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Railway ticket: Student arrested using photocopy discount card

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My friend is a foreign student studying at uni here. He left his documents in his home country at Christmas by accident, but always keeps copies here in UK - eg drivving licence , visa etc

He took a day return to London on Saturday, but used a photocopy of the Student Discount Card. He showed this to the ticket clerk when he bought the ticket.

 

Unfortunately the ticket inspector on the train was not pleased and arranged for the police to come and arrest him, even though my friend explained, and also showed him the receipt for the original purchase.

 

He is now being prosecuted for

Regulation of Railways Act 1889: Section 5(3): “If any person—(a)Travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof;”

 

He now understands the conditions of carriage require him to carry the original discount card (although at the time he did not know), and accepts that he has broken this railway bye law 18.2 - which would normally result in a penalty charge.

 

However he does not accept that he is guilty of "intent to avoid payment" - and what could be a very serious charge, as it will most certainly affect his Visa requirement for him to remain at study here , should he be prosecuted

 

Thanks for any help

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My friend is a foreign student studying at uni here. He left his documents in his home country at Christmas by accident, but always keeps copies here in UK - eg drivving licence , visa etc

He took a day return to London on Saturday, but used a photocopy of the Student Discount Card. He showed this to the ticket clerk when he bought the ticket.

 

Unfortunately the ticket inspector on the train was not pleased and arranged for the police to come and arrest him, even though my friend explained, and also showed him the receipt for the original purchase.

 

He is now being prosecuted for

Regulation of Railways Act 1889: Section 5(3): “If any person—(a)Travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof;”

 

He now understands the conditions of carriage require him to carry the original discount card (although at the time he did not know), and accepts that he has broken this railway bye law 18.2 - which would normally result in a penalty charge.

 

However he does not accept that he is guilty of "intent to avoid payment" - and what could be a very serious charge, as it will most certainly affect his Visa requirement for him to remain at study here , should he be prosecuted

 

Thanks for any help

 

Hello and welcome to CAG. I hope the forum regulars will be along later with advice for you friend.

 

Has he had any correspondence with the rail company or is this the first communication he's had please? And how long before the court case?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks for your welcome. He has had no correspondance with the rail company - the only information he has is from the charge sheet from the Police station. The court case is on the 4th Feb 2013

 

I have already drafted a letter which I was considering sending to Network Rail - stating that he would accept that he had broken the byelaws , and would be happy to pay penalty fare. But would not accept the criminal charge.

 

I emphasised that we would require the Inspector and the Ticket seller to appear as witnesses, together with request for CCTV footage of him showing the Student Card copy to the Ticket Seller

 

I dont want to send it without some good advice however

Edited by honeybee13
Spacing.

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Hello again.

 

So he went to a police station? Was this BTP or the non-rail police force please?

 

And are the offences you mentioned on the court summons?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I have already drafted a letter which I was considering sending to Network Rail - stating that he would accept that he had broken the byelaws , and would be happy to pay penalty fare. But would not accept the criminal charge.

 

I emphasised that we would require the Inspector and the Ticket seller to appear as witnesses, together with request for CCTV footage of him showing the Student Card copy to the Ticket Seller

 

Another couple of comments for you until the guys are able to get here. AFAIK, Network Rail don't run the trains, I think if you write it will need to be to the TOC [train operating company].

 

I don't think staff necessarily appear in court. Is this summons from the magistrates?

 

From what I've read on this forum, the way to approach the prosecutions department is to ask 'if they would be willing to accept' etc rather than to dictate to them what you will and won't accept.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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thanks for your reply honey bee

Her went to the Police station. It was the Metropolitan Police . Not BT Police.

The single of offence of Regulation of Railways Act 1889: Section 5(3) was mentioned on a charge sheet given to him at police station. there are not other documents. So it doesnt appear to be a summons from Mags

 

If it went to court I assume he would be entitled to call whichever witnesses are appropriate for his defense

 

 

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Thank you again.

 

I'm a bit confused here. If you only have the charge sheet, how do you know when the court case is?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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My friend is a foreign student studying at uni here. He left his documents in his home country at Christmas by accident, but always keeps copies here in UK - eg driving licence , visa etc

He took a day return to London on Saturday, but used a photocopy of the Student Discount Card. He showed this to the ticket clerk when he bought the ticket.

 

Unfortunately the ticket inspector on the train was not pleased and arranged for the police to come and arrest him, even though my friend explained, and also showed him the receipt for the original purchase.

 

He is now being prosecuted for

Regulation of Railways Act 1889: Section 5(3): “If any person—(a)Travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof;”

 

He now understands the conditions of carriage require him to carry the original discount card (although at the time he did not know), and accepts that he has broken this railway bye law 18.2 - which would normally result in a penalty charge.

 

However he does not accept that he is guilty of "intent to avoid payment" - and what could be a very serious charge, as it will most certainly affect his Visa requirement for him to remain at study her e , should he be prosecuted

 

Thanks for any help

 

Sorry,I find it very hard to believe you can buy a rail ticket with a photocopy of a discount card at a booking office !

 

It sounds like your friend got caught bang to rights.

 

Plead Guilty and accept the punishment

 

How did your friend get back in to the UK with a photo copy of there Visa/Passport anyway ?

Edited by 45002

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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honeybee, thanks

Yes it is a Charge sheet MG4, with bail conditions at the bottom to surrender to Mags court

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honeybee, thanks

Yes it is a Charge sheet MG4, with bail conditions at the bottom to surrender to Mags court

 

Thank you for that. I hope the guys will be able to unravel this later, once their day jobs permit them to get here.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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@45002 - Bang to rights - plead guilty. Are you serious ?

 

Yes.

 

Can I ask again

 

 

How did your friend get back in to the UK with a photo copy of there Visa/Passport anyway ?

 

If

 

My friend is a foreign student studying at uni here. He left his documents in his home country at Christmas by accident, but always keeps copies here in UK - eg driving licence , visa etc

 

Edited by 45002

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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@45002 - I am sorry but I don't think you are helping. This is really a forum for helping others. I won't be able to reply to any more of your suggestions.

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@45002 - I am sorry but I don't think you are helping. This is really a forum for helping others. I won't be able to reply to any more of your suggestions.

 

Hello again.

 

You've asked for help on a public forum, so you are going to receive a range of views.

 

As you say, it's up to you which advice you accept and this is your prerogative. But what if a prosecutor asked your friend to explain under oath how he returned to the UK with a photocopy of a visa? It may not be beyond the bounds of possibility.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello again.

 

You've asked for help on a public forum, so you are going to receive a range of views.

 

As you say, it's up to you which advice you accept and this is your prerogative. But what if a prosecutor asked your friend to explain under oath how he returned to the UK with a photocopy of a visa? It may not be beyond the bounds of possibility.

 

HB

 

I make No apologies at the way I ask question's on any forum,as it very often gets to the Truth of the story ...

 

@45002 - I am sorry but I don't think you are helping. This is really a forum for helping others. I won't be able to reply to any more of your suggestions.

 

As you won't answer the question then

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?379451-Railway-ticket-Student-arrested-using-photocopy-discount-card&p=4113065&viewfull=1#post4113065

 

One can only assume then one thing !

Edited by 45002

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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45002, I meant to say that you could have a point about the visa, given the statement in the first post about documents left at home. I seem have have lost it in between typing and posting, my apologies.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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45002, I meant to say that you could have a point about the visa, given the statement in the first post about documents left at home. I seem have have lost it in between typing and posting, my apologies.

 

HB

 

That's OK Not your fault

 

Thank you ...


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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Knowingly using a copy of a railcard, to obtain discounted rail fares, is obviously an offence.

 

Even a breach of Railway byelaws is a criminal offence, which the UKBA would need to be informed about.

 

You need to find a good solicitor.

 

A "not guilty" plea is likely to result in you still being convicted, albeit with a much increased fine.

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Using a copy does not make it a criminal offense.

At no time would the network have lost out, A copy with proof of payment for the original that is now lost

is 100% proof that person wasn't trying to gain an advantage and cheaper fares.

He purchased what he was entitled to.

 

Get a good solicitor to show these corporate nuttiness that not everyone is a cash cow waiting to be milked.

 

George

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If the person owns a valid railcard already, (and is now able to present) , showing the photocopy isn't 'obviously' an offence.

 

@honeybee - yes its worthwhile considering the range of views and possible objections that may be made by the prosecution , but 'bang to rights' and 'plead guilty' are probably not examples of this

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It is obviously an offence. It is at least a Byelaw offence, whether they hold a valid railcard or not. The terms require you to produce the real one there and then. If not, you commit an offence. If, on being questioned, other things come to light, a Section 5 offence may be applicable.

 

1) It isn't a real railcard - it is a copy.

2) The terms and conditions of the railcard require it to be physically presented, on demand;

3) It is perfectly reasonable to prosecute someone who travels with a photocopy of a ticket/railcard.

 

How do they know the person still possesses the railcard and hasn't lost it? How do they know it hasn't been given to a friend?

 

The fare paid was 34% cheaper than what should have been paid. Therefore the company has suffered a loss.

 

Or next time I have a £10 off voucher for Asda, should I just copy it, and take the copy to the shop?

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My friend is a foreign student studying at uni here. He left his documents in his home country at Christmas by accident, but always keeps copies here in UK - eg drivving licence , visa etc

He took a day return to London on Saturday, but used a photocopy of the Student Discount Card. He showed this to the ticket clerk when he bought the ticket.

 

Unfortunately the ticket inspector on the train was not pleased and arranged for the police to come and arrest him, even though my friend explained, and also showed him the receipt for the original purchase.

 

He is now being prosecuted for

Regulation of Railways Act 1889: Section 5(3): “If any person—(a)Travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof;”

 

He now understands the conditions of carriage require him to carry the original discount card (although at the time he did not know), and accepts that he has broken this railway bye law 18.2 - which would normally result in a penalty charge.

 

However he does not accept that he is guilty of "intent to avoid payment" - and what could be a very serious charge, as it will most certainly affect his Visa requirement for him to remain at study here , should he be prosecuted

 

Thanks for any help

 

 

I find it hard to believe that your friend expects the rail company to accept that he did not know that he could not do this. The application for these cards makes clear that if the original railcard, complete with seperate photo-identity card (where appropriate) is not shown, "the traveller will be treated as if no ticket is held" and a full fare becomes due and payable.

 

Photocopies of railcards, tickets etc are never acceptable as travel documents for the obvious reason that these can be altered from the original. Only the original in-date Railcard is acceptable and the terms & conditions make this clear.

 

If you do not have your valid Railcard with you and you wish to travel, you must pay the appropriate un-discounted fare. Using a fake Railcard to obtain a discount rather than pay the proper fare can be pursued as a charge of 'fare evasion'.

 

Breach of Byelaw 18.2 is NOT an automatic Penalty Fare matter. It is a strict liability offence, which may result in action in a Magistrates Court.

 

Depending on where your friend was travelling, a Penalty Fare issued for breach of Byelaw 17 may be relevant, but where there is evidence to suggest intent to avoid a fare or part thereof, no member of staff is obliged to issue a Penalty and a report for further action may be made.

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Using a copy does not make it a criminal offense.

At no time would the network have lost out, A copy with proof of payment for the original that is now lost

is 100% proof that person wasn't trying to gain an advantage and cheaper fares.

He purchased what he was entitled to.

Get a good solicitor to show these corporate nuttiness that not everyone is a cash cow waiting to be milked.

 

George

 

Who said anything about the original been loosed !

 

http://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/using-your-card/railcard-terms-conditions/

 

5:

Tickets for your journey should be purchased before boarding the train and when buying tickets you must show the Railcard.

 

6:

You must carry your Railcard with you on your journey and when asked by rail staff, you must show a valid ticket and valid Railcard. If you fail to do so, you will be required to pay the full price Standard Single fare for your journey as if no ticket was purchased before starting the journey and in some cases a Penalty Fare.

Fraudulent use of Railcards and Railcard discounted tickets may lead to criminal prosecution.
PS: Good to see the old life support is still going biggeorge ... lol Edited by 45002

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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OC, I see you seem to be around still this evening.

 

Do you think the OP should write to the rail company about trying to settle before this gets to court please?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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OC, I see you seem to be around still this evening.

 

Do you think the OP should write to the rail company about trying to settle before this gets to court please?

 

My best, HB

 

 

Hi HB,

 

Once the OP receives the verification lertter from the TOC he will have the relevant case reference and it cannot do any harm to write with an apology and ask if they will allow such a disposal, bearing in mind the usual note that, they are not obliged to agree.

 

It is always worth asking.

 

All the best

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