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sharris100

Used husbands annual season ticket southwest trains. HELP

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I'm hoping for some advice please.

 

I used my husbands annual season ticket to go into london on southwest trains yesterday. I had a free weekend travel pass in my bag, but when the inspector asked for my ticket I thought it would be easier just to show my husbands ticket without his photocard. His season ticket was confiscated and I think im going to be prosecuted. to say Im panicing about this would be an understatement, crying as I type right now.

 

I now know this was an INCREDIBLY stupid thing to do, I know that 2 tiny children, no sleep, lack of judgement,severe post natal depression may not be extenuation circumstances enough... I've read a lot of these threads and so Ive got an idea of the sort of thing I need to do now, but I have some extra questions

 

1) His season ticket is new and worth £2500, are we going to be able to get it back?? most threads suggest waiting for the letter, but every week that goes past we will be spending £100's of pounds on rail fares hes already paid for so Id like to speed up the process if I possibly can.

 

2) Some of the threads mention being careful about what you admit to in case it gets you a criminal conviction, whilst others seem to say confess immediately, does anyone have any advice on wording of contriteness?

 

Ive already drafted a letter so is it worth posting here for comment?

 

thank you in advance,

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I'm hoping for some advice please.

 

I used my husbands annual season ticket to go into london on southwest trains yesterday. I had a free weekend travel pass in my bag, but when the inspector asked for my ticket I thought it would be easier just to show my husbands ticket without his photocard. His season ticket was confiscated and I think im going to be prosecuted. to say Im panicing about this would be an understatement, crying as I type right now.

 

I now know this was an INCREDIBLY stupid thing to do, I know that 2 tiny children, no sleep, lack of judgement,severe post natal depression may not be extenuation circumstances enough... I've read a lot of these threads and so Ive got an idea of the sort of thing I need to do now, but I have some extra questions

 

1) His season ticket is new and worth £2500, are we going to be able to get it back?? most threads suggest waiting for the letter, but every week that goes past we will be spending £100's of pounds on rail fares hes already paid for so Id like to speed up the process if I possibly can.

 

2) Some of the threads mention being careful about what you admit to in case it gets you a criminal conviction, whilst others seem to say confess immediately, does anyone have any advice on wording of contriteness?

 

Ive already drafted a letter so is it worth posting here for comment?

 

thank you in advance,

 

Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry you're going through this. As you say, it's not sounding great, but the guys here are good and will try to give you constructive advice, I'm sure.

 

I would suggest not posting up the letter just yet, until you have had a few comments. I expect the forum guys will be along soon.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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old-codja is the man you want for this, I will be very interested in what is said.

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I assume that the free pass you had in your pocket was your free pass for the trains and you do not sound too well. You have had not a lot of sleep and you could have shown your husband's pass by accident. May-be you were not thinking straight and handed the inspector the first of the two items that you had in your pocket; the wrong ticket belonging to your husband. I also assume it was identified as having your husbands name on and that is what made the inspector take it from you. It does not look too good, but I would suggest that you try explaining that you have 2 tiny children and have post natal depression and have been sleep deprived for some time and did not realise that you had made such a mistake until it was too late. That may have a sympathetic hearing. Have they indicated at all how far they will go with this? They do not always prosecute. In some cases they may just return the pass to its rightful owner: your spouse, who did not know you had his pass: yes? Well that may also have to be part of your defense. In some cases they may issue a letter with a warning but not take it any further. It could be some time before they actually return the pass, so it may be worth while asking your spouse to request its return as there should be no reason for him to be without it and if he did not know you had the pass, then they should not keep it for very long. I hope that you can find some help here, as I really do not think that you are entirely to blame and as you say it was a silly thing to do; but you obviously had no real criminal intent. I do not know if you can find anything out sooner rather than waiting for them to contact you: but it may be a good idea to get a sense of how far they intend to take this case so as you can get the best legal advice and help, should the worst happen and you need a solicitor or legal help. Again, you may have done this without thinking and as you had both items in your bag then you probably just simply handed the inspector the wrong one. Your state of mind and health is also a factor here as you were obviously not thinking straight. All good luck in any event. Don't worry too much: I am sure that it will come out in the wash!

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Does the free pass you had with you also have your name on it (or an associated photo card), and does it have a validity date on it (so, not a 'carnet style' card where you have to enter the date)?

 

What I'm getting towards is if you can prove to the TOC it is likely you made an error and had another valid ticket with you and why that valid ticket wasn't shown, or if it will look to the TOC like you were travelling without having paid your fare, and might be trying after the event to look like you had another valid ticket with you.

 

If you didn't then show it at the time, the TOC might be harder to persuade if your free ticket might not have been date validated, or might have been being used at the time by someone else.

 

When he took your husband's ticket, did you mention to him (at the time) the valid ticket you had with you?

 

If not, why not?.

 

How come you had your husband's season ticket separate to his photo card?

Edited by BazzaS

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Bazza makes some useful suggestions, but it is worth considering what the conditions of carriage and the law say about the position that you now find yourself in.

 

Please don't start reading this and lose hope, please follow it through to the end.

 

Firstly, if this came to Court, it is the travellers responsibility to check that they hold a valid ticket for their journey before travelling and the first question a prosecutor and Magistrates might consider is 'Why did the traveller have her husband's season ticket, without his photocard if she did not intend to use it for travel?' It would appear that you had rationalised the issue, came to the conclusion that if you showed the season with the photocard that you could not get away with it because it would depict a photo of someone else and be noticed, but thought that you might get away with it if you didn't have the photocard.

 

Bazza's comment that you could say that 'you showed it by accident' is not unhelpful, but is very unlikely to succeed in my view, because the view that I have already explained above would be emphasised by the Prosecutor and I suggest that it would be difficult to give a satisfactory explanation. If you say that you took the season without your husband's consent then it underpins the prosecutor's belief that you intended to avoid a fare and if you say that your husband gave / lent it to you then he becomes complicit in that allegation and could at best forfiet the season ticket and at worst face prosecution for a breach of National Railway Byelaw 22.

 

It is usually best to await the letter from the TOC because then you will know the correct reference allocated to this case and will be able to ensure that responses reach the correct person promptly

 

When you reply, please do not be tempted to try to excuse your action by apportioning blame somewhere else. I would get a letter from your GP confirming your current illness and the effects of this on your ability to carry out your normal day-to-day living and send a copy with your response. Explain, but not in graphic detail, the pressures of bringing up two very young children, coping with post-natal depression and with lack of sleep and make clear the fact that you now recognise that you made a very much regretted error of judgment on this occasion.

 

You can mention the other ticket, but bear in mind that this can be counter-productive. Given your action, the prosecutor is very unlikely to believe that you made a mistake and showed the wrong one. The prosecution would be very firm in pressing this argument and the evidence that you held and showed your husband's season without photo-card, stating that had this been accepted, you would have avoided the fare due and would have saved the value of your 'free' ticket for another day.

 

If I were you I would acknowledge your error of judgement and apologise to the company and staff concerned. I would give an undertaking never to travel on a train without a valid ticket in the future.

 

You might ask the TOC to consider allowing you to settle the matter by payment of their reasonably incurred administration costs and offer compensation of the unpaid fare in order to avoid Court action because of the effect that this might have on your health & family. You could also explain that you took your husband's season ticket without him knowing and by the TOC retaining it, you will suffer extreme financial hardship. Your husband should write a separate, but corroberating explanation, requesting the return of his season if it was used without his knowledge.

 

Please recognise that the TOC do not have to agree, but in the circumstances explained by you and if there is nothing more that you haven't told us, which might give reason for them to decline, I suggest this stands a good chance of success.

Edited by Old-CodJA

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Thank you all for your posts.

The free passes are ones that come with a years season pass, you get 6 a year and I don't think we have ever used any, I've got 17 here and ive definitely thrown some away in the past. I had some with me, but I didn't make a mistake when I handed my husbands card over- I honestly just really couldn't face the complicated conversation about using the passes. I'm my head I thought that the possible consequences ( pay the fare plus a £20 fine??? I thought) was worth not having to have a conversation in a situation I find extremely stressful. How stupid can you get. I told the inspector that I had the passes with me, but he wouldn't look at them and said it was irrelevant since I'd represented the season ticket as my own - which is true, I'm not going to try to argue a mistake, but the intent was honestly one of not wanting to talk to anyone, rather than fare evasion, since if I'd taken the "legal" course I wouldn't have had to pay either. And I hope the number of these unused passes we have might show that I wasn't trying to" save" my free journey since we never use them. My question is - is it worth trying to explain this, or should I just say sorry, stupid thing to do. And- is the fact that I had no idea how serious this offence was, and would NEVER have done it if I had known - is this worth saying???

Thanks again for the help so far.

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Oh, and also I will have no problem getting a drs note about my depression and anxiety with interacting with people in strange or new situations, from my GP, or my psychiatrist :-(.

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Thank you all for your posts.

The free passes are ones that come with a years season pass, you get 6 a year and I don't think we have ever used any, I've got 17 here and ive definitely thrown some away in the past. I had some with me, but I didn't make a mistake when I handed my husbands card over- I honestly just really couldn't face the complicated conversation about using the passes. I'm my head I thought that the possible consequences ( pay the fare plus a £20 fine??? I thought) was worth not having to have a conversation in a situation I find extremely stressful. How stupid can you get. I told the inspector that I had the passes with me, but he wouldn't look at them and said it was irrelevant since I'd represented the season ticket as my own - which is true, I'm not going to try to argue a mistake, but the intent was honestly one of not wanting to talk to anyone, rather than fare evasion, since if I'd taken the "legal" course I wouldn't have had to pay either. And I hope the number of these unused passes we have might show that I wasn't trying to" save" my free journey since we never use them. My question is - is it worth trying to explain this, or should I just say sorry, stupid thing to do. And- is the fact that I had no idea how serious this offence was, and would NEVER have done it if I had known - is this worth saying???

Thanks again for the help so far.

 

Hello again.

 

Some of the guys here know more about what to write than I do, but I would say if it's true, tell them. Don't be tempted to invent or embellish though, because the people reading your letter have heard it all before.

 

And yes, apologies are good and saying you didn't understand the ramifications, just be sincere and tell it all concisely in your own words.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I would say if it's true, tell them. Don't be tempted to invent or embellish though, because the people reading your letter have heard it all before.

 

And yes, apologies are good and saying you didn't understand the ramifications, just be sincere and tell it all concisely in your own words.

 

HB

 

 

Top class advice from HB.

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Thank you OC, I learned it from you. :)

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello everyone.

 

ME again! having recently got through a similar situation with my Wife - check older posts about my wife taking my season pass on a FCC train.

 

My only - non legal advice would be the following.

 

STOP - Wait for the letter!

Dont *bullsh1t* . My wife had her first weekend away in 8 months of our baby. Unless it was your first trip on a train ever then I have no doubt that you probably thought that by using your husband ticket you would be saving the free tickets for a time when you would really need it like when he was at work? dont want to sound harsh but I had a frank conversation with the train staff and the best advice they said was...the office in charge 'were not born on the banana boat'.. they see letters everyday. Be honest, put your hands up to being a mong and plead with them to do anything to avoid court.

 

2) wait for the letter....

3) when it arrives, write your statement down as requested and be to the point. No life stories. I got the impression after talking to them at the latter stages that this is a factory conveherbelt setup and they have a lot to process.

4) get hold of the SWT prosecution dept number and call it...all day..everyday till someone picks up - but only till you have a reference number.

 

I had my monthly pass taken from me and was told I had to write to the prosecution dept and ask for it back. I was so worried about being brought into the situation by 'facilitating ticket fraud' i decided to write it off and not bother - but we mentioned in the plead letters that i have essentially forfeited 2weeks on my monthly ticket to avoid complications.

 

Our scenario took over a month or 6weeks to play out and i understand exactly what you are going through. My wife was a wreck for about 2weeks and then we found that the process was taking so long you just learn to accept it and see what happens - its not going to end in prison unless you have other convictions i imagine?

 

We made an offer to avoid court. Which was the best option as a conviction would have complicated the wife's employment

 

happy to keep an eye on the thread - the guys on this site are fantastic and take everyones advice on board.

 

will keep an eye on this one.

Best.

Noveum

Edited by noveum
updates

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Did anything come of this thread?

 

what was the outcome?

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Did anything come of this thread?

 

what was the outcome?

 

Hello there. I'm not sure the OP has been here recently, so can't say if you'll have a reply. If you have other questions, I believe you have a thread already?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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no other questions from me. I have been through the mill and just happy to sit back and offer advice from past experience. thanks.

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Update- and another urgent request for advice

We moved house last year so the address attached to my husbands season ticket was wrong, although we kept our phone number. I told the train guard at the time our new address and I'm sure he wrote it down. We heard nothing, nothing nothing. My anxiety levels were off the scales. My husband kept ringing SWT -weekly- but because we had no reference number were not allowed to talk to anyone about it. We can't afford for this not to be dealt with as the season ticket is new and worth £250, and we are spending £100's extra on fares each month that goes past.. however we were told that the change of address would not be a problem since the prosecutions dept would 100% certain call us before writing any letters to us. Anyway finally a phone call on Monday saying they had made repeated attempts to invite me for interview and despite having a mail forward which has been working fine we have received none of them. I spoke to the prosecutor over the phone, lots of tears, hands up totally stupid thing to do, mitigating circumstances outlined above. Received an email yesterday offering out of court settlement of £750 due to repeated interview attempts?? Obviously this is better than a criminal record, and we will have to find a way to pay... But it seems incredibly high given that we did everything we could to make sure they had the correct address and talk to someone about it, and in comparison to other out of court settlements on here which seem to be 200/300 region. Any advice? I've got 3 days to agree.

Thank you for all your help

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Meant season ticket worth £2500

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I wonder if the fee is high due to all the 'admin work its taken to resend letters'? :|

 

Tough call here in my books? Do you want the problem to go away right now? If so..pay it and recoup the money by eating baked beans for a while sitting in the dark?

 

OR

 

Do you want to see where a fight takes you?

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