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Prosecuted for failing to present a valid ticket

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Hi All,

 

There are a few threads here which talk about train fares going to court, but all seem to have their own little quirks making them unique. Any advice on my situation would be much appreciated.

 

A few weeks ago I received a note from a court across the country saying I owe a £200 fine.

 

Upon contacting the court they said it was for not presenting a valid rail ticket.

I do recall the incident 18 months ago, when I was a student I was stopped and found to be carrying an out of date railcard

- the new one had been posted to me by the NatWest but I hadn't gotten around to putting it in my wallet yet.

 

The ticket inspect told me that I'd be sent a penalty fare (£20) and would have the opportunity to appeal or pay it.

Fair enough I though - I hoped the railway might accept the appeal as I did indeed own a valid railcard but was prepared to pay the £20 for the simple mistake.

 

The inspector wrote my address down from my driving licence, but I also gave him my term-time address in his notebook as this would make picking up the penalty fare easier,

and I went on my way without any sort of receipt.

 

Weeks turned to months and I forgot about the issue, assuming the railway had let this go

- after all it's a £3 discount on a train fare we're quibbling over.

 

Little did I know, however, that address I wrote in that notebook hadn't made it's way onto an envelope correctly enough for the postman to find me,

and without a response the TOC had sent the issue to court.

 

So, a year and a half later, the court sent me a letter (to the address on the driving licence) demanding £200.

 

Having been in touch with the TOC, they've advised me to complete a statutory declaration stating that I didn't receive any notice about the court proceedings.

 

I have an appointment to do this at my local court next week.

 

What can I expect now?

 

If the offence is returned to the railway, couldn't they just prosecute me again leaving me still with a £200 fine?

 

Would they likely settle out of court the second time around, if so, what should I expect - a £20 penalty fare or likely substantially more?

 

This seems quite unfair as the mistake is theirs.

 

Finally, I am about to start a new job.

They will do a credit check and criminal record check on me.

Will this show up?

 

I will of course tell them anyway just in case, but if I have a criminal record they'll probably not be happy! Do I?

 

Any advice on what action I should take and what outcome I can expect would be much appreciated.

 

Many Thanks,

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hi rha

 

get that sd done

 

that should reset it back to before the case.

 

then write a letter appealling to the TOC with a copy of your valid railcard

 

they might well drop it altogether.

 

others will be along soon to clarify if i'm right

 

dx


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hi rha

 

get that sd done

 

that should reset it back to before the case.

 

then write a letter appealling to the TOC with a copy of your valid railcard

 

they might well drop it altogether.

 

others will be along soon to clarify if i'm right

 

dx

 

Yes, exactly so dx100.

 

Once the statutory declaration is made on oath before a Magistrate, the Court will set aside the original conviction making this null & void

 

The TOC will be advised by the Court office that they will be free to issue new a summons without time constraint to begin the prosecution afresh if they wish.

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The ticket inspect told me that I'd be sent a penalty fare (£20) and would have the opportunity to appeal or pay it.

 

The first thing that you must do is make that Statutury Declaration, otherwise the conviction & penalty remain in force.

 

Just one thing intrigues me, I have selected the quote above from your original post because it is very important.

 

When you were spoken to by the inspector, were you handed a printed Penalty Fare Notice at the time of travel?

 

The question is important because you cannot be sent a Penalty Fare Notice through the post, you may be sent reminder letters, but not the original notice, which you would be asked to sign at the time of issue.

 

If the TOC decide to reissue a Summons, which is likely, this will be an important point in any new action.

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