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Govia Notice Of Intention to Prosecute **RESOLVED OUT OF COURT**

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I am worried sick about a problem entirely of my own making.

 

 

I arrived late at a train station and instead of buying a ticket and waiting half an hour for the next train

I got on the train coming in without a ticket.

I was found without a ticket and my details were taken down.

Now I have an intention to prosecute letter.

 

I am terrified of the consequences of my foolish, impatient actions.

I realise prison is probably unlikely but I now know I could end up with a criminal record

if I am prosecuted in court.

 

 

The 'charge' stated in the letter is 'failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection' which seems to fit two pieces of legislation.

 

The letter asks me to write back within 21 days with my version of events

but I have spoken to three solicitors who say not to, as this will incriminate me.

 

 

Another said to write and that I didn't need a solicitor unless I got a summons.

I don't know what to do: to write and explain, underlining how sorry I am

and how I would like to resolve matters out of court if possible,

or whether I should let a solicitor try to liaise on my behalf.

 

 

I am worried that not replying myself as specified in the letter will mean Govia look unfavourably on me.

 

 

However, I can't write to tell what happened without incriminating myself.

 

I work for the NHS and am terrified that my hard won career will be over in a flash because of my rash actions.

 

I would be very grateful for any advice you can give.

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You don't have to reply,

and yes, a reply might incriminate you,

 

 

but ask those solicitors telling you not to reply:

"Will not replying mean they don't have enough evidence to prosecute?"

(to which I believe the answer is :

no, they have the train staff's report and that is enough)

and

"Will not replying make them more or less likely to prosecute"

(and I suspect a heartfelt & well worded letter might make them less likely to prosecute)

 

So, I suspect your best option is to reply.

Be truthful.

Apologise.

 

Explain why (even though it was foolish) you did what you did.

 

Explain why a prosecution would have a disproportionate effect on your NHS career

(not that that means NHS staff can travel ticketless,

but would they accept an alternative to prosecuting you!)

 

The fly in the ointment to this approach :

did you (or, why didn't you) seek out the staff in the train to buy a ticket?

 

If you sought out staff to buy a ticket but then they asked you for your ticket

and pointed out that there is no "travel first, buy during / after" scheme

then you shouldn't be prosecuted for intending to avoid your fare,

but could for failing to show a valid ticket on demand.

 

For the latter offence they would be more likely to accept an alternative to prosecution

, provided you have never before been stopped / warned regarding ticketless travel.

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Just to emphasise further what Bazza said,

not replying will no doubt end up in court action so the best possible thing to do would be reply.

 

 

Could they still take you to court if you reply? Yes.

 

 

Could they still take you to court if you don't? Yes, and probably will.

 

Did said solicitors want to try and defend you?

That's the only one of two reasons I can think of that they would advise against it..

..The other is that they don't understand railway legislation.

Could be either.

  • Haha 1

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Thank you for replying so quickly.

 

 

Yes, the solicitors involved were happy to act for me (if that's the right phrasing).

 

 

All said they have experience of these matters etc.

I am foolish, but not so much as to think that they wouldn't paint the bleakest picture of not hiring a solicitor...

but then again, I am completely out of my depth here.

 

 

All I know is, I did wrong and I am very willing to pay a penalty for that,

but a criminal record does seem disproportionate to the crime.

 

 

Only one solicitor said to reply myself

and then if a summons came in spite of that to contact him then.

 

I have never been in trouble with the law before and, in 35 years of using railways, have only two penalty fares,

once because I left my ticket in a coat pocket and changed coats that day.

My departing station didn't have barriers and so I didn't realise I didn't have my ticket until I got to London.

 

 

And secondly because I thought my oyster had tapped in, but it hadn't. I paid both immediately and without fuss.

 

Thanks for replying so quickly. I did send a message back, but it hasn't appeared on the site.

 

The solicitors have said that they would make representations on my behalf and that would, effectively, be the reply, just not from me myself.

 

 

I asked if that would anger the company and they said not,

but being that they are hoping for business I wanted to check if that were really true.

 

 

I would definitely never not reply in some way,

it's just that I now wonder if I am best advised to let a solicitor handle it for me.

 

 

I am out of my depth and they have warned me that wording is very important and I could incriminate myself.

 

 

They have all indicated success in these matters and so on, knowing what to say, etc.

 

 

In my view I have done wrong and am willing to face a penalty for that,

but a criminal record does seem disproportionate and I am frantically worried about my career and future prospects.

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you don't need a sols.

simply reply as bazz suggests

 

 

be truthful

offer to pay any reasonable admin fees and equivalent monetary funds of a fine

to avoid a criminal prosecution

as this one off event will jeopardise your future employment.

 

 

cant see them refusing.


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Many thanks d100k for your reply and advice; as with the other two posters, I really do appreciate you posting your thoughts on this matter for me.

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From the phrase you use in your letter this seems to be a likelihood of prosecution for a strict liability matter contrary to National Railway Byelaw 18.2 (2005)

 

This does not constitute a recordable offence if convicted.

 

You might choose to write expressing a sincere apology for your foolish and out of character action, apologise to the company and staff concerned saying that you are concerned that a conviction for this regretted lapse will have a disproportionate effect on your career and future employment prospects. Offer to pay any fares due and all of the reasonable costs that company have incurred in dealing with your actions and ask if this can be accepted as an alternative to Court action.

 

The company do not have to agree, but might choose to do so.

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Thank you Old-CodJA for your comments. I really value your suggestions and appreciate the time you and others have taken to respond.

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Thank you Old-CodJA for your comments. I really value your suggestions and appreciate the time you and others have taken to respond.

 

Good luck,

 

At this stage (before any Summons is issued) no solicitor can do any more for you than make a similar appeal to the train operating company, but will charge you for writing that letter.

 

Give it a try, if it fails and you receive a Summons, THEN it would be time to get qualified legal advice to assist you.

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To Old-CodJA, dx100uk, Stigy, and BazzaS, who all wrote and gave me advice and suggestions, once again thank you.

 

I sent a letter as suggested

have just spoken with the train company on the phone.

 

 

On this occasion the company has very kindly allowed me to pay an admin charge and the cost of the ticket.

 

 

I can't tell you how relieved I am.

 

 

I have never been so foolish before and never will again and not only will I not go to court now

 

 

I am free of a conviction or record which would have jeopardised my career

(I work in health, with vulnerable people).

 

Please accept my sincere thanks for your help.

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hey great news

 

 

dx

 

 

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Yes, it's fantastic news. Thanks for letting me know about the donation facility; I am making a donation right now! Thanks again.

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thank you!!

 

 

dx


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To Old-CodJA, dx100uk, Stigy, and BazzaS, who all wrote and gave me advice and suggestions, once again thank you.

 

I sent a letter as suggested

have just spoken with the train company on the phone.

 

 

On this occasion the company has very kindly allowed me to pay an admin charge and the cost of the ticket.

 

 

I can't tell you how relieved I am.

 

 

I have never been so foolish before and never will again and not only will I not go to court now

 

 

I am free of a conviction or record which would have jeopardised my career

(I work in health, with vulnerable people).

 

Please accept my sincere thanks for your help.

 

Great news : I doubt you could have had a (realistic) better outcome and it puts to bed any impact on your eDBS (relevant for your employment)

 

You must be relieved!

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The transport authorities are usually reluctant to go to court anyway unless youre habitual. mainly due to the costs and time it takes to deal with everything. If you make a good out of court settlement, full apology, then they usually accept it, unless they have strong concerns youll just keep doing it, as you might offer 200 or whatever to pay their costs, but in reality, some people have already skipped thousands in fares before they got caught.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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Great news : I doubt you could have had a (realistic) better outcome and it puts to bed any impact on your eDBS (relevant for your employment)

 

You must be relieved!

 

Yes indeed BazzaS, I am immensely relieved. I know you and others here post regularly to advise people and I am grateful for the time and trouble taken (as I hope they are). I've made a donation to the site because I think it is a great resource and I feel lucky to have found it in my time of trouble. Thanks again.

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Yes indeed BazzaS, I am immensely relieved. I know you and others here post regularly to advise people and I am grateful for the time and trouble taken (as I hope they are). I've made a donation to the site because I think it is a great resource and I feel lucky to have found it in my time of trouble. Thanks again.

 

Thank you for the donation, Emma, it will help us to continue advising people like yourself in times of trouble.

 

I'm delighted for you that you have the resolution you wanted and I'm sure you'll take care in future. :) Don't forget about us, we can help with more than fare problems.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks for returning to let us know the outcome, this alone is more than a lot of people do! I'm glad the matter is now closed!

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