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nothern rail debt recovery and prosectution unit;

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hi,

 

On wednesday 23/03/2016 i was travelling as I am used to from ilkley to go work in leeds,

I have a metro card that i top up every month, this one expired on 22/03/2016.

 

As I was in a rush I did not want to miss the train

I did not buy a ticket from the station i assumed I could do so on the train,

on board no guard came offered fares as I was expecting.

 

 

When I arrived i then decided to go and buy the ticket from the platform.

I was then stopped by a guard and telling me i to fill inn the paper...

 

The guard took my travel card receipt covering for the period from 23/02/2016 to 22/03/2016.

Opened the gates and let me go.

 

I then went to the nearest payzone and topped up my metro card covering period from 23/03/2016 to 22/04/2016 INCLUDING wednesday 23/03/2016.

 

I am now very concerned about this situation in here as I did not do anything wrong.

The agent who took my details saw my passport and Iam sure i spelled my name correctly

but for some reason I received a letter with my first name spelt wrong.

 

My question is

will I be prosecuted for this ?

this was the first time this has ever happened to me.

I am flabbergasted as i was not trying to be dishonest that is not my nature..

 

 

but then I receive that letter accusing me of fare evasion.

I am really worried I don't want to have it on my records and ruin my future.

 

Can any one help me ? Much appreciated

 

Thank you

 

S.S

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not a professional so can only give my opinion

 

at the time you traveled you did not have a vaild ticket for that journey, however at your first available opportunity you did pay for the service used

 

did you explain to the gaurd you spoke to that you wanted to buy a ticket to cover your travel?

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simply reply offering to pay any reasonable costs and admin fees

and promise it was a one off and you will not do it again.


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however at your first available opportunity you did pay for the service used
No, the first available opportunity was at Ilkley before getting on the train.

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cookie, my understanding is that if you seek out the conductor/guard on the train to pay your fare, then it's probably OK.

 

The OP seems to have waited for the guard to come and find them to offer to take fares, which could be where this has gone wrong.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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If there was a ticket office or self service machine available at your origin - you MUST use it, even if it means missing your train.

 

It is a criminal offence to fail to do so - regardless of whether you "intended" to avoid the fare or not.

 

Fortunately, Northern Rail will, for first time offenders only, offer you a Fixed Penalty of £80.00 plus the full single fare for the journey. If you refuse to pay it, they will commence a criminal prosecution, to which you have absolutely zero defence. To get the offer of fixed penalty, you must admit the offence and express your regret and apologies.

 

18. Ticketless travel in non-compulsory ticket areas

(1) In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall enter

any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway unless he has with him a

valid ticket entitling him to travel.

 

(2) A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity

when asked to do so by an authorised person.

 

Any person who breaches any of these Byelaws commits an offence and,

[...] may be liable for each such offence to a

penalty not exceeding level 3 [£1000] on the standard scale.

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you very much for your replies I have sent a letter back apologizing and promising not to do it again...

 

But again I did not do anything wrong and I feel like paying 80 pounds would be an unfair outcome for myself, as I was not dishonest and I was going to purchase the fare at the platform, I looked for guards on the train could not find any next to where i as sat, I did not lie or try to lie about the station of origin.

 

I understand that I made a mistake, It would only be fair if they made this law applicable on EVERYONE... I see people buying fares on board or on the platform all the time, do they get this hastle for it ? No. I guess its just my luck.

 

I will keep you updated.

 

Thanks

 

SS

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cookie, my understanding is that if you seek out the conductor/guard on the train to pay your fare, then it's probably OK.

 

The OP seems to have waited for the guard to come and find them to offer to take fares, which could be where this has gone wrong.

 

HB

 

That would be a defence to "intending to avoid their fare", as seeking out the staff shows there wasn't intent.

However, intent isn't relevant to a Bylaw 18 prosecution : if the on train staff chose to ask you for your ticket and you can't produce one - you will be in breach of the Bylaw (absent one of the statutory defences).

 

There is no "travel first, buy later" scheme if there were previous facilities for the purchase of a ticket.

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you very much for your replies I have sent a letter back apologizing and promising not to do it again...

 

But again I did not do anything wrong and I feel like paying 80 pounds would be an unfair outcome for myself, as I was not dishonest and I was going to purchase the fare at the platform, I looked for guards on the train could not find any next to where i as sat, I did not lie or try to lie about the station of origin.

 

I understand that I made a mistake, It would only be fair if they made this law applicable on EVERYONE... I see people buying fares on board or on the platform all the time, do they get this hastle for it ? No. I guess its just my luck.

 

I will keep you updated.

 

Thanks

 

SS

If you think paying £80 is unfair, just wait until you get fined £hundreds + £hundreds in costs in court when you're found guilty of not producing a valid ticket, for which you have no defence whatsoever.

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What paper did you fill in?

In order to secure a criminal prosecution for an dishonesty crime (ie theft), prosecution MUST show mens rea. Because you offered to pay on a voluntary basis immediately on arrival, I think they would struggle to show that you intended to evade the fare. In addition as a season ticket holder, assuming that you have a history of back to back season tickets, this would also support your claim that you had no intention of avoiding paying.

 

Also note that the contents of their letter is important. If they have asked you to pay £80 then they cannot seek a criminal prosecution. Threat of criminal prosecution if you do not pay their £80 fine is making a demand with menaces and a criminal act under 1968 Theft Act

Threat of civil action (ie county court for a civil debt) if you do not cough up, is not. The fine is purely a revenue generating exercise for the railway company. I don't know how you would avoid paying it if this is their policy under terms and conditions of travel.

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What paper did you fill in?

In order to secure a criminal prosecution for an dishonesty crime (ie theft), prosecution MUST show mens rea. Because you offered to pay on a voluntary basis immediately on arrival, I think they would struggle to show that you intended to evade the fare. In addition as a season ticket holder, assuming that you have a history of back to back season tickets, this would also support your claim that you had no intention of avoiding paying.

 

Also note that the contents of their letter is important. If they have asked you to pay £80 then they cannot seek a criminal prosecution. Threat of criminal prosecution if you do not pay their £80 fine is making a demand with menaces and a criminal act under 1968 Theft Act

Threat of civil action (ie county court for a civil debt) if you do not cough up, is not. The fine is purely a revenue generating exercise for the railway company. I don't know how you would avoid paying it if this is their policy under terms and conditions of travel.

 

See post #8 : intent is necessary for the "intent to avoid a fare" offence, but the Bylaw 18 offence is 'strict liability' - so intent is irrelevant, and does not need to be established, only that a valid ticket was requested and not shown.

 

That would be a defence to "intending to avoid their fare", as seeking out the staff shows there wasn't intent.

However, intent isn't relevant to a Bylaw 18 prosecution : if the on train staff chose to ask you for your ticket and you can't produce one - you will be in breach of the Bylaw (absent one of the statutory defences).

 

There is no "travel first, buy later" scheme if there were previous facilities for the purchase of a ticket.

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Also note that the contents of their letter is important. If they have asked you to pay £80 then they cannot seek a criminal prosecution. Threat of criminal prosecution if you do not pay their £80 fine is making a demand with menaces and a criminal act under 1968 Theft Act

No it's not. It's known as an administrative settlement to keep the matter out of court and to be honest, is a good thing as it save people from getting a criminal record and shows the court that the TOC is trying not to criminalise people unless absolutely necessary.

 

As Bazza also said, no intent is required to secure a Byelaw conviction as it's a strict liability offence.

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There is a whole thread here which discusses the mens era v strict referencing a landmark case.

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=59393

 

The bottom line is that the OP is being asked to pay a penalty fare. The railway company cannot seek prosecution if they do not pay. It is important to understand exactly what the letter says because if this is what they are trying to do then a well worded letter back should close the issue.

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PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

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There is a whole thread here which discusses the mens era v strict referencing a landmark case.

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=59393

 

The bottom line is that the OP is being asked to pay a penalty fare. The railway company cannot seek prosecution if they do not pay. It is important to understand exactly what the letter says because if this is what they are trying to do then a well worded letter back should close the issue.

You're correct reference the direct prosecution of a nil paid Penalty Fare, however, if not paid, a penalty fare is cancelled and the matter dealt with under the strict liability Byelaw (usually 18(1)). It's the original fare dealt with under the Byelaws and NOT the original Penalty amount. The Penalty Fare itself is NOT prosecuted as this is a civil matter. A Penalty Fare is a civil remedy for a criminal matter. I believe this case divers from a usual Penalty Fare matter in that the amount was an £80 penalty as Northern don't operate a Penalty Fare scheme. The only difference technically is the amount, and that Northern deal with this penalty amount themselves rather than an agent such as IRCAS or IPFAS. The original fare is what's being prosecuted should they cancel the notice, not the £80 penalty amount.

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