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Hey all

 

On 3rd Dec 2012, I had to travel from Enfield Chase to Southend Central. I had never done this journey before so asked at the ticket desk the best route. He told me which way to go and so I bought a ticket using a 16-25 railcard which was not checked. Turns out the railcard was a few days out of date and a RPI pointed this out when inspecting my ticket.

 

My issue is that I could barely understand a word she said and had very little knowledge on what to do in the situation. I gave her my details after she pointed to 'name' etc on her pad. I handed over my driving licence to make it easy to take the details. Following this she put out her hand as if awaiting payment for something and so I asked her what she wanted and what for. She said 20£ and I couldnt make out anything else. I did ask her to explain what she was doing and why but she just handed me a slip saying i could travel between enfield chase and i think highbury and walked off. I did follow her and ask what the slip was for and what happens now because she had taken my other ticket. she ignored me and carried on.

 

I got a letter of NIP asking for details of what happened to be sent back on an attached form but there was no form attached. I sent an email to first capital connect customer relations saying that there was no form and saying that i was happy to pay for any charges that i owed but wanted to know how to go about doing so. they did reply saying i needed to contact the prosecutions department directly to which i replied asking for an email address. they didnt reply for several weeks and when they did, no details were given. I also asked in the previous email for what i said to be passed on to those who could deal with the situation.

 

i come home today and find i have summons for the 15th feb although it has a date saying 14th jan sent. i cant understand why it would take from the 14th until now to arrive but i guess thats not important...

 

what im curious about is where it says on the witness statement that i said yes to 'caution understood' which certainly wasnt the case.. and the fare outstanding is £3.60. There is no signature for me because i wasnt given a chance to sign anything...

 

1) if i knew it was only 3.60 instead of the 20£ she was asking for i wouldntve cared at all and just given her some money.

2) why does it say caution understood if i never said it was?

3) does it change anything that its not signed by me?

 

also please advise on what best to do from now as i really dont want to have to pay the 120£ fees they are asking for on a fare of 3.60

 

also.. i ended up having to buy another ticket anyway to get to where i wanted to because the slip she gave only took me part way and she took the other ticket... is this relevant at all?

 

thank you

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Hey all

 

On 3rd Dec 2012, I had to travel from Enfield Chase to Southend Central. I had never done this journey before so asked at the ticket desk the best route. He told me which way to go and so I bought a ticket using a 16-25 railcard which was not checked. Turns out the railcard was a few days out of date and a RPI pointed this out when inspecting my ticket.

 

My issue is that I could barely understand a word she said and had very little knowledge on what to do in the situation. I gave her my details after she pointed to 'name' etc on her pad. I handed over my driving licence to make it easy to take the details. Following this she put out her hand as if awaiting payment for something and so I asked her what she wanted and what for. She said 20£ and I couldnt make out anything else. I did ask her to explain what she was doing and why but she just handed me a slip saying i could travel between enfield chase and i think highbury and walked off. I did follow her and ask what the slip was for and what happens now because she had taken my other ticket. she ignored me and carried on.

 

I got a letter of NIP asking for details of what happened to be sent back on an attached form but there was no form attached. I sent an email to first capital connect customer relations saying that there was no form and saying that i was happy to pay for any charges that i owed but wanted to know how to go about doing so. they did reply saying i needed to contact the prosecutions department directly to which i replied asking for an email address. they didnt reply for several weeks and when they did, no details were given. I also asked in the previous email for what i said to be passed on to those who could deal with the situation.

 

i come home today and find i have summons for the 15th feb although it has a date saying 14th jan sent. i cant understand why it would take from the 14th until now to arrive but i guess thats not important...

 

what im curious about is where it says on the witness statement that i said yes to 'caution understood' which certainly wasnt the case.. and the fare outstanding is £3.60. There is no signature for me because i wasnt given a chance to sign anything...

 

1) if i knew it was only 3.60 instead of the 20£ she was asking for i wouldntve cared at all and just given her some money.

2) why does it say caution understood if i never said it was?

3) does it change anything that its not signed by me?

 

also please advise on what best to do from now as i really dont want to have to pay the 120£ fees they are asking for on a fare of 3.60

 

also.. i ended up having to buy another ticket anyway to get to where i wanted to because the slip she gave only took me part way and she took the other ticket... is this relevant at all?

 

thank you

 

What charge does the summons allege?

 

If it is that you intended to avoid a fare (s5.3a RRA 1889), you might have a defence that you never intended to avoid the fare.

 

If they allege that you entered a train without a valid ticket (Bylaw 17.1 or 18.1), this is a "strict liability" offence, and it appears from what you say that you had a ticket, but it was not a valid ticket, as it was a railcard discounted ticket & the railcard was out of date.

 

If the "strict liability" offence, all the other issues you mention (ticket office not checking railcard, you not understanding the RPI, you trying to get the prosecutions to discontinue ....) move from influencing "guilty or not guilty" to instead influencing "mitigation".

 

Edited: reading your post again, did you ask about fares at the ticket office and buy the ticket there, or buy it at a ticket machine, after?

 

If you didn't have a valid ticket, you'd only have limited grounds for defence against a Bylaw prosecution, such as no facilities to buy a ticket or permission from an officer of the railway, which you haven't mentioned to date.

Edited by BazzaS

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Asked and bought at ticket office

 

And charges are:

 

Entering a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling travel

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Asked and bought at ticket office

 

And charges are:

 

Entering a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling travel

 

Unfortunately, your grounds to defence for a Byelaw 17(1) or 18(1) summons are strictly limited.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/4202/railway-byelaws.pdf

 

(3) No person shall be in breach of Byelaw 17(1) or 17(2) if:

(i) there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, he began his journey; or

(ii) there was a notice at the station where he began his journey permitting journeys to be started without a valid ticket; or

(iii) an authorised person gave him permission to travel without a valid ticket.

 

So, unless you can persuade the TOC to accept a settlement from you outside of the court system, and withdraw the summons, I suspect you are in for a hefty penalty and a conviction.

 

Have you written to the Prosecution department?.

Can you be sure your email got through? If not, a letter sent "Special Delivery" might be better?

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On the court summons there was a contact phone number for the prosecutions department which I called today. I explained the situation and that obviously I did not want to go to court.

 

The guy seemed very helpful and said that if I send over details of the new railcard that I have then it may be able to be sorted but with an administrative charge. I've now done that and waiting to hear back.

 

Thanks for the replies. I figure from what you've said it would be best to proceed in this way as I'm guessing I have no chance of getting a better result if going through court?

 

Also, if I go to court and am found guilty, would I then have a criminal record?

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No and yes, I'm afraid. Although obviously the future can't be predicted! But this way it's over and done with.

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Thanks for the replies. I figure from what you've said it would be best to proceed in this way as I'm guessing I have no chance of getting a better result if going through court?

 

Also, if I go to court and am found guilty, would I then have a criminal record?

 

Far better to settle out of court unless you are confident of being found not guilty.

 

If found guilty at court you would have a criminal record.

It would be "non-recordable", so wouldn't show on a standard CRB, but would on an Enhanced CRB.

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