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I have received a notice of intent to prosecute from FFC for the offense of 'Failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection'

 

The letter provides me with area to provide a 'response from passenger' - Tell us what happened from your point of view.

 

Is there any reason to provide one as I am not disputing that I did not provide a ticket?

Reason being I had thought I had touched in my Oystercard.

 

Cost of the journey was a single stop so less than a couple of quid.

Going to court seems excessive for a first offense.

 

How best should I respond to the letter?

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send a grovelling letter offering to pay all reasonable costs and expected fine

if this is you only time, then they usually accept it.

 

see the other threads on here

 

dx


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I did buy a ticket to travel on the day after being made aware of my error. Should I send this with my letter?

 

Are there any situations upon which not presenting a ticket is seen as more valid eg: losing a ticket?

Not much room on the page is given for the response - it feels to me as if they are just looking for a confession to make prosecution easier.

But hopefully FFC are nicer than that.

 

Typically how much of a fine?

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there is no reason why you cannot use your own sheet

howver DO NOT WAFFLE!

 

simply state the facts as you se ethem

 

admit the error

and offer to pay all reasonable costs and charges

 

it will not goto court if what you are sying is true

 

although each case is diff

 

as you can prob see from reading this forum.


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Thankyou for the help dx100uk

 

I am still considering what to write in the letter.

My understanding is there are no excuses for failing to provide a valid ticket on request; so am suspicious of the opportunity to provide one.

Is it worth stating that I intended to pay and did without request purchase a full valid ticket on the day

 

I am nervous that anything I convey in this letter could later be used in court against me, especially as I admitting guilt.

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you either grovel by letter and admit and apologise for what you did and take the 'hit'

 

or you goto court and end up with a criminal record, which will happen if you do.


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Deleted : 2 different threads confused by me

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Thankyou for the help dx100uk

 

I am still considering what to write in the letter.

My understanding is there are no excuses for failing to provide a valid ticket on request; so am suspicious of the opportunity to provide one.

Is it worth stating that I intended to pay and did without request purchase a full valid ticket on the day

 

I am nervous that anything I convey in this letter could later be used in court against me, especially as I admitting guilt.

 

Byelaw 18 is a strict liability offence - it doesn't matter in terms of proving an offence if you intend to fail yo show a valid ticket on demand or not : it matters whether you showed the valid ticket or not.

 

So, if it is a Byelaw 18 offence, you may have little to loose by an honest reply. However, as dx100 has pointed out, you might gain by persuading FCC not to take you to court, provided this is a "first offence", but especially if there are any mitigating factors. What are the details to how you have found yourself in this predicament?

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The details are simple. I make a one stop journey on FFC sometimes to get to work when not able to cycle it. Long weekend after the bank holiday late for work, forgot to touchin for that leg before taking the tube.

No real justifiable excuse, unfortunately came across a police cordon and very officious RP officer. Tried to get it dealt with as quickly as possible by offering to pay a fine - I see this was a mistake now.

 

Told a fine wasn't an option in this case and that the FFC would simply write to me. Really shocked to receive a letter threatening court action over a £2 ticket.

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I did buy a ticket to travel on the day after being made aware of my error. Should I send this with my letter?

 

 

 

Typically how much of a fine?

 

 

Purchasing a ticket after being reported does not cancel the likelihood of prosecution. The legislation is unambiguous in saying 'having not previously paid' in the case of S.5 Regulation of Railways Act (1889) and 'fail to show a ticket when requested' in the case of National Railway Byelaw 18 (2005)

 

You could choose to send it, but the TOC do not have to consider it as relevant

 

If convicted, this is a Level 3 matter making the maximum fine £1000 for a first time offender, but in practice if charged with the more serious S.5 matter the fine is likely to be around £400, which will be reduced by one third for an early guilty plea.

 

If a breach of Byelaw is charged and convicted the fine will normally be around half that for the S.5 offence with the usual reduction for an early acceptance of guilt.

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As dx has said, a "grovelling" letter may help. What is your major concern : is it avoiding a criminal conviction?. If so, aim to get them to agree an out of court (administrative) disposal.

 

A letter of contrition, stressing how you normally pay your fare, 1st episode (providing it is!), thought you had touched in, will ensure you will do so in future, etc.

 

I'd advise avoiding comments such as :

"Going to court seems excessive for a first offense." and "unfortunately came across a police cordon and very officious RP officer" in your reply to them though!

 

It seems likely this was a targeted "cordon" in an area with a high level of fare evasion. The RP officer may have seemed officious to you as a 1st time offender : the RPI was probably thinking "heard it all before, they always say 'why pick on me', 'it's my first offence', 'I swear I thought I'd touched in', 'is it worth reporting for a couple of quid', 'I'll buy a ticket from you, then', 'can't I just pay a penalty fare '" and the other responses they must hear hundreds of times a week from offenders, some of whom they'll suspect of being serial offenders if it is a route / area worth targeting with both RPI's and BTP to create a 'cordon'.

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Avoiding criminal conviction is my main concern.

I occasionally have to travel to the states for work and I believe they conduct some kind of criminal record check

 

I have penned my 'grovel' letter - I would appreciate a second set of eyes to look at it and assess if it wording shows the required attrition.

Happy to PM to anyone experienced in this area

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FCC could end up in sticky waters, assuming the OP has given us an accurate version of events.

 

Railway Byelaw 18(2) does not require a "valid" ticket to be presented. Just some sort of ticket, valid or not.

 

If the Oystercard was handed over, and found to be "invalid", then potentially a ticket was handed over for inspection, possibly fulfilling the requirements of Byelaw 18(2).

 

(I assume Byelaw 18(2) is the offence being considered, purely because the OP says "'Failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection").

 

There is nothing to stop FCC from changing this to Byelaw 18(1), however.

 

Ref

 

Burns v First Capital Connect [2012] EWHC 1305 (Admin)

 

The appeal is unopposed. Upon reflection, the Respondent has not sought to uphold the decision of the magistrates. The reason is quite straightforward: as is apparent from the wording of the two questions posed by the magistrates, no offences was committed under Byelaw 18(2). In effect, as Mr Fuller has submitted today, the very wording of the question reveals that no offence was, on those facts, capable of being committed under Byelaw 18(2). The Appellant had indeed handed over his Oyster card, albeit there were insufficient funds on it. Accordingly, the two questions posed, to which I have already drawn attention, must be answered: in respect of question A: no; and question B: yes. Whatever may have been the Appellant's fate, had he been prosecuted under Byelaws 17(1) or 18(1), which focus on valid tickets, those were not the Byelaws under which he was prosecuted. A prosecution under Byelaw 18(2) was, whatever the underlying merits, doomed to fail. It follows that the appeal must be allowed.

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assuming the OP has given us an accurate version of events.

 

Railway Byelaw 18(2) does not require a "valid" ticket to be presented. Just some sort of ticket, valid or not.

 

If the Oystercard was handed over, and found to be "invalid", then potentially a ticket was handed over for inspection, possibly fulfilling the requirements of Byelaw 18(2).

 

 

 

Exactly so firstclassx,

 

I suspect that as they were the prosecution office concerned with the Burns judgment then FCC are extremely unlikely to make that slip again though

 

Byelaw 18.1 is much more likely if they don't go for S.5 RoRA

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Exactly so firstclassx,

 

I suspect that as they were the prosecution office concerned with the Burns judgment then FCC are extremely unlikely to make that slip again though

 

 

You would certainly hope not. Not that I would be especially surprised, however.

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I sent an apology letter to FFC and they have responding asking me to call them

 

It appears a possibly positive chance to give my version of events, but im not exactly sure what further information they might require that was not found in the letter and admission of wrong doing.

 

Wondering if you had any further advice or tips on how best to conduct this call?

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Only you can decide what you tell FCC about your action on the day, see how the conversation goes and if it appears that they intend to proceed to prosecution of the strict liability offence, you might like to verbalise the suggestion given in dx post at post 2

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Finding hard to get through on the number they've provided.

Keep getting an answer phone and have left a message.

 

Any alternative number I can try?

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yep its always like that

 

dx


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Finding hard to get through on the number they've provided.

Keep getting an answer phone and have left a message.

 

Any alternative number I can try?

 

 

The number FCC have given you to call is the one you will need to speak to them on, that will be the prosecutions unit and it is they who will make the decision regarding any action.

 

Ring between 9 a.m and 4 p.m on a weekday and keep trying if they are busy

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Just wanted to update on what happened in this case.

Following the advice given on this site, I sent the FFC an attritional letter.

 

Once I got through to them on the phone an offer to settle the matter without further court action through payment of a small fine was made.

I agreed to this obviously and they took payment from my card.

 

Today I received a court summons regarding the original offence.

I am a little shocked.. it seems completely unfair and hopefully just a clerical error

 

but I am not sure where I stand in the eyes of the court.

Yes the FFC have broken our out of court agreement

but does this effect my plea with regards to the original offence for which I must now go to court...

Edited by complience

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Following a travel irregularity committed earlier this year, I received a letter from FFC stating an intent to prosecute.

 

 

I formally replied admitting the stated offence and offering to pay reasonable costs as an alternative to court action.

 

 

FFC replied in writing offering the opportunity to pay a small penalty fare outside of court action.

This was I paid over phone and payment taken from my card. I subsequently received a letter from FFC stating the matter as closed.

 

 

A day later I received a formal court summons for the same offence shown in the 'statement of facts' with a date set for later this month.

 

 

It seems a violation of the out of court agreement and I may undertake further legal action against FFC regarding this however I am unsure as to how this effects my plea regarding the original charge having already admitted guilt in previous correspondence.

 

 

I do not want to plead guilty as the criminal record would likely affect my employment status and the charges in addition to the penalty already paid are excessive.

This issue follows on from a post I made in June regarding the original offence.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?395434-notice-of-intent-to-prosecute-FFC

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Send them a copy of the letter showing the matter was closed.


Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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I can we be clear by who you mean by 'them'

 

The Clerk of the court shown on the summons or FFC prosecutions department it originated from?

A summons suggests the matter as already in the judiciary process and my attendance in court will be required 'unless' pleading guilty - which I am not.

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