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Intention to prosecute- Thameslink trains *SETTLED OUT OF COURT**

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Hi, I hope you can provide me with some advice.

 

I have just received an intention to prosecute letter from Govia Thameslink Railways.

 

 

Offences listed are: giving a false name & address &

entering a train without a ticket.

 

 

They are asking for my side of the story.

I feel really scared about this!

 

I always travel with a Zone 2-5 travel card & use the tube & overground, not rail.

When I come into Zone 1 on the tube I always have approx. £10 on extra just in case & if short,

just keep topping up the £10 when it prompts me at the barriers.

 

I went out with my partner after work and came back on Thameslink from Blackfriars to Kings Cross.

I didn't really take much notice & assumed it was like the Overground.

My oyster card did not beep at the barrier & I proceeded assuming I had the required amount to cover me for Zone 1 travel.

 

 

Arriving at Kings Cross my oyster card beeped at the barrier & I asked a member of staff where I could top up my card.

I was then passed to another member of staff to one side and that is when it all went wrong....

 

The officer was a very poor communicator & coupled with my rising panic and stress levels it was a recipe for disaster.

I heard the words '£20' penalty, caution, prosecution and panicked.

 

 

Two other officers joined in and were not helpful.

I couldn't understand why they couldn't explain the full process to me & my options

and I was adamant that I would not pay a fine when I had nothing wrong.

I had no intent to fare evade and it all seemed complete nonsense.

 

 

I explained that if they looked at my oyster history they could see my travel patterns which would corroborate my story.

The officer started filling in a form and was asking me to sign & pay & I refused.

He asked for my name & address as it was a prosecutable offence & In a moment of madness I gave him a false one,

however I told him it was a false one at that time because I didn't feel I should be prosecuted

when I hadn't tried to evade paying my fare.

 

 

After nearly 45 minutes of heated discussion I asked them to call the transport police, which they did.

 

The police woman calmly explained the full process to me, including the purpose of cautioning me to answer questions.

I told her I was unhappy with the customer service and communication I had received

and why I had been questioned for so long before this part happened.

 

 

The rail officer then cautioned me- which was awful.

He then tried to get me to sign the form stating he would fill the answers later,

which I protested about and showed the police officer.

I then made him complete every field before I would sign- this took two more attempts.

 

I still don't really understand why I was going to be fined £20 for being £2.80 short on my travel card,

which I was more than happy to pay but never given the chance other than that is our policy.

 

I know my actions were stupid, but I was stressed, scared and a bit outraged.

I'm still scared & have been ever since, whilst watching the post for a letter.

I'm 48 year old mother, who works a 50 hour week running a busy public sector department with over 200 staff.

I would have to declare this criminal record & could potentially lose my job, ruin my credit rating,

never get another job or mortgage & bring shame on my family.

 

 

My family also live in the USA & this would also prevent me from being able to visit them, even though my step mom is unwell.

 

The last 18 months have been very stressful as my father died suddenly, mother is end stage Alzheimer's,

my brother has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and his wife has just died.

I am applying for deputy ship & LPA for them and trying to support my nieces & nephews through a difficult time.

My ex partner has been sectioned in a mental health unit post suicide attempt

and I am still trying to ensure my daughter maintains some form of healthy relationship with him

and she is starting her GCSE's.

I have been on anti depressants and therapy but feel this could be the last straw.

 

Please, please, can you tell me what to do as I don't feel I deserve this for an unintentional mistake followed by a moment of panicked madness?

 

Thank you

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I expect the forum guys will be along later with advice for you. If you don't get replies fairly soon, I'll send a couple of SOSs for you.

 

What would help them to advise you, I think, would be to know which laws/acts Thames are thinking of prosecuting under please.

 

How long do you have to reply to the letter?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you for replying.

The letter states I have 21 days to respond.

Alleged offences are:Giving a false name and address and entering a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling travel.

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There is no reference to law or acts or legislation on the letter.

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It will be Section 5- Regulation of Railways Act 1889.

 

You HAVE committed multiple criminal offences, regardless of your "mitigation". The whole story about what actually happened when you got caught is irrelevant to the criminal matter.

 

You gave a false name and/or address,

You were uncooperative enough to require police;

You failed to pay your fare;

You still do not seem to accept responsibility for your own actions, you are not genuinely apologetic;

You admit that you failed to tap in correctly at your origin.

 

The events when you were caught, and your dramatic life circumstances are sadly not relevant to the facts,

and you need to accept and understand your wrong doing fully if you want to avoid a criminal record for multiple dishonesty offences.

 

A Penalty Fare is normally the correct course of action, but you actively refused and obstructed the issuing of one of these,

and whilst that £20 would have been the end of it, to avoid court now is likely to require a 3-4 figure settlement sum.

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Thank you for your response albeit 'caught ' makes it sound like I was up to something.

Maybe ignorance is not an acceptable defence but I had no idea that I did not have enough top up on top of my weekly travel card to travel on the train.

 

I did tap in and the barriers let me through.

I watched 'fare Dodgers' jump the barriers & run past me at King Cross.

I requested the police attend because I was unhappy. Im not apologetic for any of that.

 

I am apologetic for the situation that ensued and I am apologetic for giving false details even though I stated what I was doing at the time.

I do not travel on Thameslink trains normally, if in fact ever & am not familiar with the rules.

I use my Oyster card on overground & tube to work with my travel card & do not even have to think about it- I just tap & enter.

 

I did not have the process explained fully & properly to me.

I even asked for a leaflet so I could understand it and was told that there were some around the corner I could get afterwards.

You may find this unapologetic and argumentative but I am trying to stick to the facts.

 

 

If I had had someone explain the process & rules to me properly I would have been able to make an informed judgement.

I was happy to pay my fare but didn't know that I hadn't.

I was never given the opportunity to pay it once I had been told

and realised that the fare was not on my card.

I was immediately asked to pay £20.

 

Are you able to advise me further?

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so roughly how many times have you travelled the same route as this incident without detection?

 

 

dx


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If you are buying a Zone 2-6 travelcard and regularly travelling into Zone 1 (enough to make a Zone 1-6 travelcard worthwhile), and the Toc can prove that, it may be a fraud case.

 

Alternatively, you must remember that TfL and the rail operators have access to a vast amount of data, going back years. They may research your addresses, place of work, regular journeys etc, and see if anything emerges.

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Hi, I hope you can provide me with some advice.

 

I have just received an intention to prosecute letter from Govia Thameslink Railways.

 

 

Offences listed are: giving a false name & address &

entering a train without a ticket.

 

 

They are asking for my side of the story.

I feel really scared about this!

 

I always travel with a Zone 2-5 travel card & use the tube & overground, not rail.

When I come into Zone 1 on the tube I always have approx. £10 on extra just in case & if short,

just keep topping up the £10 when it prompts me at the barriers.

 

I went out with my partner after work and came back on Thameslink from Blackfriars to Kings Cross.

I didn't really take much notice & assumed it was like the Overground.

My oyster card did not beep at the barrier & I proceeded assuming I had the required amount to cover me for Zone 1 travel.

 

 

Arriving at Kings Cross my oyster card beeped at the barrier & I asked a member of staff where I could top up my card.

I was then passed to another member of staff to one side and that is when it all went wrong....

 

The officer was a very poor communicator & coupled with my rising panic and stress levels it was a recipe for disaster.

I heard the words '£20' penalty, caution, prosecution and panicked.

 

 

Two other officers joined in and were not helpful.

I couldn't understand why they couldn't explain the full process to me & my options

and I was adamant that I would not pay a fine when I had nothing wrong.

I had no intent to fare evade and it all seemed complete nonsense.

 

 

I explained that if they looked at my oyster history they could see my travel patterns which would corroborate my story.

The officer started filling in a form and was asking me to sign & pay & I refused.

He asked for my name & address as it was a prosecutable offence & In a moment of madness I gave him a false one,

however I told him it was a false one at that time because I didn't feel I should be prosecuted

when I hadn't tried to evade paying my fare.

 

 

After nearly 45 minutes of heated discussion I asked them to call the transport police, which they did.

 

The police woman calmly explained the full process to me, including the purpose of cautioning me to answer questions.

I told her I was unhappy with the customer service and communication I had received

and why I had been questioned for so long before this part happened.

 

 

The rail officer then cautioned me- which was awful.

He then tried to get me to sign the form stating he would fill the answers later,

which I protested about and showed the police officer.

I then made him complete every field before I would sign- this took two more attempts.

 

I still don't really understand why I was going to be fined £20 for being £2.80 short on my travel card,

which I was more than happy to pay but never given the chance other than that is our policy.

 

I know my actions were stupid, but I was stressed, scared and a bit outraged.

I'm still scared & have been ever since, whilst watching the post for a letter.

I'm 48 year old mother, who works a 50 hour week running a busy public sector department with over 200 staff.

I would have to declare this criminal record & could potentially lose my job, ruin my credit rating,

never get another job or mortgage & bring shame on my family.

 

 

My family also live in the USA & this would also prevent me from being able to visit them, even though my step mom is unwell.

 

The last 18 months have been very stressful as my father died suddenly, mother is end stage Alzheimer's,

my brother has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and his wife has just died.

I am applying for deputy ship & LPA for them and trying to support my nieces & nephews through a difficult time.

My ex partner has been sectioned in a mental health unit post suicide attempt

and I am still trying to ensure my daughter maintains some form of healthy relationship with him

and she is starting her GCSE's.

I have been on anti depressants and therapy but feel this could be the last straw.

 

Please, please, can you tell me what to do as I don't feel I deserve this for an unintentional mistake followed by a moment of panicked madness?

 

Thank you

 

On the buses there is the option for "one ride home" but in the train / tube you have an obligation to have adequate credit before you travel. Thus you didn't hold a valid ticket.

 

Giving a false name / address when you didn't hold s valid ticket is a seperate offence.

 

It wouldn't be hard (based on your description of events) for the TOC to obtain convictions for these offences.

 

You may have been better to accept the penalty fare & have appealed it, but things escalated. I know you claim the member of staff was a "poor communicator", but there were 3 members of staff....

 

Blaming members of rail staff in any reply rarely improves chances of avoiding court, and claiming that between 3 of them none of them could communicate seems unlikely to persuade the TOC.

 

You have already identified your best approach : to state that it was " unintentional mistake followed by a moment of panicked madness" (the madness being out of character for you).

 

If they decide to prosecute you may struggle to avoid conviction on both the Bylaw 18 and S5(3)c RRA 1889 charges.

 

As for "My family also live in the USA & this would also prevent me from being able to visit them"

If it went to court and you end up with a conviction (by finding of the court or plea of guilt), this would stop you travelling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP).

You could still apply for a Visa and (if successful) travel to the USA, just not under the VWP.

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Thank you both.

 

I don't think I have ever travelled from Blackfriars before in my whole life. It's not a place I visit. I was coming home from there and had walked there from Waterloo. I had arrived on the tube to Waterloo and had enough top up on my oyster card on top of my zone 2-5 travel card.

 

Until January I had a zone 1-5 as I was working in St James Park for approx 15 months but then transferred my work back to Zone 2 and started buying a zone 2-5. My card is regularly checked by officers entering the overground with no problem.

 

I tend to go into Zone 1 on Fridays but not every Friday, maybe 1 in 3 and always on the tube or occasionally a weekend journey to the museums at South Ken.

 

The point I was making to the officer was that because they had such data contained within my Oyster card, could they look at to see that it clearly wasn't my intention to evade. I asked them to look at my history.

 

I will write my response letter over the weekend based on your advice and post here, if you could comment that would be helpful thanks

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Hello there.

 

I can't add much to what has been said, but when you write you need to avoid blaming the staff for the problem. I've never seen it work here.

 

If you talk about not knowing you had no credit on your Oyster card, be careful what you say. Imagine that the Oyster is an electronic purse. If you had a real purse with no money in it, that would get you in trouble too.

 

For information: you can link an Oyster card to a credit card for automatic top-ups, I believe. This is what my OH did.

 

If you want to post up your letter here, minus identifying details, we can make suggestions for any improvements.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi,

 

Just to add, the false name and address would more than likely have made the 5(3)a/c offence more likely as explanation or not, why would most people give a false name and address if not to avoid payment?

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can you answer my question please

 

 

dx


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Hey DX, I did answer your question. I will cut & paster again here for you;

 

 

I don't think I have ever travelled from Blackfriars before in my whole life. It's not a place I visit. I was coming home from there and had walked there from Waterloo. I had arrived on the tube to Waterloo and had enough top up on my oyster card on top of my zone 2-5 travel card.

 

Until January I had a zone 1-5 as I was working in St James Park for approx 15 months but then transferred my work back to Zone 2 and started buying a zone 2-5. My card is regularly checked by officers entering the overground with no problem.

 

I tend to go into Zone 1 on Fridays but not every Friday, maybe 1 in 3 and always on the tube or occasionally a weekend journey to the museums at South Ken.

 

The point I was making to the officer was that because they had such data contained within my Oyster card, could they look at to see that it clearly wasn't my intention to evade. I asked them to look at my history.

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Hi Stigy,

 

I'm sorry but I don't really understand your post. Can you please explain?

 

I can't tell you why most people do things, it's not my field of expertise. I can only tell you why I did it and I have already done that. I was stressed, tired & under a lot of strain & when faced with somebody accusing me of something I hadn't intentionally done, I got annoyed. He didn't explain the process & I wasn't told there was a right of appeal. He started taking about prosecution & wanted my name & address details but I didn't know what for. It makes no sense either that I gave him a false name & address & told him it was false at the same time. It was nonsensical. I can't apply logic & common Sense to My actions because my response was based on emotion & not much else.

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Stick, you just posted the same thing twice in answer to dx. If you can't see what you just posted, try hitting the refresh button on your browser and it should show up. :)

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks. I was on my phone which was a bit difficult.

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Honeybee et al- I would appreciate you advice and guidance on the below please:

 

I am really sorry and would like to apologise for my actions regarding ‘Giving a false name and address’ and ‘entering a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling travel’.

 

It was a genuine mistake that led me to travel on the Thameslink service without the correct ticket.

As you can probably see from my travel history, I don't think I have ever travelled on that route before or used Blackfriars station.

 

 

I normally travel on the tube and overground with my zone 2-5 weekly travel card to and from work

and top up £ 5 - 10.00 on my oyster card for the extra amount when travelling in zone 1.

This tends to be about once a week/fortnight and is more than likely to be St James Park, Covent Garden, Victoria, Waterloo, London Bridge or Oxford Street.

 

 

Until January and for the previous year, I had a zone 1-5 weekly travel card as my work was based in St James Park at that time. Im very much a creature of habit.

 

On 01/05/15 I tapped in at the automatic barriers at Blackfriars and was let through.

It was only when I arrived at the other end at Kings Cross and the barriers bleeped that I became aware.

It was completely a mistake.

I then completely panicked and acted nonsensically and completely out of character with the inspector when questioned.

The words intention, evasion, penalty, caution and prosecution made me scared and I panicked and over reacted.

It sounds illogical but I have never reacted like this before and I am ashamed of my actions.

 

I have never evaded my fare before, travelled without a ticket or tried to deceive anyone and I am truly sorry for my actions and can assure you there will never be a repeat.

 

I have been under an increasing amount of strain over the last 18 months resulting in visits to IAPT and prescribed antidepressants. This has been due to lots of family distress;

my father died suddenly

my daughters father was sectioned following attempted suicide

my mother has end stage Alzheimers and I am applying for deputyship from the court of protection

my brother has been diagnosed with early onset dementia

my sister in law (brothers wife and main carer of 25 years +) also died suddenly in January and I am assisting my niece and nephews.

 

I am finding it difficult to cope with all the events above and I work full time (normally 50 hours per week) running a busy public sector homelessness and benefits department with responsibility for 200+ staff.

My antidepressant dosage has been raised since March as I have been struggling to cope with my emotions and making rational decisions.

I am attending my GP next week for another appointment and for a further referral to IAPT to discuss my medication/ emotional responses.

 

I am asking if it would be possible to avoid prosecution with an apology and payment towards the administrative costs to date with this matter.

As a Head of Service in the public sector, I would need to disclose a criminal record to my employer and this may result in me losing my job.

 

 

I am a 48 year old mother with a school age child and will become virtually unemployable

and have no future and also limit her immediate future through my comprimised circumstances.

 

 

Please, if you could accept a cheque in settlement of £? that I have enclosed for this matter

I would be very grateful and can ensure you there will never be a repeat occasion.

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ok so a one off mistake.

 

 

I think you letter is a wee bit too waffly.

 

 

pers I'd simply stick to the facts that they directly relate to in their letter.

 

 

keep it simple

keep it tight and brief.

 

 

don't include a cheque

 

 

offer to pay any reasonable admin fees and alternate sums equivalent to that of any fine a court might award

through your unfortunate and much regretted actions on the day.


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Honeybee et al,

 

thank you for all your advice. I sent my letter off and have had contact offering me a fine to settle the matter to the tune of £58.67. I'm very relieved and will be more careful in future.

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Honeybee et al,

 

thank you for all your advice. I sent my letter off and have had contact offering me a fine to settle the matter to the tune of £58.67. I'm very relieved and will be more careful in future.

 

Hello again.

 

That's excellent, I'm pleased for you. Take care in future so you don't need to come back here. :)

 

Best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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