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Prosecution: appeal after court - Ticket Evasion

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Hello. I'm not sure if you can help me but I haven't been able to find any help so far, so I hope you can.

 

I boarded a southeastern train. There was a large group of people at the ticket office and ticket machine, but the gates were open.

 

However, when I got to my stop the there was a ticket evasion operation in progress. And here's the snag. I had also forgotten my wallet.

 

Unable to confirm my details, provide a ticket, or pay for the fine, I was made to write a witness statement. I was then sent a prosecution notice. Then a court summons. I am suffering from anxiety (I'm taking medication) and did not attend court.

 

I now have a criminal record.

 

From what I understand, discretion should have been used before using the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993 to take me to a criminal court.

 

I was unable to pay the penalty fare due to not having my wallet and I was not given the opportunity to pay a fine at any other time. I did, however, offer to have the money sent to the station but the ticket collector would not accept this offer.

 

I feel that at the very least, this was an overuse of the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993, and it has cause a huge amount of personal damage compared to the £4.60 ticket that I unknowingly stole.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'll move your thread to the transport forum and leave you a short term link here.

 

Could I ask a question or two though, please? Did you reply to the letter asking for your version of events or did you contact the rail company at all?

 

I expect the guys will be along later with advice for you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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What this looks like to me is that:

 

1. You didn't have time or couldn't be bothered to queue, so you walked straight through the gate. You boarded the train knowing you didn't have a ticket.

2. You didn't have the money to pay anyway.

3. You got caught at the other end.

4. You got no sympathy from the people at the other end.

5 You got no sympathy from the system - but you expect some.

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh (and please correct me if the facts are wrong), but this is quite probably how the TOC and justice system are seeing it.

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What this looks like to me is that:

 

1. You didn't have time or couldn't be bothered to queue, so you walked straight through the gate. You boarded the train knowing you didn't have a ticket.

2. You didn't have the money to pay anyway.

3. You got caught at the other end.

4. You got no sympathy from the people at the other end.

5 You got no sympathy from the system - but you expect some.

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh (and please correct me if the facts are wrong), but this is quite probably how the TOC and justice system are seeing it.

 

Hello

 

To add to what Bandit127 has said, if you had queued at either the machines or ticket office you would have realised that you had forgotten your wallet too and could have made arrangements to get it before travelling and avoiding the whole situation.

 

I think the other guys will be along to comment soon but I doubt that there is a lot you can do now about it. Maybe the more experienced guys can shed some light on it soon.

 

Mark

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I'm afraid I have to agree,

 

National Railway Byelaw 18 (2005) makes a strict liability requirement that where facilities are available to pay the person who wants to travel must pay and get a ticket before doing so. If you had attempted to do so you would have known that you couldn't pay.

 

A person who has neither a ticket nor the means to pay the fare due has no right to board a train.

 

The TOC will have written to you before issuing a Summons, but it seems you didn't respond

 

The TOC issued a Summons authorised by the Court. It seems you didn't recogniose the authority of the Court either, because it appears you didn't respond to the Summons to attend Court

 

Whilst you haven't given any details, I am sure the charge would have been that you did travel with intent to avoid a fare contrary to Section 5.3.a of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889), or possibly that you did fail to pay a fare before travelling contrary to National Railway Byelaw 18.1 (2005). Either charge would be correct in this situation, but the Section 5 charge is the more likely and the more serious.

 

The Magistrates will have taken all this into consideration and have considered the case against you proven

 

You will now have a fine and other costs to pay along with a record of conviction.

 

On what grounds do you propose asking the Court to reconsider that decision?

Edited by Old-CodJA
added information

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What this looks like to me is that:

 

1. You didn't have time or couldn't be bothered to queue, so you walked straight through the gate. You boarded the train knowing you didn't have a ticket.

2. You didn't have the money to pay anyway.

3. You got caught at the other end.

4. You got no sympathy from the people at the other end.

5 You got no sympathy from the system - but you expect some.

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh (and please correct me if the facts are wrong), but this is quite probably how the TOC and justice system are seeing it.

 

Bandit127: I'm not looking for sympathy, just good advice for the questions I asked.

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Hello

 

To add to what Bandit127 has said, if you had queued at either the machines or ticket office you would have realised that you had forgotten your wallet too and could have made arrangements to get it before travelling and avoiding the whole situation.

 

I think the other guys will be along to comment soon but I doubt that there is a lot you can do now about it. Maybe the more experienced guys can shed some light on it soon.

 

Mark

 

Markl1987: What's your reason for pointing that obvious observation out?

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Perhaps the OP hasn't seen the responses so far because he has not answered the question 'on what grounds he proposes to ask the Court to revisit the case'.

 

Perhaps I can help a little further.

 

It seems that the OP cannot make a Statutory Declaration before the Magistrates to attempt to get the case re-opened. In order for that to work he would have to sign to say that he didn't know about the prosecution and that is why he didn't attend Court, but he has already made clear from the original post that he did know. The penalty for perjury can be up two two years imprisonment as many, including a prominent Peer have discovered in the recent past

 

The OP could ask the Crown Court to allow an appeal against sentence or conviction (or both), but would need a strong case to succeed and the penalty for failure could be extremely expensive.

 

If the Crown Court reject his appeal the Judge could order him to pay all or part of the additional costs incurred by the rail company, who will have instructed a Barrister to represent them at that appeal case and this could run into several thousand pounds. This would of course be in addition to the original order of the Magistrates Court making it a very costly option.

 

 

( From the time indications, it is clear that I was typing at the same time the OP was reading earlier posts.)

Edited by Old-CodJA
Added note

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I'm afraid I have to agree,

 

National Railway Byelaw 18 (2005) makes a strict liability requirement that where facilities are available to pay the person who wants to travel must pay and get a ticket before doing so. If you had attempted to do so you would have known that you couldn't pay.

 

A person who has neither a ticket nor the means to pay the fare due has no right to board a train.

 

The TOC will have written to you before issuing a Summons, but it seems you didn't respond

 

The TOC issued a Summons authorised by the Court. It seems you didn't recogniose the authority of the Court either, because it appears you didn't respond to the Summons to attend Court

 

Whilst you haven't given any details, I am sure the charge would have been that you did travel with intent to avoid a fare contrary to Section 5.3.a of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889), or possibly that you did fail to pay a fare before travelling contrary to National Railway Byelaw 18.1 (2005). Either charge would be correct in this situation, but the Section 5 charge is the more likely and the more serious.

 

The Magistrates will have taken all this into consideration and have considered the case against you proven

 

You will now have a fine and other costs to pay along with a record of conviction.

 

On what grounds do you propose asking the Court to reconsider that decision?

 

 

 

Please Old-CodJA, none of that was helpful. Please don't fill up this thread with silly finger waving. I put the post up for advice. Please respect that.

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Perhaps the OP hasn't seen the responses so far because he has not answered the question 'on what grounds he proposes to ask the Court to revisit the case'.

 

Perhaps I can help a little further.

 

It seems that the OP cannot make a Statutory Declaration before the Magistrates to attempt to get the case re-opened. In order for that to work he would have to say that he didn't know about the prosecution and that is why he didn't attend Court, but he has already made clear from the original post that he did know. The penalty for perjury can be up two two years imprisonment as many, including a prominent Peer have discovered in the recent past

 

The OP could ask the Crown Court to allow an appeal against sentence or conviction (or both), but would need a strong case to succeed and the penalty for failure could be extremely expensive.

 

If the Crown Court reject his appeal the Judge could order him to pay all or part of the additional costs incurred by the rail company, who will have instructed a Barrister to represent them at that appeal case and this could run into several thousand pounds. This would of course be in addition to the original order of the Magistrates Court in those circumstances.

 

 

( From the time indications, it is clear that I was typing at the same time the OP was reading earlier posts.)

 

Hi Old-CodJA. It's the OP here(...?). So, you think my only solution is to launch a high risk appeal to the magistrates court again my initial conviction. Thank you for your advice.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'll move your thread to the transport forum and leave you a short term link here.

 

Could I ask a question or two though, please? Did you reply to the letter asking for your version of events or did you contact the rail company at all?

 

I expect the guys will be along later with advice for you.

 

My best, HB

 

Thank you very much HoneyBee13. I'm just getting the hang of this forum.

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Hello

 

To add to what Bandit127 has said, if you had queued at either the machines or ticket office you would have realised that you had forgotten your wallet too and could have made arrangements to get it before travelling and avoiding the whole situation.

 

I think the other guys will be along to comment soon but I doubt that there is a lot you can do now about it. Maybe the more experienced guys can shed some light on it soon.

 

Mark

 

Markl1987: What's your reason for pointing that obvious observation out?

 

 

I think it is very important to recognise the strict liability nature of the Byelaw and therefore the intending travellers' obligation.

 

Where ticket issuing facilities are available there is an obligation on every traveller to obtain a ticket before boarding any train.

 

Had you attempted to comply with that obligation rather than do as you did, which was to decide not to get a ticket and go through an open gate instead, then you would not be in this situation and any Court will recognise that as a relevant factor.

 

Ignorance of the legislation is not a defence and not wishing to queue, or traveller running late for a train are not accepted reasons for deciding not to comply.

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Hi Old-CodJA. It's the OP here(...?). So, you think my only solution is to launch a high risk appeal to the magistrates court again my initial conviction. Thank you for your advice.

 

No, your appeal will be heard by the Crown Court. You can initially contact the Magistrates Court, but they will almost certainly refer you to ask leave to appeal to the Crown Court.

 

The higher Court would review the Magistrates Court decision along with your grounds for appeal. If all is as you say in your original post and there are no other relevant factors, I have very grave doubts that you will suceed.

 

Much depends on exactly what offence you were convicted for (the charge on the Summons) and how long ago you were convicted. You may be out of time.

Edited by Old-CodJA

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Hello. I'm not sure if you can help me but I haven't been able to find any help so far, so I hope you can.

 

I boarded a southeastern train. There was a large group of people at the ticket office and ticket machine, but the gates were open.

 

However, when I got to my stop the there was a ticket evasion operation in progress. And here's the snag. I had also forgotten my wallet.

 

Unable to confirm my details, provide a ticket, or pay for the fine, I was made to write a witness statement. I was then sent a prosecution notice. Then a court summons. I am suffering from anxiety (I'm taking medication) and did not attend court.

 

I now have a criminal record.

 

From what I understand, discretion should have been used before using the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993 to take me to a criminal court.

 

I was unable to pay the penalty fare due to not having my wallet and I was not given the opportunity to pay a fine at any other time. I did, however, offer to have the money sent to the station but the ticket collector would not accept this offer.

 

I feel that at the very least, this was an overuse of the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993, and it has cause a huge amount of personal damage compared to the £4.60 ticket that I unknowingly stole.

 

Before I add more detail I just want to point out that I am only asking if people in this forum can help. If you can't help, it's OK, but please don't fill this thread with finger waving remarks.

 

To add more detail that has been asked, here's a bit more.

 

It had been raining hard that morning, so I decided not to ride into work.

 

When I walked through the open gates in the station I had already waited up to 3minutes, which at the time I believed was the maximum you had to wait before the buying the ticket on the train. I understand now that this rule varies for different train companies.

 

Because I had my bicycle with me I stood with my bike and waited for the conductor. By the time he was in my carriage he went straight to the intercom to call in the stop.

 

I got off the train and walked up to the ticket inspector at the gate. I looked in my bag and found that I had forgotten my wallet. I told the ticket inspector why I didn't have my ticket. I offered to have a colleague come to pay the ticket and fine but the Ticket Inspector wouldn't accept. I told him my details and then he asked again for my wallet to provide my details. He didn't believe I didn't have my wallet and searched my bag. Then he said I was unable to give my details, and pay for my travel so I had to be prosecuted. He sent me to the Rail Policeman and then I had to sign a statement. I later found that I should have been told that I did not need to sign anything without a solicitor.

 

I also found that discretion should be applied to people who are clearly not ticket evading.

 

I was sent a letter from the Southeastern Protection Office asking me to verify the statement. Oddly, they addressed the letter with an odd spelling mistake though my witness statement had my details correct. I wrote a long reply with the full version of events and asking to pay the ticket and fine. I did not hear back.

 

I have found documents that state southeastern should have made provisions for an appeal before prosecution in there Penalty Fare Scheme documentation.

 

I was then sent a Court Summons.

 

When I received the court verdict, I wrote to the Southeastern Protection Office, marked urgent as I wanted to apply a court appeal within the 21days. I did not heard back from two letters. I then contacted Southeastern Customer Relations, I have been given the run around ever since, more than 6months after the court verdict. The only information I have been able to find has been on forums and it has taken a lot of effort, piecing together fragments of hearsay and documents, to really understand what I had been charged with and understanding my rights.

 

This is why I only want sensible help in this thread, as the information will stand as a history for other victims of the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993 to understand what is happening to them and what options they have available if they are in a similar situation.

Edited by cameron123

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Before I add more detail I just want to point out that I am only asking if people in this forum can help. If you can can't help, it's OK, but please don't fill this thread with finger waving remarks.

 

To add more detail that has asked, here's a bit more.

 

It had been raining hard that morning, so I decided not to ride into work.

 

When I walked through the open gates in the station I had already waited up to 3minutes, which at the time I believed was the maximum you had to wait before the buying the ticket on the train. I understand know that this rule varies for different train companies.

 

Because I had my bicycle with me stood with my bike and waiting for the conductor. By the time he was in my carriage he was went straight to the intercom to call in the stop.

 

I got off the train and walked upto the ticket inspector at the gate. I looked in my bag I found that I have forgotten my wallet. I told the ticket inspector why I didn't have my ticket. I offered to have a colleague come to pay the ticket and fine but he wouldn't accept. I told him my details and then he asked again for my wallet to provide my details. He didn't believe I didn't have my wallet and searched my bag. The he said I was unable to give my details, and pay for my travel so I had to be prosecuted. He sent me to the Rail Policeman and then I had to sign a statement. I later found that I should have been told that I did not need to sign anything without a solicitor.

 

I was sent a letter from the Southeastern Protection Office asking me to verify the statement. Oddly, they addressed the letter with an odd spelling mistake though my witness statement had my details correct. I wrote a long reply with the full version of events and asking to pay the ticket and fine. I did not hear back.

 

I was then sent a Court Summons.

 

When I received the court verdict, I wrote to the Southeastern Protection Office, marked urgent as I wanted to apply a court appeal within the 21days. I did not heard back from two letters. I then contacted Southeastern Customer Relations, I have been given the run around ever since, more than 6months after the court verdict. The only information I have been able to find has been on forums and it has taken a lot of piecing together fragments of hearsay and documents.

 

This is way I only want sensible help in this thread, as the information will stand as a history for other victims of the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993 to understand what is happening to them and what options they have available if they are in a similar situation.

 

I have found documents that state southeastern should have made provisions for an

 

 

 

There are many points in the message above that I will commentr on, but I cannot do so now

 

the most important is to say that you need to focus on the actual charge on the Summons and not references to S.30 of the Railways Act

 

I have asked before, please tell us exactly what charge was on the Summons and then perhaps we can help you.

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Hello there.

 

It's a shame you didn't find us earlier, not that it helps now.

 

I'm not a transport person, but I would say that not replying to the court is going to be a problem. You had the chance to plead in writing, but from what you're saying you didn't respond. I don't think appeals in railway cases work the same way.

 

This is way I only want sensible help in this thread, as the information will stand as a history for other victims of the section 130 of the Railways Act 1993 to understand what is happening to them and what options they have available if they are in a similar situation.

 

I still don't understand what you're driving at with your s130 argument and see you haven't had an answer to that yet. What do you think they've done wrong please?

 

As I see it you are getting sensible help, even if you don't like the answers. OC is a respected member of this forum and has 30 years' experience of revenue protection and prosecutions, I don't think anyone here knows more than he does.

 

We ask posters to keep things civil here and to respect each other please.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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There are many points in the message above that I will commentr on, but I cannot do so now

 

the most important is to say that you need to focus on the actual charge on the Summons and not references to S.30 of the Railways Act

 

I have asked before, please tell us exactly what charge was on the Summons and then perhaps we can help you.

 

I don't have the documents with me. But can you explain how this information might help, as it is unclear what could be done. As far as I can see, the only argument I have is that I was taken to court without the proper procedure being adhered to, i.e. The right to appeal and the strong arm use of the Railways Act without using discretion in light of the situation.

 

After all, the using of the Railways Act to protect revenue should only be used on prolific offenders where damagers can not be claimed back through the small claims court.

Edited by cameron123

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There are many points in the message above that I will commentr on, but I cannot do so now

 

the most important is to say that you need to focus on the actual charge on the Summons and not references to S.30 of the Railways Act

 

I have asked before, please tell us exactly what charge was on the Summons and then perhaps we can help you.

 

Old-CodJA I found the information in an old email. the court summons states: 1. That you on... did travel on the Railway without having previously paid and with intent to avoid payment thereof. Contray to 5.3(a) of the Regulatation of Railways Act 1889, as amended by the Transport Act 1962, ss 84(2) and 93(1), the British Railways Act, 1965, s35(5), the British Railways Act 1970, s18 and the British Railways Act 1977, sch 1.

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! I have just noticed that the court summons was also address to the wrong name !

 

- Will the give me the ability to start an appeal to the Court Summons?

 

.. Or will the criminal record not count against me as the name is wrong?

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How wrong is the name on the correspondence? I'm not asking for your name, obviously.

 

I think we had one recently where the court had made a typo, but from memory it didn't affect the outcome.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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The last name. ***son instead of ***set

Edited by honeybee13
Confidentiality

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Thank you for that. I've edited slightly so the guys get the idea but your name is still confidential.

 

This is a letter from the court, did you say?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you for that. I've edited slightly so the guys get the idea but your name is still confidential.

 

This is a letter from the court, did you say?

 

HB

 

honeybee13; don't worry, it wasn't my last name. Sorry, I should have stated that. But it's a good example of the difference.

 

The wrong name had been used in the court sentence.

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This is a catch 22 for you.

 

On one hand, if you accept that the person reported was you, that your address and date of birth were recorded correctly and that you did not acknowledge the Court papers, how can you then say it was not you because the name was spelled slightly wrongly.

 

On the other hand, if you say it was not you, but it was someone with a similar name, but slightly different spelling, you cannot appeal because you are saying it wasn't you who was convicted and you cannot appeal on behalf of someone else.

 

The important thing about the charge is that you can only appeal conviction and/or sentence in respect of the offence that you were convicted of. You cannot appeal something that hasn't happened. You were charged under Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889) and from the description you have given, the charge was correctly brought.

 

The TOC prosecutor will have followed the guidelines for prosecutors set out by the Ministry of Justice.

 

You did not have a valid ticket, you did not seek authority to board a train without a ticket, the rail company did provide facility for you to pay the fare before travelling, you were found to have travelled without a ticket and when given opportunity to pay you failed to do so. You were found not to have means to pay and should therefore not have boarded the train.

 

The responsibility for checking that you had a valid ticket or means to pay the fare before travelling was yours

 

The law makes clear that the fare is due at the time of travel and not later.

 

The rail company is not obliged to accept a fare after a traveller has made a journey in breach of the legislation and is at liberty to issue a Summons alleging the offence.

 

Nothing in Section 130 of The Railways Act alters that.

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