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provided false information to National rail


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Hi everyone,

 

So I am a user of the bus usually, one evening I decided to get the train due to being rushed. I boarded the train with my fare in my hand ready and waiting, no conductor came. when I got off at my spot BTP and a national rail inspector were waiting for tickets. I explained no conductor had asked however they stated i should have known to purcahse at a ticket machine.( as explained I dont frequently use the trains I had no idea I was committing an offence by not buying before boarding) I showed them my weekly bus ticket i buy in advance and explained i dont use the trains.

 

Then then proceed to take my name and address to contact me with futher information for me to explain why I hadent purachsed the ticket. HERES WERE IT ALL WENT WRONG. I panicked after a long stressful day at work I got myself confused and thought I would be issued with a massive on the spot fine i wouldnt be able to pay, Im a third year law student also.

 

Therefore, i very very stupidly lied and gave complete false information, I got home and couldnt sotp thinking about what I had done in a state of panic and confusion. and therefore wanting to do the right thing I walked all the way back to the train station to confess.

 

I explained I did it in the spare of the moment, I had the origional train fare and was more than willling tio pay that however when they mentioned a fine I panicked as I knew I could never afford to pay that!

 

They now have my correct details and i will be waiting for a letter, i need some advice on what to expect, will i get a fine? if so how much? and will it go against me that i firstly provided false details? could this turn criminal?

 

However critical to mention, not only am i third year student in law my aim was to join the police and currently serve as a special constable, this could ruin my whole life plan. I am a honest person and was just confused and panicked. this is a nightmare!!! please please help!!

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Firstly, I can see from your post that you recognise how truly stupid your actions were and although you make clear that you made a regretted decision in panic as you put, you cannot undo what has already been done. For a law student and a special constable, this really is a very serious matter. It is possible that you might have been identified in due course in any case.

 

The one thing that does go in your favour is the fact that you voluntarily returned to the station and 'owned up'. Knowing which rail company this happened on may help assess how likely prosecution will be because whilst the legislation is the same for them all, some TOCs do take a harder line than others

 

This may be sufficient for the prosecution department of the TOC concerned to take a considerate view, but I cannot guarantee it.

 

I am pleased for you in that you felt sufficiently remorseful that you were mature enough to return to 'face the music', well done.

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It happend on northern rail. I honestly had the money in my hand ready to pay a conductor the correct 2.50 waiting in my hand i even showed the national rail guy this when he first stopped me. when I heard the word fine i just panicked im a student i couldnt afford it. I know for a fact i shouldnt have lied and I just panicked, thats why I went back and told him. is it likely this will result in a criminal record?

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It happend on northern rail. I honestly had the money in my hand ready to pay a conductor the correct 2.50 waiting in my hand i even showed the national rail guy this when he first stopped me. when I heard the word fine i just panicked im a student i couldnt afford it. I know for a fact i shouldnt have lied and I just panicked, thats why I went back and told him. is it likely this will result in a criminal record?

 

 

 

IF, that big two letter word if, they decide to prosecute, the two likely offences are:

 

i) 'did travel on a railway without having previously paid the fare due and with intent to avoid paying that fare', contrary Section 5.3.A of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889)

 

and the secondary charge that

 

ii) 'when asked to provide her name and address did give false details' contrary to Section 5.3.C of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889).

 

These are summary charges that can result in a criminal record upon conviction and a maximum fine of up to £1000.

 

That's the 'worst case' scenario.

 

Northern do have a reputation for taking a hard line.

 

If there was a facility at the station for you to pay the fare and buy a ticket before you caught the train they can also consider a strict liability charge under National Railway Byelaw 18.1 (2005), which carries the same level of fine if convicted, but is not a recordable offence.

 

Given that you did go back and admit your silliness, it is possible that they may allow an administrative settlement opportunity if you have not come to notice of the revenue team previously, but they are never obliged to do so.

 

Wait until you get the letter from them and come back and let us know what it says.

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Thankyou for your advice, the national rail inspector did infact seem sympathtic towards me when i explained everything he spoke broken english so I struggled to fully understand him, but from what i gathered he said he wouldnt mention the previous false information provided however he contradicted this by saying " ill mention you came back" so im unsure what the letter will say. If on the letter they do no mention the providing flase information and returning back do i have a duty to mention it in case they are waiting to hear it from me, or do i just respond to the question in hand the origional " why didnt you have a ticket" they do have a machine to buy tickets but as mentioned, I dont use trains I honestly wasnt aware that you couldnt just buy it off the conductor.

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Thankyou for your advice, the national rail inspector did infact seem sympathtic towards me when i explained everything he spoke broken english so I struggled to fully understand him, but from what i gathered he said he wouldnt mention the previous false information provided however he contradicted this by saying " ill mention you came back" so im unsure what the letter will say. If on the letter they do no mention the providing flase information and returning back do i have a duty to mention it in case they are waiting to hear it from me, or do i just respond to the question in hand the origional " why didnt you have a ticket" they do have a machine to buy tickets but as mentioned, I dont use trains I honestly wasnt aware that you couldnt just buy it off the conductor.

 

 

 

 

 

No obligation to provide information that they do not ask for, and in fact, if you are advised that they are intending to prosecute you are not obliged to provide any information that you consider might be prejudicial to your defence. This is particularly important if you wish to challenge the inspectors' evidence.

 

They are likely to write asking for your version of events, if they do not state that you are alleged to have given false details, you do not need to declare it.

 

Unfortunately, as there were facilities available it will be pretty easy for Northern to prove the Byelaw offence.

 

Ignorance of the legislation is not a defence as I'm sure you will be aware, it can be put as a part of any mitigation, but isn't a valid reason for failing to comply with the rule I'm afraid.

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ok thankyou so much for your advice. Id like to say I feel better but I know ill be worrying until the day the letter comes and maybe even more so when it arrives. Do you know how long it could take? I persume with it being the christmas period I will be waiting longer than most people.

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ok thankyou so much for your advice. Id like to say I feel better but I know ill be worrying until the day the letter comes and maybe even more so when it arrives. Do you know how long it could take? I persume with it being the christmas period I will be waiting longer than most people.

 

 

 

 

 

Many of these offices are very busy and it can take as much as 4-6 weeks at really busy times I'm afraid. Don't worry too much, there is nothing you can do to alter things so i wouldn't let it spoil your Christmas, just make sure that when you do get a letter that you reply promptly. When it arrives come back and let us know what it says and we may be able to help with your reply

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