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Dear all,

 

I have recently received a letter of intention to prosecute due to an offence that took place in November.

 

I had decided to try riding the train without buying a ticket as I had realised that there where no barriers at the station near my house and the barriers where always open at my University station(Incredibly stupid I know).

 

I was caught by I believe a loss protection officer for southern rail, who took my statement and cautioned me.

 

The issue being that I panicked and lied to the loss protection officer,

claiming that I didn't have time to get a ticket at the station and was in a hurry.

 

I understand from reading other posts here that the best course of action is to send a politely worded letter, offering to pay a fine so as to avoid prosecution.

 

My question is, what is my best course of action?

To tell the truth in my letter,

or to repeat the lie I told the loss protection officer?

 

The offence listed is : failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection.

 

Thank you in advance.

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the fact that you were or not in a rush should be well ok.

 

 

you've learn now not to chance it

so no good suffering further over that part.

 

 

write a simple brief non waffling grovelling letter

apologising for your actions and that you were in a rush as that day you have an exam or whatever that was important to get too

and you got up late.

 

 

offer to pay any reasonable administration costs and the equivalent to any fine that might be imposed by a court to keep your criminal record clean as this will ruin your future employment prospects.

 

 

dx


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normally it is a flat rate fine under the penalty fares rules so this points to a station that is not covered by that law. Shame, otherwise you just send a cheque for the £20 plus the ticket price and that is that.

As you say, a letter offering to pay the ticket price and the penalty.

If you decide to change the story regarding the reason why you didnt have a ticket will ring alarm bells and make it less likely they will want to deal with this outside the court so stick to the same story

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normally it is a flat rate fine under the penalty fares rules so this points to a station that is not covered by that law. Shame, otherwise you just send a cheque for the £20 plus the ticket price and that is that.

 

 

This is very dangerous advice for other travellers who may be tempted to travel from stations without paying their fare within Penalty Fares areas as well as areas where Penalty Fares cannot be charged.

 

There is never an obligation of an inspector to levy a penalty charge or offer a Penalty Fare Notice where the evidence suggests that a traveller intended to avoid a fare, or intended to pay the fare only if challenged. (Appeal Court judgment, Corbyn 1978.)

 

Section 5.3 of the Regulation of Railways Act (1889) is the primary legislation in this instance, but the OP has made clear that they could also be charged with the strict liability matter of failing to comply with National Railway Byelaw 18.1 (2005).

 

A Penalty Fare Notice is a civil remedy for a genuine mistake.

 

Deliberately travelling without paying is intentional fare evasion. A Penalty Fare is not an appropriate remedy in those cases.

 

Reply to the letter truthfully, apologise for your actions and undertake not to repeat the offence.

 

Ask if the company will accept your offer to pay the fare due and the reasonable administration costs incurred by the company in dealing with your actions as an alternative to issuing a Summons for the evidence to be tested by a Magistrates Court.

 

They do not have to agree, but if you are entirely truthful and have not come to notice in similar circumstances in the past, you stand a good chance of avoiding conviction.

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