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Expired railcard - initially gave fake details - Potential Criminal Record?


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Hello all,

This is my first post in this forum - I come here seeking some well informed advice for a monumental co*k-up on my behalf. I boarded a train on Monday having paid for a ticket with what I thought was a valid railcard. Blissfully unaware of the fact it had expired, I happily showed the conductor my e-ticket and in-app railcard upon his request. I was genuinely taken aback when he told me my railcard had expired and that I'd be required to pay the difference of £91 on the spot. I fully understand that ignorance does not equate to innocence, but I had not looked at my railcard app in well over a year, nor had I been asked to show it by any conductor who checked my ticket during that time.

Now, this is where the hole digging begins. Having had the figure of £91 thrown at me by the inspector (the ticket only cost £36.30 without a railcard), I did the classic, foolish thing of panicking, telling him I couldn't pay up-front, and then proceeding to give him a false name, address, DOB and phone number. To rub salt into my already gaping wounds, he then proceeded to look at my railcard again (I didn't think he'd do this - not sure why) where he saw my real name (face-in-palm)! Having immediately realised the error of my ways, I asked if I could just pay the £91 and be done with it, after which the conductor, quite rightly, told me that I'd missed that opportunity. He also told me that the railway company will now investigate every train journey I've made since my railcard expired.

I am an idiot. I do not deserve any sympathy here. At all. I am willing to accept any consequences that come my way. However, I would really appreciate some advice on how best I now navigate this stressful, anxiety-inducing situation. While I don't wish to wriggle my way out of any punishment, I would naturally like to know if there are any approaches I can take to provide some kind of damage limitation. I am aware of the severity of what I have done by providing false details - it was a huge error of judgement on my behalf and something I will obviously never do again.

Part of me is tempted to write an email to the prosecutions team at the railway company giving them my proper address so at least I know I'll be receiving any post that is inevitably coming my way. Another part of me is tempted to just write to them coming clean about the whole thing, owning up to my idiocy and beginning some kind of dialogue in order to resolve this. Or do I wait for the letter after they inevitably find my actual address and just deal with what comes my way then? Needless to say going to court wouldn't be ideal, and I certainly don't want a criminal record (I know, I should have thought about this when I provided incorrect details). I am willing to pay whatever it takes to avoid these two things, so would there be an opportunity to settle this out of court once I've received said post? I'm also worried about this investigation into my historic railway travel. Is this something they actually do?

I have not come here to be scolded - I've been doing that to myself for the past couple of days and anyone who tells me how stupid I've been will only be confirming what I already know. However, any help with the appropriate next steps on how I best resolve this with some kind of damage limitation would be HUGELY appreciated. There probably isn't a black and white answer, but it'd be wonderful to hear from people who have either made the same mistake of who know legal ins and outs of this sort of thing. 

Thank you in advance,
From an apologetic moron.

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stop worrying 

you are not the 1st nor the last to do this.

 

simply await and see if a letter comes, it might well not, they have 6mts.

 

as for what might happen should you get one.

then is the time to reply and say what a fool etc and offer to pay the full value + admin costs straight away.

as for them checking back, i doubt they will

 

a railcard expiring happens a 1000's times a day.

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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  • dx100uk changed the title to Expired railcard - initially gave fake details - Potential Criminal Record?

dx, Reading the OP's post, I'm not sure the TOC have their true address for them to be able to 'wait for the letter'.

 

If not, then if the letter does go to the (false) address, and in the eyes of the TOC doesn't get replied to, and then the TOC prosecutes, the OP doesn't show up at court (being unaware of proceedings!), it'll be harder for the OP to get things unwound later.

 

Perhaps the OP could clarify?. Did the conductor take your correct details including the correct address?.

If not, then it may be wise for the OP to write to the TOC (in about 2 weeks time), saying :"I had an interaction with a conductor on X service, at Y time, on Z date, and am concerned that they may not have my correct address, which is ..........<Address>". You mentioned about e-mailing, but I suspect you'll have more chance of finding a postal address for the proecutions team, than an email address.

 

Don't admit to anything, at that stage, just that factual statement,  keep a copy of the letter, and send by your choice of:

a) standard post (getting a certificate of posting)

b) Recorded Delivery, or

c) Special Delivery

 

Or email, if you are sure you have a valid email address for the right team : each has its advantages and disadvantages.......

 

I agree that railcard not valid / not produced with the ticket requiring a railcard does happen frequently.

 

The OP has highlighted that (railcard) isn't the issue here, but the giving of false details at the time the the fare had not been paid (whether those details were given in in panic or not), this being a separate offence to the lack of valid railcard, (under S5(3)(c) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, if the TOC decide it is worthy of prosecution).

 

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4 hours ago, Anonymous525 said:

where he saw my real name (face-in-palm)!

 

well i suppose its what he did if he then fronted the op with his true details...then he'll use the real details i will assume..

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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