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    • March 23: As the coronavirus crisis escalates, the UK is placed into lockdown with strict limitations on travel. The Government guidelines state: “You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.” The prime minister tells the UK public they "must stay at home". People are warned not to meet friends or family members they do not live with. Those with symptoms had already been told to self-isolate     Friday 27 March: Downing Street On the day Cummings ran out of No 10, his wife, Mary Wakefield, appears to have been already ill, according to her Spectator article about the experience, in which she says: “My husband did rush home to look after me.”   Both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive for coronavirus, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty says he has symptoms of the disease and is self-isolating.   Mr Cummings said: "I suddenly got a call from my wife who was looking after our four-year-old child. She told me she suddenly felt badly ill." He went home and after a couple of hours his wife felt better and he returned to work. "There were many critical things at work and she asked me to return [to work] in the afternoon and I did." He then "drove up to Durham that night arriving at roughly midnight" with his family.     In spectator articles on 24th and 25th April * Wakefield (wife) wrote in the spectator that Cummings said “I feel weird” and collapsed 24 hours after he came home to look after her * She went on to explain that for the next 10 days “Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.” * Cummings wrote that “at the end of March and for the first two weeks of April I was ill, so we were both shut in together.” * The following days, by Wakefield’s account, were a mixture of family idyll and health nightmare, as she made a “palace out of polystyrene packaging” with their son … even as Cummings’s breathing got so bad that she feared he should be in hospital. But 10 days after her husband first fell ill, she said, he began to feel better – just as Boris Johnson went into hospital. That would place the improvement in his condition around Sunday 5 April,     Sat March 28th Is apparently the day Cummings said “I feel weird” and collapsed 24 hours after he came home to look after her His wife went on to explain that for the next 10 days “Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.” Cummings wrote that “at the end of March and for the first two weeks of April I was ill, so we were both shut in together.” 10 days from March 28th – would take us to the 7th April.   Mon March 30: Downing Street confirms Mr Cummings is suffering from coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.   Tuesday 31 March/1st April: Durham The police have said that on 31 March they were “made aware of reports” of Cummings’s presence in the area and had then contacted the family to “reiterate the appropriate advice around essential travel”.   2 April: During the night, Mr Cummings' four-year-old son "threw up and had a bad fever". Following medical advice, an ambulance took the child to hospital. He was accompanied by Mr Cummings' wife   3 April: Mr Cummings' son spent the night in hospital and woke up the next day having "recovered". He was tested for coronavirus and his mother, who was with him at the hospital, was told "they should return home". According to Mr Cummings, there were no taxis so he "drove to the hospital, picked him up and returned home". He said he "did not leave the car or have any contact with anybody on this short trip".   Sunday 5 April: The ‘Abba’ sighting (despite claims of ten days where he couldn’t get up with a high fever) Cummings alledgedly seen in Garden with AbbA blaring But 10 days after her husband first fell ill, she said, he began to feel better – just as Boris Johnson went into hospital. Which would place the improvement in his condition around Sunday 5 April, … Although the claimed 10 days after the 28th – the earliest point at which Cummings was said to have been symptomatic – would be the 7 April. The Guardian approaches Downing Street about the story, only to be told by a spokesman: “It will be a no comment on that one.” Mr Cummings said "after I started to recover, one day in the second week, I tried to walk outside the house". He confirmed he, his wife and his son went for a walk into woods owned by his father and it was at this point he was seen by passers-by but his family "had no interaction with them". The exact date is not clear but his second week isolating in Durham would have between 4-11th   6 April: At some point in the week leading up to this date, Mr Cummings discussed his decision to travel to Durham with the prime minister. "When we were both sick and in bed," he said, "I mentioned to him what I had done. Unsurprisingly given the condition we were in, neither of us remember the conversation in any detail."   Fri April 10: Number 10 is again contacted for comment regarding Mr Cumming’s trip by the Guardian. Instead of defending the journey, officials declined to comment.   Fri 10th/Sat 11th April: The 14-day period of Cummings’s isolation would have expired on 10/11th April, assuming it is counted from when Wakefield appears to have first fallen ill on 27 March or when Cummings fell ill 24 hours later.   11 April: Believing he had recovered by this date, albeit "feeling weak and exhausted", Mr Cummings said he "sought expert medical advice". "I explained our family's symptoms and all the timings and asked if it was safe to return to work on Monday or Tuesday, seek childcare and so on. I was told that it was safe and I could return to work"   Sunday 12 April: Barnard Castle Wakefield’s birthday, according to Companies House records – they allegedly made a trip to Barnard Castle, a charming town 30 miles from the Cummings’s family property, described on the English Heritage website as having “fantastic views” and “plenty to do for families on a day out”. That detail emerged in an interview with Robin Lees, a retired chemistry teacher who lives in the town. Lees, who says he has a photographic memory, told the Guardian he was “a bit gobsmacked” to see Cummings, and then was so incensed that he made a note of the family car’s numberplate and checked it online when he got home. Cummings acknowledges he drove to Barnard Castle, 30 miles from his parents' home in Durham, with his wife and child. He explained this episode as needing to test his driving was fine before making the long drive back to London. He said he'd been having problems with his vision   Tuesday 14 April: London The Guardian asked Wakefield to confirm whether the family had been in London throughout the lockdown period, but received no reply. Cummings was photographed back in Downing Street on 14 April   Sunday 19 April: ‘bluebell’ woods - Cummings and Wakefield in Houghall woods? Could Cummings have then gone back to the north-east from London? Downing Street is emphatic that he did not. The denial came after another witness claimed to the Guardian and Sunday Mirror that they had seen Cummings and Wakefield on a country walk in Houghall Woods, a beauty spot near his parents’ property in Durham. According to this account, Cummings said: “Aren’t the bluebells lovely?” Cummings says he did not return to Durham   Monday 20 April Cummings seen in London again   May 23: Downing Street statement: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.” The statement said: “At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. “His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.” Speaking outside his home, Mr Cummings reiterated: “I behaved reasonably and legally”. When a reporter suggested to him that his actions did not look good, he replied: “Who cares about good looks? “It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.” Later at the daily Downing Street briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Mr Cummings had the PM’s “full support” and that Mr Johnson “knew that he was unwell and that he was in lockdown”. Mr Shapps said it had always been permissible for families to travel to be closer to their relatives as long as they “go to that location and stay in that location”. Meanwhile, deputy chief medical officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, said that travelling during lockdown was permissible if “there was an extreme risk to life”, with a “safeguarding clause” attached to all advice to prevent vulnerable people being stuck at home with no support.   Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak have tweeted their support for Mr Cummings.   Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Monday morning that Mr Cummings had "set out absolutely clearly and absolutely categorically he didn't break the rules and didn't break the law". The attorney general, Suella Braverman, tweet on Saturday in which she quoted the full text of the No 10 statement on Boris Johnson’s chief aide in which the prime minister said he had behaved “responsibly and legally”.   (Disgraceful) Boris Johnson said at the weekend Cummings acted “responsibly and legally and with integrity”   “The PM’s risible defence of Cummings is an insult to all those who have made such sacrifices to ensure the safety of others,” said Johne Inge, the bishop of Worcester, on Twitter.   “What planet are they on?” asked a front page headline in the Daily Mail, an influential right-wing paper usually supportive of Johnson.   https://descrier.co.uk/politics/dominic-cummings-and-wife-tried-to-cover-up-lockdown-breach-in-articles-for-the-spectator/   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/24/dominic-cummings-timeline-what-we-know-about-his-movements   https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/uk/timeline-the-coronavirus-lockdown-and-dominic-cummings-trip-to-durham/   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52784290   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/25/attorney-general-faces-calls-to-resign-defends-dominic-cummings-suella-braverman   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-cummings/what-planet-are-they-on-no-respite-for-johnson-and-aide-idUKKBN2310UE   https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/05/25/what-plant-are-they-on-press-slams-johnson-and-cummings/
    • simply tell them on the phone writing only sorry as I might want to escalate this to the fos or court. sorry but no speaky..speaky   you night find this interesting?   https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jun/09/life-insurance-misselling-aviva-hamilton-life   dx
    • I've had a few missed calls and then text from RBS wanting to talk about the letter I sent, two posts up.    Am I best to wait for them to write? Didn't really want to get into a discussion with them about it ideally!
    • I haven’t even looked.  I doubt some PR bod would have been in the loop.
    • Gove will be rubbing his little hands together in glee. He been quite careful in his limited wording in 'supporting demonic. but he poo'd his own pot a bit with that priority preferential test   No confidence vote (in PM not party).
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Dottyoldbat1204

Help - accused of fare dodging months ago and still haven't heard from TOC

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 1973 days.

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Hi,

 

I can't sleep for worrying about this even though I'm exhausted!

 

I was interviewed by a revenue protection officer on board a train in London in the middle of September,

who suspected me of fare dodging.

 

 

He interviewed me under caution, placed me under arrest and said that my case was being referred to the prosecutions department

of the train company for consideration.

 

 

I still haven't heard back from them and

am worried they have sent me a letter which has got lost in the post.

 

 

Is it normal to wait so long?

The RPI had said it would take about 6 weeks for the train operating company (TOC) to contact me.

 

I was travelling from south east London to East Croydon via London Bridge.

I had a season ticket from my local station to London Bridge but no ticket for the onward journey to Croydon,

which I had planned to buy at London Bridge.

 

As it turned out, I was in a rush, the Croydon train turned up within two minutes of me disembarking from the inbound train,

and I jumped on it thinking - mistakenly - that I could pay the difference on board or at the other end. Honestly!

 

I was not until recently a regular train user as I had private transport to commute to

and from work and have in the past paid on board trains for tickets,

so genuinely did not realise I was committing an offence at the time, and it was never my intention to dodge a fare.

 

 

I'm a reasonably well-paid professional person with no criminal record,

so why would I want to jeopardise my good reputation and future career prospects over a fare of a few pounds?

 

When the guard came round I said I needed to pay him a fare and asked if I could pay him the difference

on my existing season ticket but he said he was issuing me with a penalty fare.

I thought this was unfair and refused to pay it.

 

It gets worse. I then told him why I thought this was unfair

and that I had offered to pay him the regular fare. I felt I was being unjustly criminalised.

 

Then I refused to give him my name and address when asked because I felt frightened of him.

(He was a big, scary guy, which I accept is no excuse or defence,

but I suffer from an anxiety disorder, was under a great deal of stress and behaved irrationally.)

 

When told I faced prosecution and was being arrested, I said I would pay the penalty fare

- twice - but the RPI said he could not take a payment from me,

and did not say why. I also gave him my name and address.

 

On the train the guard suggested I had given the wrong address because he rang a help desk,

which told him I was not registered at the address given. But I am!

 

I realise now that my lack of co-operation was a big mistake and I have accepted that I will be prosecuted.

 

I wrote the TOC a letter straight away which I sent by special delivery, and emailed them,

providing documentary evidence and a copy of my season ticket and Oyster card, as requested by them.

 

But, three months on, I want to know if I should contact the TOC to check they have not already written to me?

I do not want to find out further down the line that I was convicted in court in my absence

because I did not receive their correspondence.

 

More about the incident:

When the guard arrested me on the platform at Croydon,

I panicked and rang the police, telling them I was being detained by an unauthorised person.

A police officer attended and supervised my interview with the guard at my request.

 

Before the police turned up a fellow passenger intervened on my behalf,

saying to the guard that he was shouting at me, and bullying and intimidating me,

that he was a big guy and I was a woman, and the way he was treating me was inappropriate.

The two men ended up arguing vigorously.

 

The fellow passenger finally left, but refused to give me his contact details when i asked if he would be a witness.

I gave him mine but he never contacted me.

 

 

In my letter to the TOC I asked them to look at the CCTV on the platform, which would confirm my story

about the passenger's intervention on my behalf.

I also asked that the footage be made available in the event of prosecution which would show the two men clearly arguing.

 

I don't want a criminal record but accept I may end up with one,

which I believe stands for 5 years before I no longer have to declare it to employers.

Could someone confirm this please?

 

This would affect my employment and may even result in job loss.

I am also an Australian and British citizen and fear it may adversely affect my right to re-enter Australia.

 

As well as outlining all of the above, I said in my letter that I regretted the way in which the situation had escalated,

that it was a genuine mistake that would never be repeated and that I would like to pay the penalty fare plus additional administrative costs.

 

I also explained that in the past four months I had moved house, that the vehicle that I used to get to work was stolen,

had had a brain aneurysm diagnosed and was presently being investigated for lung cancer.

All of which possibly contributed to my unhelpful reaction to the guard.

I supplied documentary evidence to back up all of this and gave the TOC permission to contact any of the relevant authorities

to check the documents' authenticity, should they wish to do so.

 

 

I also enclosed a letter from the council confirming my address (given to the guard)

and a letter from a psychologist confirming that I had received cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety.

 

I had a lawyer look over my letter before I sent it to the TOC.

 

 

He recommended a barrister, should the matter proceed, and I will take his advice and hire the barrister if I receive a summons.

 

The question is, should I contact the TOC to ask why I have not heard from them?

 

The solicitor I saw told me that the TOC must bring a prosecution within 6 months of the offence, otherwise they are not allowed to pursue the matter further.

 

I realise NOW that I was in the wrong on the train - I just didn't realise it at the time, which I realise (now) is no defence.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading this far.

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By the way, i have never been in any kind of trouble like this before - it is the first time it's happened. Would this make a difference? Thanks

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if you've heard nowt to date and the TOC is aware of your address

 

 

then I'd guess you are very lucky.

 

 

you should have heard by now

the limit I think is 6mts.

 

 

pers , I'd sit on your hands.

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Thanks for replying dx100uk.

 

My only concern about not reminding them of my case is that elsewhere on this forum I read about an overseas student who was summonsed to court because the TOC had not sent him a letter notifying him of their intention. I think also that when he'd sent his letter of explanation to them, they managed to lose it. I may have got those details slightly mixed up, but I know there was an administrative fault on the part of the TOC.

 

I will try to find his case and post the link here.

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the bottom line here is you jumped the gun and sent your letter before anything from the authorities.

 

 

the TOC would have probably binned your letter

not knowing what it was about

 

 

thus you've caused your own 'wonder'

upon what has happened.

 

 

if they were to take this further

they will write to you

after your side of the story.

 

 

as I said, as long as they are aware of your correct address

then to me it looks like you are clear of anything happening now


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Ah, it won't let me post the link because my post count is not high enough.

 

Yes, I did write to the TOC before they wrote to me. And I still have not heard from them.

 

They may have binned my letter for whatever reason, but they will have the email version of the letter I sent, plus documentary evidence attached.

 

In deciding whether to prosecute, surely they must read my side of the story before making that decision?

 

I phoned them back in September and asked them if they'd received my email and they said they had.

 

 

I also told the man on the phone, who was very nice, that I would like to settle out of court, if possible, and

he asked if I had indicated this in my letter. Which I had, not using the words "settle out of court",

but asking if I could pay the penalty fare plus any (unspecified) administrative costs incurred.

 

 

Frankly, I will pay them whatever they ask for - if I am given that option, of course.

 

Thank you so much for your reply.

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The young man who had the problem with non-receipt of letters between himself and the TOC was sddxac.

 

The last post to his thread, a bit further down the list of threads, was on Nov 22 and the title says ***SETTLED BEFORE COURT*****

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Hello dx100uk,

 

Yes, this is the young man. Thanks for posting the link.

 

Please accept my apologies but I am unsure as to what you mean when you write "got letter you have not".

 

 

Do you mean that this foreign man at least received a letter from the TOC?

 

I do really appreciate your input,

many thanks for taking the time to reply to me.

 

 

This, however, is what's worrying me on that other thread:

 

you want to find out what's happened to it and why they haven't read or responded to it.

 

You should also complain to the CEO of TFL that they received your letter but the prosecutions department at TFL has lost it.

 

they ask you for your side of the story,

you send your side of the stroy via special delivery,

they lose your letter, they don't respond. >>>>>>

 

I know I am perhaps worrying too much,

sorry. It's hard not to worry bearing in mind that I could end up with a criminal record.

 

The TOC is definitely aware of my correct address because of all the documentation

 

 

I have sent them both by email in the form of scanned attachments and by post,

all of which confirm my address, which is the same address I gave to the guard.

 

Thanks.

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you have not received the 'we want your side of the story letter'

from the authories.

 

 

he did

 

 

stop worrying

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Lol, thanks dx. I will try to stop worrying..... the pessimist in me won't allow that to continue for long though :|

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The TOC has 6 MONTHS to commence criminal legal proceedings against you.

 

As you've already been advised, it's a bad idea to write to the train company first, because the tone of your letter can inflame a situation, especially if it contains any sort of "complaint" or "criticism" of the staff. If you've just written about how unfair you have been treated, or how bad the member of staff was, you're making things 1000x times worse when it comes to sorting the situation out, as they'll assume you have no genuine remorse.

 

Additionally, although unlikely, the Inspector may have lost your notes, or failed to write a statement, so by writing to them, you are effectively "reminding" them about your case, whereas you could possibly have been forgotten about otherwise.

 

You need to forget your "customer service" issues entirely and focus on the fact that you did commit an offence, were caught, and by the sounds of it you were not cooperative at all.

 

You have committed 2 offences.

 

1) Byelaw 18 - Travel without a valid ticket

2) Byelaw 23 - Failure to provide name & address on demand to authorised person.

 

Incidentally you were correctly and lawfully arrested by the Inspector. He has the power to detain you, using force if necessary, if you fail to provide your correct name and address, which you admit that you failed to do. (Section 5(2) Regulation of Railways Act 1889).

 

Your attitude, if they do decide to prosecute, is going to be your downfall, and make it almost impossible IMO to avoid court.

 

BUT the positive side of things are that the above only applies IF they do prosecute you. If they've lost your case paperwork, or simply decided not to prosecute for whatever reason then you've had a narrow escape.

 

The TOC has until mid-March to apply to court for a summons, which then normally arrives at your door within a month or so at most afterwards.

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Thanks for your response Firstclass.

 

It's helpful to know what I am up against and from what you say, it seems that I will end up with a criminal record if the matter proceeds to court,

which will be a utter disaster for me, both personally and professionally.

That is something that I will have to come to terms with.

 

Unfortunately, it is too late for me to do anything about sending the letter to the TOC.

I wish that I had posted here before doing so, but that is yet another lesson learnt! :-)

 

I think that I was careful not to complain in my letter to the TOC but to maintain a neutral tone in describing what happened.

the part about the passenger intervening was simply a factual account of what happened and the words used were the passenger's, not mine.

 

I did express remorse in my letter by saying that I regretted not paying the penalty fare

and the way in which the incident had escalated and that my failure to have a ticket for the second part of the journey

was a genuine mistake that would never be repeated.

 

Please also bear in mind that I was under a great deal of stress because of health worries

and other issues and I reacted in a way that was irrational and out of character.

 

I am not an intentional fare dodger

- I could afford the fare and had about £80 in cash on me, plus credit and debit card, so could have afforded to pay the penalty fare too.

 

 

I am someone who simply made a mistake and failed to respond in "the right way" to the guard.

I do not think it is just that I should be tarred as a criminal for the rest of my life

but I appreciate that the TOC and the court may not see it that way.

 

I reiterate that it was never my intention to fare dodge.

My offences were as a result of my own ignorance and incompetence, which I accept is no defence in court

- having read up on this matter a great deal since the incident.

 

Firstclass, sorry if I misunderstand but in your post, did you mean that if I receive a summons,

I would get roughly about a month's notice of an impending court date?

My apologies if I have misunderstood you in any way.

 

Many thanks for your reply and for taking the time to write such a detailed and informative post.

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its been 3 months

you would of normal heard by now.

 

 

it is extremely rare for 'innocent mistake' cases by 1st offenders to goto court

and

get a conviction.

 

 

if you were to get a summons

lets say the 'your side' letter has gone missing

 

 

you would still be able to send the grovelling letter

there are several cases here whereby it then did not progress to court

and was settled out side.

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Unless the Train Operator has some evidence that you DELIBERATELY avoided paying your fare, (i.e. intentionally travelled beyond your destination hoping you wouldn't get caught etc), then you won't get a criminal record. If this was the case, they'd prosecute using Section 5- Regulation of Railways Act 1889.

 

Most likely in your case, a conviction would be brought under the Railway Byelaws, and although it would still result in a criminal conviction, it does not result in a criminal record. Although if an employer directly asked you if you had any convictions, you would have to honestly answer "yes".

 

Whilst a "record" is created, it does not appear on normal criminal record checks, it would only ever appear on "enhanced" checking, where you would be applying for jobs involving vulnerable people, (hospitals/schools etc), or financial/legal/security professions etc.

 

A court will normally give you a few weeks notice, probably around a month between receiving a summons and attending court, although you can plead guilty by post and never have to attend.

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Hi Dx100uk and thank you so much for your post. I have read of cases of people receiving summons five or six months after the alleged offence, but I guess what you are saying is that this perhaps is the exception rather than the rule? I can only cross my fingers and hope.

 

And to FirstClass, thanks again for your post, which is very helpful, though it's depressing to hear that I will have to declare a criminal offence whichever category of offence I may be prosecuted under.

 

I have learnt so much from this experience. Namely that in future, if an RPI tells me to jump, I will do so, or that if black is white and he's Henry VII reincarnated from a previous life, then I shall not be inclined to disagree with him (or her, as the case may be).

 

I've learnt that I am a dinosaur living in the dark ages, believing that because I was able to pay a fare to a guard on a train a few years ago, and on another occasion an excess fare at the end of my journey, that I could still do so. When in fact in the five years I'd been commuting to work in my vehicle (now sadly stolen), so much had changed. I need to wake up. And get real.

 

I am very "square" and straight about money, crime and bending the rules as I am terrified of the police and courts. I never get into debt, tell my insurers EVERYTHING, pay all my bills promptly - even in advance, where possible - and would never dare try to cheat or fiddle anyone. So I am horrified to find myself in this situation. The whole experience has been deeply traumatic. If I get a criminal record I will probably want to kill myself, but I won't as I haven't got the guts.

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