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Good evening,

 

after having filed a stat dec last week regarding an incident that happened 3 years ago, I received a notice of new hearing yesterday. I am trying to get in touch with Southern Railway to try and see if they would maybe agree to an alternative arrangement out of court.

Unfortunately I can't seem to find any contact details for them on the letter, nor on their website.

Would anyone who faced a similar matter have a contact phone number or email for me to reach out to them?

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I very much doubt they will be inclined to settle with you, seeing as the cost of retrieving your case notes from their archive company will have been high, and that is before you consider the costs of the administrative work, court appearances and the original fare(s) avoided.

 

The summons will have appropriate contact information on it. Failing that you can contact Southern customer services who will pass along your query.

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I never received any summons, therefore why I had to file a stat dec. On the notice of new hearing there is no contact, and southern's customer service says I have to contact the IPFAS.

Edited by EUZone
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Regarding my last sentence, it may seem arrogant, obviously not the way I wanted to sound it like, but I can't afford to think they won't let me settle out of court otherwise it would destroy my career. So I'm just trying to contact them and see if offering to pay for any cost and additional damages would be sufficient to settle out of court.

 

I only got to know this issue last week, so I had to take all the opportunities that I had in front of me

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I never received any summons, therefore why I had to file a stat dec. On the notice of new hearing there is no contact, and southern's customer service says I have to contact the IPFAS.

 

Regarding my last sentence, it may seem arrogant, obviously not the way I wanted to sound it like, but I can't afford to think they won't let me settle out of court otherwise it would destroy my career. So I'm just trying to contact them and see if offering to pay for any cost and additional damages would be sufficient to settle out of court.

 

I only got to know this issue last week, so I had to take all the opportunities that I had in front of me

 

If you originally got served a summons that you didn't receive : all a stat dec does is return things to that point.

The TOC isn't under any obligation to offer an administrative settlement : the time for seeking that was before the first summons, surely?.

 

You were aware you were stopped?. If you wanted to avoid court, did you receive any letter(s) from the TOC, and if not did you assume they weren't following it up?

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You say you didn't receive a summons, but a "notice of new hearing".

 

What information is on that notice?

 

The court, quite rightly, is going to ask, if you remember being stopped and interviewed about a ticketless/fraudulent travel incident, why on earth did you just "forget" about the incident making no effort to contact the Train Operator?

 

Furthermore, if the address you provided at the time was incorrect or deliberately misleading, (and caused the summons to go missing or to an incorrect address), and the operator realises this, it's even more serious.

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I did forget about that incident because I was never handed anything on that day, and I gave my full address to the officer. It was 3 years ago, so it did obviously slip out of my mind. I was flying out for a family issue, and I was assuming I would receive something from the toc to make things right and pay for my fare and any other cost. I never did, and I guess it is understandable that someone forgets about something after 3 years of no correspondence whatsoever.

I would have paid on the spot to the officer would I have had my wallet on me, which I had left in my office, and only had my passport for my flight. I would have more than definitely paid for any penalty included if I had received any correspondence.

I did not, and had to file a stat dec last week when I first heard of the matter. I am now trying to get an alternative settlement due to this situation.

To answer why I never tried to contact the toc: I completely forgot about this till last week, I never received any correspondence regarding this incident till last week either, and I didn't know either who was the toc involved, as I had taken the first train to the airport that was available at the station. I had been in London only for a few months, and the only "trains" I was accustomed to was the tube.

I made a mistake, I understand that it has a cost, and I was more than fine to pay for that mistake. I just never received anything about it till last week.

 

Regarding what's written in the notice of new hearing, it only days that my stat dec was received, and it mentions the time and date of my new hearing.

After a call to the court, it appears the actual date and time are not correct because they haven't even told the tic that I had filed a stat dec.

Edited by EUZone
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I did forget about that incident because I was never handed anything on that day, and I gave my full address to the officer. It was 3 years ago, so it did obviously slip out of my mind. I was flying out for a family issue, and I was assuming I would receive something from the toc to make things right and pay for my fare and any other cost. I never did, and I guess it is understandable that someone forgets about something after 3 years of no correspondence whatsoever.

I would have paid on the spot to the officer would I have had my wallet on me, which I had left in my office, and only had my passport for my flight. I would have more than definitely paid for any penalty included if I had received any correspondence.

I did not, and had to file a stat dec last week when I first heard of the matter. I am now trying to get an alternative settlement due to this situation.

To answer why I never tried to contact the toc: I completely forgot about this till last week, I never received any correspondence regarding this incident till last week either, and I didn't know either who was the toc involved, as I had taken the first train to the airport that was available at the station. I had been in London only for a few months, and the only "trains" I was accustomed to was the tube.

I made a mistake, I understand that it has a cost, and I was more than fine to pay for that mistake. I just never received anything about it till last week.

 

Regarding what's written in the notice of new hearing, it only days that my stat dec was received, and it mentions the time and date of my new hearing.

After a call to the court, it appears the actual date and time are not correct because they haven't even told the tic that I had filed a stat dec.

 

 

 

 

If you were reported for an offence you will not normally be handed anything. There is no obligation on the rail company to do so. You will normally be advised that a report will be made and that the company will be in contact at the address you have given in due course.

 

Normally the TOC will write giving an opportunity for you to give your explanation.

 

How long after you were reported did you leave the country and how long were you away?

 

There may have been other letters sent, but the company are not obliged to write asking you to pay, it was your legal responsibility to hold a valid ticket or pay at the time of travel (not later) if asked to do so. Staff are not obliged to ask for the fare if they believe that an offence has been committed.

 

Some time after that initial letter a Summons will have been sent to your address. How long were you away and have you changed addresses in the meantime?

 

If you were abroad for a very long time and did not return to the address that you gave as yours for correspondence, be prepared to show evidence to confirm that.

 

The Court office have an obligation to notify the prosecutor, but if they have only now notified the TOC that you have made a Statutory Declaration, then the prosecutor will normally issue fresh a Summons for the charge's to be heard and a new Court date will be arranged.

 

In my experience it is incredibly rare for such cases to be settled out of Court because the prosecutor will be incurring additional costs in revisiting the files and will want the Court to examine why you had not replied or responded to the earlier Summons in good time.

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I only went abroad for the weekend

I am absolutely certain I gave the right address.

 

I changed 3 times addresses over the course of the past 3 years.

I understand the fact that it may be a time-and-resource consuming task for the toc, therefore I am trying to be as proactive as I can. I am not at all denying the fact that I was in the wrong, but I want to make it clear that I never received any correspondence till last week, and would I have had the chance I would have made things right. I want to keep my good name, and for this I am happy to pay for any additional damage that the toc deems appropriate.

Edited by EUZone
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I only went abroad for the weekend

I am absolutely certain I gave the right address.

 

I changed 3 times addresses over the course of the past 3 years.

I understand the fact that it may be a time-and-resource consuming task for the toc, therefore I am trying to be as proactive as I can. I am not at all denying the fact that I was in the wrong, but I want to make it clear that I never received any correspondence till last week, and would I have had the chance I would have made things right. I want to keep my good name, and for this I am happy to pay for any additional damage that the toc deems appropriate.

 

You can try, but for the reasons already stated : the TOC doesn't have to.

As others have mentioned, and as I noted previously : the stat dec doesn't rewind things to the "letter from TOC" or "write to them asking for an out of court settlement" stages, but to the "issue of summons" stage.

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Of course, i perfectly understand that. Anyway I will try my best, and will post back on this thread to let you guys know how it went.

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The court, quite rightly, is going to ask, if you remember being stopped and interviewed about a ticketless/fraudulent travel incident, why on earth did you just "forget" about the incident making no effort to contact the Train Operator?

 

They will not do so.

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They will not do so.

 

In my local courts, the Magistrates/DJ or Prosecutor has usually asked the defendant a similar type of question, especially when the issue of costs is brought up.

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In my local courts, the Magistrates/DJ or Prosecutor has usually asked the defendant a similar type of question, especially when the issue of costs is brought up.

 

They will not ask 'why on earth did you just "forget" about the incident making no effort to contact the Train Operator? '

 

representin

 

So, divergent opinions.

 

Is it the case that the question isn't relevant to a decision on guilt / no guilt for Bylaw 18 (did they show a valid ticket on demand or not?), yet might be relevant at fine / costs / mitigation ( once / if found) guilty?

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Thanks for the input guys, but if I'm being asked that question I'll answer truthfully, but it'll be the last of my worries. Because that'll mean that my efforts to settle out of court will have miserably failed.

By the way, the initiating court gave me the phone number to Southern's prosecution, so I will be able to try and talk to them on Monday. Not trying to double read into anything here, but the lady at the court even said after having called the prosecution: fingers crossed you may be able to settle out of court.

Maybe just being nice, or maybe suggesting something else?

Anyway I will try my best to apologise profusely and see if an alternative arrangement could be worked out.

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The prosecution can choose an alternative settlement to court even " on the courthouse steps" : that is to say that they can, not that they will.

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So, divergent opinions.

 

Is it the case that the question isn't relevant to a decision on guilt / no guilt for Bylaw 18 (did they show a valid ticket on demand or not?), yet might be relevant at fine / costs / mitigation ( once / if found) guilty?

 

It's irrelevant for proving Byelaw 18, but as you say, when determining costs etc , any additional workload caused by the defendant because of their negligence etc, should be considered...

 

The other time it is appropriate to discuss is if their is a suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice, such as if the TOC has evidence the defendant did know about the original summons, (eg. emailed the TOC then forgot!)....

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The implications of filing a stat dec are pretty clear. I can't lie, it's one thing to get a railway byelaw offence, it's another one to lie to a judge.

 

The incident that happened 3 years ago was a negligence on my side, but I don't think the way I have tried to approach things with the toc were negligent at all. When I first received a letter about this (so 3 years afterwards) I paid the fine on the spot. It is only afterwards that I was told the consequences (not being a UK national, I didn't know the extent of the UK legislation) that I decided to keep my good name, as I would have done so 3 years prior if I had received any correspondence from the toc, and this is exactly what i told the judge when I filed my stat dec.

I am now trying to figure out the relevant costs of the toc having to summon me again, and looking through their archives, so that I can pay for this accordingly. I have tried to be as proactive as possible, and my only position here is that I made a very stupid but genuine mistake some time ago, for which I am very apologetic about. I have never heard from this in the last 3 years, and would I have heard about this before, I would have done exactly the same thing as I have done, paying for my mistake. I am concerned about the time and resources the toc is going to spend on my case, and the fact that losing my good name will be highly detrimental to my career and my life. I am therefore trying the best I can to settle out of court with them, by being highly apologetic about this whole story, acknowledging that I made a stupid mistake, and paying for any cost and additional damages the toc deems relevant and appropriate.

 

I don't think I could be more truthful or less negligent now. What do you think?

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If I was in your position, I'd be thinking upwards of £300, but that's me.

 

2 court cases & associated admin x £100 a time = £200+

Penalty element - £100+

 

But clearly it's a matter of you working out the maximum cost you are prepared to offer to avoid a conviction and/or court appearance.

 

Generally, if you were convicted, you would be looking at a fine+costs+compensation+victim surcharge probably around the £350-£500 (total) mark for a guilty plea.

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In my local courts, the Magistrates/DJ or Prosecutor has usually asked the defendant a similar type of question, especially when the issue of costs is brought up.

 

Not when someone, as in this case, has made a SD to that effect already; whilst not an oath, it is still perjurious.

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Not when someone, as in this case, has made a SD to that effect already; whilst not an oath, it is still perjurious.

 

 

 

 

 

Correct, when someone makes a Statutory Declaration they sign the form directly next to the following statement & warning that is printed upon it:

 

 

I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true under the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835. (WARNING. Under Section 5 of the Perjury Act 1911, if you knowingly and wilfully make a statutory declaration that is false in a material particular, then you are guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for up to 2 years, or to a fine, or both.)

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