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First Capital Connect Rail Fare

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Hello folks,

 

I'm looking for advice on the following problem.

 

I was caught on Monday (Dec 17) travelling from Zones 3 - 4 with an Oyster card only valid for Zones 1 - 2. When confronted by the inspector, I panicked and gave the wrong house number; however, I rectified this once the inspector checked the validity of the address given (he insisted I had been trying to evade further communication and included this within his notes).

 

I work as a private tutor (and was late for an appointment hence the initial fare avoidance) and am extremely fearful that this will scupper my future work.

 

My question is twofold:

 

1 - I'm now away from London until January 3rd - is it possible that any intention to prosecute will arrive within this timeframe?

 

2 - Having perused similar threads, it seems the likelihood of court prosecution is strong in this instance; is a groveling letter of apology my only likelihood of respite?

 

Thanking you in advance,

Tima

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1. I doubt its that quick.

 

2. This may depend on what info your Oyster card holds, I assume they took it ?, if similar patterns of fare avoidance appear to be shown or if it was genuinelly a one off..clearly initially lying wont have done you any favours.

 

Andy

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Hi Andy - thanks for the prompt response.

 

The inspector didn't take my Oyster card - he was still filling out the form when my stop arrived. When we arrived at my stop, he urged me to leave.

 

I haven't any similar patterns on my Oyster card - this is very much a first offence (and I've only been living in the UK for just over a year).

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Prosecutions Team probably will be on Annual Leave, at least for a week.

 

Probably get a letter around late January/early February. They (in theory) have up to 6 months to deal with you though.

 

It's almost certainly going to cost you a three figure sum to avoid court (AS WELL AS a grovelling apology).

 

Probably stick you on for two strict liability offences:

 

Byelaw 18(1) - Entering a train for the purpose of travelling on the railway without a valid ticket entitling travel.

Byelaw 23(1) - Failing to provide correct name and address on demand to authorised person.

 

If it gets to court, which it will do, unless you manage to negotiate an out of court settlement, (which they are not obliged to accept), you will probably receive a fine of around £500, costs of around £120, victim surcharge of £50, and made to pay the single fare - assuming you plead guilty.

 

They could also prosecute under Section 5(3b) Regulation of Railways Act 1889, if they believe you intended to avoid the fare due.

 

5(3b) - "Having paid his fare for a certain distance, knowingly and wilfully proceeds by train beyond that distance without previously paying the additional fare for the additional distance, and with intent to avoid payment thereof..."

 

5(3c) - "Having failed to pay his fare, gives in reply to a request by an officer of a railway company a false name or address..."

 

...he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine... (not exceeding £1000 per offence), or, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

Edited by firstclassx

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There is a sticky on the laws here > http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?309720-National-Railway-Byelaws-(2005)-Ticketing although its interesting to note that there was some disagreement on the laws even between the experts, most commuters are njo doubt well aware that they shouldnt attempt to avoid fares but the actual laws can be confusing especially if you take into accountn the provisions of 18(3) rehgarding when you can travel without a ticket, I'm aware of a few instances where passangers have been told its ok to travel without a ticket or to pay at the other end but then run into problems.

 

Andy

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Thanks guys for the advice.

 

I'll simply have to wait and see what sort of notification I get in the new year and hope that there is potential for acceptance of a letter of apology and financial offer.

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