has pointed out he was stopped AFTER the last point of buying a ticket would have been possible, also depends on other station facilities such as tvm, the op is best to wait for their response in first instance.

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Was there a ticket office opened at the other end I wonder..

 

Hello there.

 

I wonder how that would work if our OP had only planned to travel one way? They might have walked out of the destination station without paying at all.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Does not matter if there was as this applies to the start of the journey, if for instance there was no method of purchasing a ticket at origin station then the op should have sought to buy a ticket at earliest opportunity, im not familiar with northern areas so not sure on tvms etc.

 

We also do not know stations that op is refering to so is hard to give definitive answers, but i would imagine the more serious case of RRA sec 5.3a would apply if caught outside the station without a ticket.

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Hi everyone and thank you for your responses.

 

Stigy, could you please tell me, what the

 

railway byelaw(18.1) and railways Act

 

1889 are. Where can I read more about

 

them?

 

Just wanted to ask, do you think this

 

being my first time is going to help in

 

any way?

 

I feel really down, because if I tell them

 

my version of what happened, I will

 

appear as if I'm lying, because they will

 

not believe that there is a person does

 

not know these rules, but I really don't,

 

so what should I say to let them beleive

 

me and agree to settle this out of court.

 

The other problem is the English is not

 

my first language, and I can't write to

 

them in a way that will explain exactly

 

what happened, as I read on other

 

threads that the outcome will depend on

 

how they see the incident after reading

 

my letter. I contacted a lawyer and told

 

me that writing the letter will cost me

 

about £300. I have no idea if this is the

 

normal cost or not.

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Hi everyone and thank you for your responses.

 

Stigy, could you please tell me, what the railway byelaw(18.1) and railways Act 1889 are. Where can I read more about them?.

 

 

Right at the beginning of this forum there are a number of 'sticky' posts with the information you are looking tor

 

See: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?309720-National-Railway-Byelaws-(2005)-Ticketing.

 

Then, to read Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act [1889]

 

See this link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/52-53/57/contents

 

In relation to your comment that 'they will not believe that there is a person that does not know these rules', please bear in mind that if an offence is committed, ignorance of the legislation is not a defence. It may be put forward as a factor in mitigation, but does not mean that no offence has been committed.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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Thank you for your replies.

Are there anything I should do before receiving the letter?

Is it a good idea to phone them at this stage to apologise and offer to pay a fine?

I am thinking of going back to the train station and find both men who cought me they might tell me what they wrote about me, because at that time as a result of the shock I can't remember what they have been saying.

 

Could you tell me would that be a good idea or not please.

 

And about the lawyer do you think I need one as just writing the letter costs £300.

 

Thank you

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This is my personal opinion. I would wait until u receive something in the post. Out of interest, when u completed your journey, was there a ticket office open and was u stopped or was you caught. the latter could imply that u had intended not to pay. Either way I would personally wait for the post..

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Consumer dude : thank you for your response

 

I stopped at Manchester vectoria station,it wa very big station, and as I said because of no experience and in my mind I assumed that its ok to pay on my way back, I was just about two steps away from the gate to exit the station when the two men stopped me, they were not wearing uniforms. What is the difference between stopping me and cought me?

 

Thank you

Edited by najrom
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Thank you for your replies.

Are there anything I should do before receiving the letter?

Is it a good idea to phone them at this stage to apologise and offer to pay a fine?

I am thinking of going back to the train station and find both men who cought me they might tell me what they wrote about me, because at that time as a result of the shock I can't remember what they have been saying.

 

Could you tell me would that be a good idea or not please.

 

And about the lawyer do you think I need one as just writing the letter costs £300.

 

Thank you

 

Hello again.

 

There isn't really any point in contacting the rail company until [or if] they write to you. If you ring, they are unlikely to be able to locate your papers and so won't be able to advise you. The time to negotiate is after you receive a letter.

 

I don't know if the men at the station will tell you or remember what they said about you. I think you see that statement after you tell them your side of the story and if it goes to court.

 

People from this forum don't usually go to a lawyer, I'd be inclined to save the £300.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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honeybee13 : thank you for your response.

 

Do you know please how long will take for me to receive the letter? and is this letter will say if they are going to send me to court or not?

 

Thank you

Edited by najrom
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honeybee13 : thank you for your response.

 

Do you know please how long will take for me to receive the letter? and is this letter will say if they

are going to send me to court or not?

 

Thank you

 

I will try to help by saying that their is really is no point in thinking too much about what may or may not happen. Just wait for the post and than post again..

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I am new to this forum, but I really need your help and advice please.

 

My journey started from A where was the booking office closed at 19:10 heading to the destination B. First I do not have any experience with trains and train stations before as I always use the car, and this is about the fifth time I use the train as I’m visiting a friend who lives in another city in England for two weeks.

 

Which station did you start your journey from?

 

All first times when I used the train were in the morning and I buy the tickets from the booking office, this time which was in the evening the booking office was closed and a lady there told me I can buy a ticket on the train, but the man who sells the tickets was not there .

 

Was there a self-service ticket machine at the station?

 

I got off the train, and as I don’t know the train station system, I thought its ok to buy a ticket on my way back, and because I had no opportunity to buy one from the booking office and on the train and I don’t know that there are ticket machines, its ok to do that, it sounds stupid but this is the truth.

 

A rail fare is due at the time of travel and not later. Why did you not approach staff on the train or when it reached the platform in Manchester?

 

On my way out from the station two men stopped me, had my name and address, asked me questions ,told them the truth that I thought I can buy a ticket on my way back, and I asked them if I can pay at that time but they refused and told me to wait for a letter from Northern Rail. Until that time I don’t know how series it is, until I searched on the internet.

 

If you were exiting the station when stopped and questioned by plain clothed inspectors it is very likely that you will be charged with 'intending to avoid payment of a fare contrary to Section 5.3.a of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889)

 

By the way this is my first time and I never been in trouble with law before. I am really worried if this will go to court and I am willing to pay any fine just to get out of this.

 

What should I do? And what should I write to them after receiving their letter? Please help me, I'm panicking.

 

Any help would be much appreciated!!

 

Regards

 

 

Wait until you get a letter from the train operating company and then you will have the correct reference allocated to your case. Once you get the letter come back and tell us what it says.

 

Then we may beble to help with what you should write in reply.

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Consumer dude : thank you for your reply and yes you are right, so I should try not to think too much untill I get the letter, but it is very hard though.

 

Old-CodJA : thank you for your reply

 

There was no self-service ticket machine at the station (where I started my journey from) , even these machines ,if you believe me, I haven't used them before and I don't know they are exist at all untill the incident happened.

Edited by najrom
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Hello there.

 

I wonder how that would work if our OP had only planned to travel one way? They might have walked out of the destination station without paying at all.

 

My best, HB

 

Does not matter if there was as this applies to the start of the journey, if for instance there was no method of purchasing a ticket at origin station then the op should have sought to buy a ticket at earliest opportunity, im not familiar with northern areas so not sure on tvms etc.

 

We also do not know stations that op is refering to so is hard to give definitive answers, but i would imagine the more serious case of RRA sec 5.3a would apply if caught outside the station without a ticket.

 

 

This is exactly why I asked najrom which station the journey was started at, but we are no wiser yet?

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Thank you everyone.

 

If I get charged with (intending to avoid payment of fare), are there still any chance for me to settle the matter by offering to pay a fine without going to court? or automatically after being charged with this I have to go to court? and does that mean I'm going to have a criminal record for sure?

Thank you so much and sorry for asking too many questions just wanted to know what to expect and what the possible outcomes are in order to prepare myself for all the possibilities.


Edited by najrom
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No doubt, things will be come cleaner at a later date. The question I'm eager to ask is regarding these self service machines. not everyone understands how to use them but what does the law say I wonder on that issue..

 

Where pre-purchase facilities exist at a station there is a strict liability requirement that every traveller must obtain a ticket before boarding any train in compliance with National Railway Byelaw 18.1 (2005)

 

A self-service ticket machine is a pre-purchase facility.

 

This one has been tested many times.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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Did u sign anything at the station..

 

Irrelevant whether he signed something or not.

 

The law on the ticket vending machines is also quite clear. If one is there, you must use it to buy a ticket. If you don't, you breach (at a minimum) Byelaw 18 (criminal) or National Rail Conditions of Carriage (contract/civil).

 

Some similarities here with Corbyn v Saunders (1978) in relation to a Regulation of Railways 1889 offence.

 

He was convicted by a magistrate, who held that the mental element necessary to constitute the offence, viz an intention to avoid payment of the fare, was established by the fact that he did not intend to pay the balance of the fare before leaving the railway property. C appealed, contending that it had to be shown that he intended permanently to avoid payment.

 

Eventually:

 

The appeal would be dismissed because it was sufficient for the purposes of s 5(3)(a) to establish, as had been done, that the accused did not have, by the time he passed the ticket collector at his destination, an unqualified intention to pay the proper fare for his journey

 

Perhaps relevent here:

 

...his intention was only to pay if the railway authorities requested payment....

...if he fails to tender the outstanding balance of the fare, at the latest when passing the ticket collector on the station of destination, the requisite intent to avoid payment is proved.
Edited by firstclassx
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