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azaman

Southern: Notice of intention to presecute **SETTLED OOC**

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Hello,

 

I'm looking for some help regarding a letter I received from Thameslink regarding intention to prosecute.

 

Background to incident.

 

I work in London and buy a monthly season ticket from my Home station, New Malden to London Waterloo. On 18 Sept, the company i work for had a business contingency day and i was instructed to work from our contingency site (i got a call the night before). the contingency site is in Bookham (surrey).

 

So on the 18th Sept I traveled to Bookham by train and tapped in at New Malden to pay by contactless debit card. When I reached Bookham there was a revenue inspector there who informed me that Bookham was not an oyster station. I did try to tap out at Bookham where my debit card didnt work, at which point the revenue inspector took me to one side to explain contact less not support here and took down all my details. I showed the inspector my ticket from New Malden to Waterloo and tried to explain i wasnt fare dodging and had attemted to pay and that i wasnt aware that contact less didnt extend to Bookham.

 

Yesterday, I received a letter from Thameslink, stating that they intended to take the case to the magistrates court and want me to respond with what happened from my point of view. Any advice what i should do? and how serious is this, is it likely to result in a criminal record.

 

Since then I've stopped using contactless, to get out out of the habit if tapping in / out. Feels like a trap.

 

PS, the inspector didnt dispute that i had tried to pay with my contactless debit card, and after i had given all my details mentioned that i would get charged by TFL (whatever the maximum daily fare was) because i hadn't tapped out.

 

Regards,

A Zaman

Edited by azaman

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yes it will if you don't respond within the timeframe.

 

there are numerous appropriate letters in threads here

 

you need to BRIEFLY explain the above

then grovel to get them to settle out of court.

 

dx


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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dx100uk, thanks for the prompt reply. whats the typical out of court settlement amount.

whilst as they say I didnt have a ticket for the journey, I didnt intended to fare dodge. Just wasnt aware which stations have contactless.

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Can't read minds

Read other threads


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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I've just seen where Bookham is, just outside the M25 boundary, and think you've been very unlucky. In other threads there are premedidating fare dodgers who got an out of court settlement. Once upon a time you would have been able to just pay your fare at the destination station!

 

However, that's by the by, the important thing now is to not get prosecuted. Reading other threads, I see the TOCs are under pressure from the courts to drop out of court settlements, which could be a problem.

 

In any case, the essential thing is to reply, briefly explain what happened, and apologise profusely, as DX has said. However, while accepting to be in the wrong, I would underline that you weren't fare dodging and that a genuine mistake can happen in a complicated system (you'd bought a monthly ticket, got hammered for the maximum daily fare by TFL which is hardly the action of a fare dodger, you were used to using contactless, Bookham is only just outside the M25, etc.) and suggest that a penalty fare or out of court settlement would be more appropriate than prosecution.


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New Malden > Bookham £6.50. TFL maximum fare £10.50. Hardly the action of a fare dodger. Still apologise and admit your error though.


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Reading other threads, I see the TOCs are under pressure from the courts to drop out of court settlements, which could be a problem.

 

Slight thread drift, but where does this come from?

 

Why would courts put TOCs under pressure this way?

What reason would courts have to do that?

 

Indeed, how could they do that, who speaks for "the courts"?

 

General government policy since forever has been to encourage out of court settlements, not force them into the courts.

 

When did the Home Office decide to adopt a different policy for fare evasion cases?

 

Waht's the evidence for this policy change?

 

Just asking.

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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there is a post in a recent thread here that reference a letter about such from a TOC


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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The first link doesn't seem to have anything relevant to this, unless I'm missing something.

 

The second link the poster just says "I called and this very nice man picked up this time he was very helpful. He told me apparently they have been told off by courts for doing settlements out of court for these kinds of cases, as it was for the courts to decide the case". An anonymous "very nice man" sounds to me to be about million miles away from a statement of government or court policy.

 

I'm not convinced about this policy change being true.

 

That doesn't affect the good advice given to the OP though. It just seems a bit alarmist to tell the OP there has been a change of government prosecution policy on such slim evidence.

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yes that's the only one ive seen

p'haps old-codja might appear soon to clarify.

 

all for now.


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Thanks all for the feedback, i'll give it a go and see what happens. I still feel aggrieved of being accused of being a faredodger...especially as i just bought an annual pass 2 days back.

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The experts here have dealt with loads of these cases over the years, including many where real fare dodgers escaped prosecution. If you want, post up what you propose to say and they will suggest which bits to tweak.

 

You're right, it's a disgrace you're being threatened with the Magistrates' Court. You made an honest mistake, paid £10.50 instead of £6.50, and you're being threatened with court!!!

 

However by the letter of the law they're right and you're wrong, it's a strict liability offence, so you do need to reply to their letter with your side of the story.


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hi,

 

i thought i'd let you know that i got a letter back saying they would accept £61 as an out of court settlement. Whilst im still bitter about the experience , i wanted to thank you all for your feedback.

 

AZ

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glad its over well done.

 

dx


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Azaman,

 

firstly, well done on avoiding court action.

 

As you saw upthread, I had mentioned rumours about the TOCs not accepting OOC settlements any more, then Ethel Street had rightly written that the evidence for this was hardly conclusive, so I was really hoping you would report back (a) for yourself and (b) for the benefit of future forum users. Thanks.

 

Completely agree that you should be bitter, you make a genuine mistake, actually pay £10.50 instead of £6.50, then instead of just being waved through once you explain like used to happen, no, you get threatened with a criminal record and then clobbered for an extra £61!!!

 

Well done though on avoiding the beak.


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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