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Please help! South west trains - worried about being prosecuted .......

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Good morning all,

 

I hope you can help me, I made a stupid, naive but honest error yesterday and I'm now extremely worried about what consequences could follow, worst case scenario being a criminal record for not having a ticket at the end my journey. (I'm so stressed I've not been able to sleep because of this)

 

Here's what happened.

 

I live in London and yesterday I was running late to catch the 14.50 train from Waterloo to Wokingham, the final destination being Crowthorne.

 

I left work and arrived at waterloo station at 14.48, had no time to purchase ticket or check the board for platforms, so I quickly asked a member of staff for the platform for 14.50 train to Wokingham and if I can buy ticket on train. They said Platform 4 and yes regarding ticket purchase… I made the train.

 

Once on the train I ended up in Esher and learned that I was heading for Woking not Wokingham. I got off the train and went to seek advice from staff. I enquired about getting a cab, was told I was so far away from m final destination, my best bet is to get the 15.22 back to Waterloo or Clapham Junction.

 

I got off at Clapham Junction at about 15.48 and headed to the barriers to seek advise, I touched out with my Osyster to get more guidance about heading to Wokingham, as I was keen to make sure I ended up on the right train this time. I found out the next train was at 15.58 platform 5, desperate to make this train, I ran back in with every intention of still paying for a ticket on the train as previously advised.

 

I got my train and was relieved …. on train I expected to see a ticket inspector as was usually the case but i didn't see one and I didn't really know what to do.

 

I got off the train, debating whether I should stay on platform for train to Crowthorne or get a cab. I decided to exit at Wokingham for a cab, I made this decision while watching several Gateline staff checking for tickets, I really was not under the impression I'd done anything wrong, so I walked up to one gentleman to explain I couldn't buy a ticket onboard and asked if I could please buy one now.

 

The man literally laughed at me and said why didn't you look for a ticket inspector while on the train. I explained I didn't know I had to look for one and had assumed they would come to do their usual checks. I explained I have the fare money on me, I'm new to this train service and reiterated I'd made an honest mistake.

 

He asked for my ID without explaining what was happening, at that point I was still hoping to buy a ticket. I gave hime all my details including my Oyster which I'd used to get in at Waterloo.

 

He then said he needed me to explain my story as he needed to make notes. I started by explaining I was training to catch the 14.50 train to Wokingham from Waterloo. He implied that I was lying. Very upset by his accusatory manner, I asked him to explain why and how he'd reached that conclusion. He said, according to your Oyster you got on at Clapham not at Waterloo. I then explained my disaster journey and that i'd gone to Woking by mistake so ended up in clapham to seek journey advice.

 

I then asked him what was happening, what this process was and why he was interrogating me. He refused to explain and said all I can tell you is that your story doesn't add up and I believe you were trying to dodge the fare and you will be going to court to explain yourself. By now i was crying because I felt unfairly treated and that he was twisting my story for his own purpose. I apologised for being naive and continued to admit I made an error in not seeking a ticket inspector to buy one from onboard the train..

 

I signed the statement without reading, because I was so traumatised by the whole experience and wanted it over and done with.

 

I accept and will pay any financial penalty that comes my way. I have learned a valuable lesson from this but what I am scared about is having a criminal record. Could this really happen to me? What is the next step and how can stop it from going to court?

 

Please help me with some advise. I apologies for the lengthy post

 

Thanking you in advance

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I'll move this to the transport forum, where the guys should be able to help you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Good morning all,

 

I hope you can help me, I made a stupid, naive but honest error yesterday and I'm now extremely worried about what consequences could follow, worst case scenario being a criminal record for not having a ticket at the end my journey. (I'm so stressed I've not been able to sleep because of this)

 

Here's what happened.

 

I live in London and yesterday I was running late to catch the 14.50 train from Waterloo to Wokingham, the final destination being Crowthorne.

 

I left work and arrived at waterloo station at 14.48, had no time to purchase ticket or check the board for platforms, so I quickly asked a member of staff for the platform for 14.50 train to Wokingham and if I can buy ticket on train. They said Platform 4 and yes regarding ticket purchase… I made the train.

 

Once on the train I ended up in Esher and learned that I was heading for Woking not Wokingham. I got off the train and went to seek advice from staff. I enquired about getting a cab, was told I was so far away from m final destination, my best bet is to get the 15.22 back to Waterloo or Clapham Junction.

 

I got off at Clapham Junction at about 15.48 and headed to the barriers to seek advise, I touched out with my Osyster to get more guidance about heading to Wokingham, as I was keen to make sure I ended up on the right train this time. I found out the next train was at 15.58 platform 5, desperate to make this train, I ran back in with every intention of still paying for a ticket on the train as previously advised.

 

I got my train and was relieved …. on train I expected to see a ticket inspector as was usually the case but i didn't see one and I didn't really know what to do.

 

I got off the train, debating whether I should stay on platform for train to Crowthorne or get a cab. I decided to exit at Wokingham for a cab, I made this decision while watching several Gateline staff checking for tickets, I really was not under the impression I'd done anything wrong, so I walked up to one gentleman to explain I couldn't buy a ticket onboard and asked if I could please buy one now.

 

The man literally laughed at me and said why didn't you look for a ticket inspector while on the train. I explained I didn't know I had to look for one and had assumed they would come to do their usual checks. I explained I have the fare money on me, I'm new to this train service and reiterated I'd made an honest mistake.

 

He asked for my ID without explaining what was happening, at that point I was still hoping to buy a ticket. I gave hime all my details including my Oyster which I'd used to get in at Waterloo.

 

He then said he needed me to explain my story as he needed to make notes. I started by explaining I was training to catch the 14.50 train to Wokingham from Waterloo. He implied that I was lying. Very upset by his accusatory manner, I asked him to explain why and how he'd reached that conclusion. He said, according to your Oyster you got on at Clapham not at Waterloo. I then explained my disaster journey and that i'd gone to Woking by mistake so ended up in clapham to seek journey advice.

 

I then asked him what was happening, what this process was and why he was interrogating me. He refused to explain and said all I can tell you is that your story doesn't add up and I believe you were trying to dodge the fare and you will be going to court to explain yourself. By now i was crying because I felt unfairly treated and that he was twisting my story for his own purpose. I apologised for being naive and continued to admit I made an error in not seeking a ticket inspector to buy one from onboard the train..

 

I signed the statement without reading, because I was so traumatised by the whole experience and wanted it over and done with.

 

I accept and will pay any financial penalty that comes my way. I have learned a valuable lesson from this but what I am scared about is having a criminal record. Could this really happen to me? What is the next step and how can stop it from going to court?

 

Please help me with some advise. I apologies for the lengthy post

 

Thanking you in advance

 

Usual advice is to await the letter from the TOC (train operating company).

 

Firstly, if you try to make contact before you have a reference no. for the incident you might be vintacting the wrong TOC or they might not be able to match your letter up with the file.

 

Secondly, you may find out what you are facing. The less serious charge if they do decide to proceed us that you "faile to show, on demand, a valid ticket", which is a "strict liability" offence, and based on what you have said, you would have trouble defending - as you didn't show a valid ticket.

Being told you could buy a ticket on the first train may have been a defence had you been challenged on that train, but you will find it hard to claim you were unable to buy a ticket subsequently.

 

The more serious charge is "travel with intent to avoid payment of your fare" : this brings in intent, where you might claim you never intended not to pay : in which case precisely what you said and what was documented at interview become key.

 

However, once you have received the TOC's letter, there is nothing stopping you writing to the TOC, apologising, and offering to pay your fare and any administrative costs.

 

Searching on this site / forum will give you an idea if what to say (& NOT say!), but there isn't a "magic" 'stock letter', just some concepts : the key of which is the explanation & apology being true and heartfelt.

 

Summary: wait for the letter, read other similar posts, post here again once you have had the letter.

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Thank you BezzaS.

 

I appreciate that you took time out respond to me. The only reason I didn't get a ticket subsequently is because I'd been told I could buy on train. A lesson has been learnt.

 

Does anyone know how long it takes for the letter to arrive.

 

Once again thank you for replying

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Thank you BezzaS.

 

I appreciate that you took time out respond to me. The only reason I didn't get a ticket subsequently is because I'd been told I could buy on train. A lesson has been learnt.

 

Does anyone know how long it takes for the letter to arrive.

 

Once again thank you for replying

 

 

A wait of up to six weeks (or more at busy times) is not unusual.

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