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Notice of intention to prosecute - Thameslink - changed CArNet Ticket date - Please help - **SETTLED**


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Hello, all

 

Today I received an intention to prosecute from Thamleslink railway in relation to an incident some weeks ago.

 

To provide some background,

I was having a pretty forgetful few days...

I left my coat & gloves on the train,

forget my suit when attending a wedding

and in relation to this post,

I forget to get a train ticket.

 

For context, I was extremely sleep deprived as I recently became a father for the first time and was under a ton of pressure.

 

At around 6am,

I arrived at my train station late for my train which I was under pressure to make as I had a job interview

(the company I work for has been recently bought so I don't have job security & I have bought a new house).

 

I use carnet tickets where I fill in the ticket with the appropriate date.

I had forgotten to pick up a new blank ticket that morning and proceeded to use an old ticket unintentionally to enter the barriers and board the train

(I didnt check).

 

I suddenly realised the mistake I had made and in my panic,

I changed the date of the old ticket to the day of travel.

I appreciate this is an error of judgement but in my haze of sleep deprivation and panic, I made a bad choice.

 

A revenue inspector asked me to produce my ticket, which I did and he accused me of changing the dates.

I attempted to explain myself and convince him it wasn't premeditated but he informed me of rights and took my details.

I admitted my mistake to the officer and admitted to changing the dates.

 

This is my first caution and I am now obviously worried about the outcome (fine, criminal record, prison sentence etc).

I am obviously happy to pay a fine as I did a bad thing but I dont want to lose my job over this.

 

I have tickets to prove I had a blank ticket at home and have never done this before.

 

My offences are listed as;

 

- Altering a ticket with intent

- entering a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket

 

Any advice on how I should respond to the prosecution letter and guidance on what penalty they could impose would be appreciated.

 

Thank you so much.

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I gather they are asking for your side of the story...

 

dx

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

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

What can we do to help please? We can help you with a letter to Thameslink explaining your side of the story if you'd like us to comment, or is there something else you think we can do?

 

Best. HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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they will..

in a very brief non waffling letter explain yourself

i'd simply keep to the very new baby, lack of sleep

1st time of ever being so stupid. re above.

 

grovel, and offer to pay any reasonable admin fees and equivalent monetary sums equal to any possible court fines to keep your record clean

as your employment currently and in the future relies upon it. as does your young childs future.

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

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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It is clear that you recognise this is a serious matter so far as the TOC are concerned, whatever the motivation behind your action, the evidence makes clear that you did 'alter the date on a previously used ticket with intent to avoid the correct fare due.'

 

As dx100uk says, you may be able to convince the TOC prosecutors office to allow you to settle this without Court action.

 

There are no guarantees, but a concisely worded letter of apology may be sufficient to allow the company to dispose of the matter by administrative settlement

 

It is really important not to waffle in your letter. Long rambling and pleading letters can lose the support of the reader. It is important to apologise, but remember that the reader may have a huge pile of similar correspondence to go through every day and the ones that are most likely to succeed are the ones that show clear remorse for their behaviour and apologise. Never seek to put any of the blame on others, that's a certain way of losing support of the reader.

 

Start by offering an unequivocal apology for your actions, you can briefly mention the sleep deprivation as a result of the new baby and worries about your future, but it is also important to recognise that what you say can also be open to interpretation. Sleep deprivation is good in terms of illustrating the circumstances on the day.

 

Financial worries may indicate a completely different mindset and if this is laboured in the letter the prosecution staff may question whether a swift financial settlement is achievable.

 

Offer an apology for your actions and for the inconvenience caused and give a firm undertaking never to travel without a valid ticket in future. Explain that your employment requires a high level of integrity and a conviction for the criminal offence of 'avoidance of a fare' is likely to affect that future.

 

Offer to make immediate payment of the unpaid fare and any reasonably incurred costs that your actions have caused the TOC.

 

Please remember that this is only likely to work if you have never been previously reported for travelling without a valid tickets

 

Don't quote a settlement figure in your letter, leave the TOC to do that in their reply. If your letter fails to secure agreement to allow a settlement then come back and let us know.

Edited by Old-CodJA
added info
  • Haha 1
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Hi all,

 

What are your thoughts on this response to the train company;

 

To whom it may concern,

 

I apologise profusely for my regretful actions.

I pride myself on my integrity and honesty and I feel shameful for my moment of very poor judgement. As a family man and the sole income earner for the family (my wife is on maternity leave), a criminal record would be completely devastating on us, as my employment relies upon a clean criminal record.

 

I was having a particularly forgetful week during the week of my caution, as I was very sleep deprived after the recent birth of our first child (I am happy be provide a birth certificate). I had lost my coat (I can share my missing report filed with Thamleslink), my gloves, amongst other forgetful mishaps that week due to a lack of sleep and stress.

 

I had a particularly bad nights sleep on the 28th and had to leave the house earlier than usual for a job interview for a role I really wanted (the company I work for had recently been acquired). Extremely tired & stressed, I was running late for the interview and left the house in a rush. I consequently forgot to pick up a blank carnet ticket as I left my house.

 

I rushed to and through the station in an attempt to make the train I needed to make my interview on time. I grabbed a ticket from my wallet assuming it was a new blank ticket which I would populate as I rushed for the train. I usually fill in the ticket before I enter the barriers but this morning I was rushing and was focused on making the train.

 

I boarded the train and sat down. I then realised to my horror the mistake I had made of unintentionally using an old ticket, which I had failed to check. I was panic-stricken and then began to try and find a new ticket in my bag, which I couldn’t find. In my complete stupidity and panic as my mind raced, I changed the date of a previously dated ticket to the date of travel. In my haze of sleep deprivation and panic & stress, I made a very bad choice that's haunted me since. I tried to explain to the Revenue Protection Inspector that it wasn't premeditated and it was my circumstances. I admitted my mistake to the Revenue Protection Inspector and explained that I was very rushed and I apologised.

 

This is the first caution or notice to prosecute I have ever received in my life. I regularly use the train service and I can provide bank account statements to confirm I am a regular paying customer and have never done this before.

 

I am just so sorry for my actions and the inconvenience caused to all involved. I am happy to make immediate payment of the unpaid fare and any incurred costs that my actions have caused. I am also happy to purchase an annual pass immediately so my personal circumstances will never cause me to make a mistake like this again.

 

I have also recently finished a year long voluntary mentoring programme with the charity, Chance UK (Registered charity number 1046947), where I worked with children with behavioural difficulties. A criminal record would prevent me from mentoring ever again, which would make me very sad indeed as its my passion in life. I can’t lose my job & passion in life for a moment of utter stupidity.

 

I would appreciate your consideration and I sincerely hope that you can show some leniency in this matter.

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Hello again.

 

I think that's a pretty good start, let's wait for some forum regulars to comment.

 

One comment from me, if you have the name of the person who wrote to you, I would start with Dear [name] rather than 'To whom it may concern'.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Its just signed off by the prosecutions manager, but it makes sense to address it to them. Thanks.

 

One thing I forgot to mention is that I asked the inspector if it would help if I checked my diary to see if I actually travelled using the pre-dated ticket as I knew the week prior I had filled out a ticket then not travelled due to work.

 

He took this in my statement as I said 'I didn't travel on the pre-dated ticket'.

 

I later checked my diary and I did travel using the predated ticket in question but didnt the day prior (effectively wasting a ticket).

 

I appreciate this could be construed as I didnt previously travel using a ticket when I had filled it out and I was cheating the system for retribution.

 

This was not the case and I regret mentioning it to the inspector.

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Far to much waffle

 

That will end up in the bin

 

Cut it by at least 50%

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

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Its just signed off by the prosecutions manager, but it makes sense to address it to them. Thanks.

 

One thing I forgot to mention is that I asked the inspector if it would help if I checked my diary to see if I actually travelled using the pre-dated ticket as I knew the week prior I had filled out a ticket then not travelled due to work. He took this in my statement as I said 'I didn't travel on the pre-dated ticket'. I later checked my diary and I did travel using the predated ticket in question but didnt the day prior (effectively wasting a ticket). I appreciate this could be construed as I didnt previously travel using a ticket when I had filled it out and I was cheating the system for retribution. This was not the case and I regret mentioning it to the inspector.

 

I'm not sure if the bit about not using a ticket is relevant or not, to be honest. There's a rule about not paying for the journey you undertook when you were stopped, but I'm not sure if it applies in your case. Hopefully someone like Old-Codja will be back to comment. He's one of our best transport posters.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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There are no guarantees, but a concisely worded letter of apology may be sufficient to allow the company to dispose of the matter by administrative settlement

 

It is really important not to waffle in your letter. Long rambling and pleading letters can lose the support of the reader. It is important to apologise, but remember that the reader may have a huge pile of similar correspondence to go through every day and the ones that are most likely to succeed are the ones that show clear remorse for their behaviour and apologise. Never seek to put any of the blame on others, that's a certain way of losing support of the reader.

 

Start by offering an unequivocal apology for your actions, you can briefly mention the sleep deprivation as a result of the new baby and worries about your future, but it is also important to recognise that what you say can also be open to interpretation. Sleep deprivation is good in terms of illustrating the circumstances on the day.

 

Financial worries may indicate a completely different mindset and if this is laboured in the letter the prosecution staff may question whether a swift financial settlement is achievable.

 

Offer an apology for your actions and for the inconvenience caused and give a firm undertaking never to travel without a valid ticket in future. Explain that your employment requires a high level of integrity and a conviction for the criminal offence of 'avoidance of a fare' is likely to affect that future.

 

Offer to make immediate payment of the unpaid fare and any reasonably incurred costs that your actions have caused the TOC.

 

Please remember that this is only likely to work if you have never been previously reported for travelling without a valid tickets

 

Don't quote a settlement figure in your letter, leave the TOC to do that in their reply. If your letter fails to secure agreement to allow a settlement then come back and let us know.

 

I have retained the bulk of your text, but removed all the areas that would appear to a prosecutor to be 'unnecessary padding'. It could be reduced further, but see what you think of this:

 

 

I apologise profusely for my actions in this case. I pride myself on my integrity and honesty and I feel shameful for my moment of very poor judgement. As the sole income earner for the family (my wife is on maternity leave), a criminal record would be devastating for us as my employment relies upon a clean criminal record.

 

I had a particularly forgetful week at the time this occurred. I was very sleep deprived after the recent birth of our first child with attendant stress.

 

On the 28th I was running late for interview and left the house in a rush. I consequently forgot to pick up a blank carnet ticket as I left. I rushed to and through the station in an attempt to make the train I needed to make my interview on time. I grabbed a ticket from my wallet assuming it was a new blank ticket which I would populate as I rushed for the train.

 

Onboard I realised to my horror the mistake I had made of unintentionally using an old ticket, which I had failed to check. I couldn't find my blank carnet ticket. In my complete stupidity and panic, I changed the date of a previously dated ticket to the date of travel.

 

I made a very bad choice that's haunted me since. I tried to explain to the Revenue Protection Inspector that it wasn't premeditated and admitted my mistake and I apologised. I have never done this before, I am just so sorry for my actions and the inconvenience caused to all involved.

 

I am happy to make immediate payment of the unpaid fare and any incurred costs that my actions have caused. I am also happy to purchase an annual pass immediately so I will not make a mistake like this again.

 

I have also recently finished a year long voluntary mentoring programme with the charity, Chance UK where I worked with children with behavioural difficulties. A criminal record would prevent me from mentoring ever again, which would make me very sad indeed as its my passion in life.

 

I would appreciate your consideration and I sincerely hope that you can show some leniency in this matter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

good win everyone

 

well done

 

please consider a small donation to keep as us going..

 

dx

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

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Happy to make a donation. This forum was very helpful.

 

In short, I called them directly and shared what happened along with my mitigating circumstances. I then sent an email to them referencing my account of the incident and they settled. They shared that first-time offenders, who were courteous to their revenue inspection officers with mitigating circumstances had a chance of settling.

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Absolutely!. They need to protect revenue, but at the same time recognize all of:

a) persistent (and non-repentant!) serial offenders,

b) the one-off offender, but whose attitude to the RPI and prosecutions team 'stinks'

c) the genuine forgetful or mistaken traveler, who is truthful and courteous, and who really doesn't deserve to be prosecuted and receive a conviction.

 

I suspect you didn't "fail the attitude test", like a) and b) likely would, and while it may have been an expensive lesson (how much did they charge for the ticket? how much did they ask for for 'admin costs'?), I'm glad they found an alternative to prosecution. (Given the circumstances of the altered ticket, I can see why 'just a penalty fare' was never really on the cards, so I'd view this as a 'good result').

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  • 9 months later...

I have had a few of these railway prosecutions. I always plead not guilty so it gets delayed, and causes more problems for the rail company. Them if you get a fine you can pay it a 5 quid a week.so it might take about 3 years to pay it.

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not very wise...….

esp for 1st time issues..

 

for a seasoned avoider yes maybe

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

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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