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  • FIRST POST
    jessiejane1986
    SW Trains - caught without ticket
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 12, 8:22 PM
    SW Trains - caught without ticket 4th Mar 12 at 8:22 PM
    Hi

    I know it's no excuse but I was late for the train to work one morning and didn't top up my oyster card - so I didn't tap in. There were inspectors at the station and they saw there wasn't enough money on there for me to pay for the journey, I had the money with me to top it up. They questioned me and filled in a form, I said I was going to top up when I got to my destination and I knew I would be charged the maximum for only tapping in one way so wasn't trying to avoid paying. Of course I can't prove that though. Today I received a letter saying for me to complete my correct details and return the form while they consider the evidence.

    The person who questioned me didn't show me a badge and I wasn't offered a penalty fare, he said it was just a warning. Does this change things at all? I was travelling from Worcester Park and stopped in Raynes Park.

    A friend who was rushing with me had money on her card but also didn't tap in (as we ran for the train) and was sent a letter asking for £85 in costs.

    Does anyone know the likely outcome for this? Should I have been offered a PF or should I have been shown a badge? I know I was in the wrong but is it possible they will settle out of court? I've barely slept since getting the letter as I'm terrified of going to court over this.

    Thank you for any advice in advance.
Page 2
  • jessiejane1986
    The questions in the pad went over about 3 pages and I signed the 3rd near the top, maybe under 1 question, so it wasn't just my signature on the page. It was just a small pocket notepad, I've seen the forms they usually have people fill in as I walk past so I imagined it really was just a warning and that I had a lucky escape.

    There wasn't anything written under my signature when I left him though, but there was space on the page. I think he did draw a line on the pad after someone else's name/address then start writing my questions/answers down...but again being 4 months ago I can't remember 100%.

    It doesn't say the word "understand" on the paper, no. Is that a good or bad thing?
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 4th Mar 12, 9:51 PM
    • 1,298 Posts
    • 503 Thanks
    yorkie2
    I did have money for a paper ticket, I only had a £5 note in cash but it was due to running for the train that I didn't buy a ticket.
    Originally posted by jessiejane1986
    It is still unclear to me whether or not you actually paid for the journey you made or not? Is the fare still unpaid?
  • jessiejane1986
    Then what you signed can not be used in evidence if you signed at the top and information was written below your signature, thought they had to be some !!!! up somewhere.
    This form they have sent , does it have the word "understand" on it in some form of declaration
    Originally posted by vax2002
    No it doesn't have that written anywhere on the letter, is that good or bad?

    I think he drew a line under someone else's details then started to question me. It was a small pocket notepad, and my questions/answers went over 3 pages. I signed the top of the 3rd page, possibly under one question, it wasn't just my signature on that page. When I left there was nothing else written underneath my signature.

    The letter states 'a person giving the above name & address was questioned by a member of rail staff about an incident that occurred whilst on stagecoach'. It doesn't state what the offence was, obviously I know but does it matter?
  • jessiejane1986
    It is still unclear to me whether or not you actually paid for the journey you made or not? Is the fare still unpaid?
    Originally posted by yorkie2
    Ah no. I didn't pay for it. That's going to look really bad isn't it.
    • Livingthedream
    • By Livingthedream 4th Mar 12, 10:01 PM
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    Livingthedream
    That's going to look really bad isn't it.
    Originally posted by jessiejane1986
    Have you ever had a penalty fare before or is the first time you've been in trouble with TfL. If it's a first offence, then the groveling letter is your best way forward, might cost you but it will save you the hassle of court and possible criminal record.
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    • newfoundglory
    • By newfoundglory 4th Mar 12, 10:09 PM
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    • 666 Thanks
    newfoundglory
    The best thing you can do with ANY ticket inspector (in any case) is:
    1. just walk away
    2. if you can't walk away (eg, police) then
    3. say nothing
    4. say nothing
    5. say nothing
    6. repeat from point 1

    If you were suspected of committing an offence - under PACE you have to be given a caution "you do not have to say anything, but if you do not mention when questioned.. etc", and this would have to be recoreded in the little book - otherwise evidence from questioning could be inadmissible in court.

    Did you receive a caution, as described above?

    It would seem to be impossible for you to be prosecuted for fare evasion with intent to avoid payment, as if you touched in this would have been recorded on your oystercard and the central database.

    Could be prosecuted for byelaw offences
    Last edited by newfoundglory; 04-03-2012 at 10:13 PM.
  • jessiejane1986
    The best thing you can do with any ticket inspector (in any case) is:
    1. just walk away
    2. if you can't walk away (eg, police) then
    3. say nothing
    4. say nothing
    5. say nothing
    6. repeat from point 1

    Technically, if you were suspected of committing an offence - under you have to be given a caution "you do not have to say anything, but if you do not mention.. etc", and this would have to be recoreded in the little book - otherwise evidence from questioning could be inadmissible in court.

    Did you receive a caution, as described above?

    It would seem to be impossible for you to be prosecuted for fare evasion with intent to avoid payment, as if you touched in this would have been recorded on your oystercard and the central database.
    Originally posted by newfoundglory
    Can I ask for their record of the offence? As it was 4 months ago now I can't remember if I was cautioned, I think not though as he did say to me it was just a warning and didn't show a badge.

    I didn't touch in, I was going to top up and tap out but afterwards I felt sick and wanted to just go home. My friend persuaded me to go to work rather than home to work but I never actually paid for the journey, which I didn't even realise until Yorkie just asked me.
    • newfoundglory
    • By newfoundglory 4th Mar 12, 10:18 PM
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    • 666 Thanks
    newfoundglory
    You should remember if you were cautioned, as you should have been asked if you understood it?
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 4th Mar 12, 10:21 PM
    • 1,490 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    Stigy
    The best thing you can do with ANY ticket inspector (in any case) is:
    1. just walk away
    2. if you can't walk away (eg, police) then
    3. say nothing
    4. say nothing
    5. say nothing
    6. repeat from point 1

    If you were suspected of committing an offence - under PACE you have to be given a caution "you do not have to say anything, but if you do not mention when questioned.. etc", and this would have to be recoreded in the little book - otherwise evidence from questioning could be inadmissible in court.

    Did you receive a caution, as described above?

    It would seem to be impossible for you to be prosecuted for fare evasion with intent to avoid payment, as if you touched in this would have been recorded on your oystercard and the central database.

    Could be prosecuted for byelaw offences
    Originally posted by newfoundglory
    You don't HAVE to be cautioned at all, for a prosecution to go ahead. Not all staff are PACE trained.

    You are right in what you say, but if you try to walk away without giving your name and address, that could be seen as refusing to provide your name and address (obviously), and that being the case, rail staff do have a power of detention under S.5(2) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, until the offender can be brought before reasonable justice (the Police). The fact that staff don't use this power is because of their company, not the lawfulness of such action. Once you have supplied your name and address, you can walk off and that is your right.

    Also, notes dont have to be signed to be used as evidence.
    Last edited by Stigy; 04-03-2012 at 10:23 PM.
  • jessiejane1986
    You should remember if you were cautioned, as you should have been asked if you understood it?
    Originally posted by newfoundglory
    I really don't remember, it was a while ago. I think I wasn't cautioned though, as I also wasn't shown a badge and I thought the 2 needed to be done together. But I can't remember as it honestly did stress me out and worry/upset me for days afterwards. All of that is back now. I know not really relevant but I have depression and the worry of getting convicted & losing my job is making is making it worse, do you think I should mention that in my reply to see if they'll allow it to settle out of court or do you think they will look at this as almost emotional blackmail?
  • jessiejane1986
    Have you ever had a penalty fare before or is the first time you've been in trouble with TfL. If it's a first offence, then the groveling letter is your best way forward, might cost you but it will save you the hassle of court and possible criminal record.
    Originally posted by Livingthedream
    I can only send 1 message every hour so cannot respond but that's fine. Thank you.
    • newfoundglory
    • By newfoundglory 4th Mar 12, 10:29 PM
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    newfoundglory
    Doesn't change the advice though - best thing to do is turn around and walk away from railway staff. Saying nothing in the process.

    OP if you have not received a caution in this case then you should go immediately to a good solicitor, who will put an end to this for you. Make no communication at all with cr*p west trains.
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 4th Mar 12, 10:35 PM
    • 1,490 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    Stigy
    Doesn't change the advice though - best thing to do is turn around and walk away from railway staff. Saying nothing in the process.

    OP if you have not received a caution in this case then you should go immediately to a good solicitor, who will put an end to this for you. Make no communication at all with cr*p west trains.
    Originally posted by newfoundglory
    As I said, no caution is necessary, as long as all the facts are in the member of staff's report. By all means advise to contact a solicitor, but making no further communication is a bad move.
  • jessiejane1986
    I will respond as I know ignoring things makes it so much worse eventually. Can I get a copy of their report? Or should I just send an apologetic letter and offer to pay the costs etc as suggested above?
    • newfoundglory
    • By newfoundglory 4th Mar 12, 10:57 PM
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    • 666 Thanks
    newfoundglory
    Basically you were probably caught by railway staff who were PACE trained, but ignored PACE rules and caused you to likely incriminate yourself.

    Get a solicitor to respond to the letter on your behalf.
    Last edited by newfoundglory; 04-03-2012 at 11:00 PM.
    • Stigy
    • By Stigy 4th Mar 12, 10:59 PM
    • 1,490 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    Stigy
    I will respond as I know ignoring things makes it so much worse eventually. Can I get a copy of their report? Or should I just send an apologetic letter and offer to pay the costs etc as suggested above?
    Originally posted by jessiejane1986
    You'll only see the report if a summons is issued. Often the cheapest way out is a settlement, as has been suggested already. If it's a Byelaw charge, it's a Strict Liability offence, which basically means no intention to avoid payment needs to be proved by the TOC, therefore wining at court would require some significant luck or a loophole!

    Best advice I can offer is to not listen to certain other drivel
  • vax2002
    My ten pence, you could receive a criminal record that could effect your employment, fill in nothing until you have sought legal advice, I know what the solicitor will tell you to do with the incriminate yourself form, but you will be better hearing from them.
    • newfoundglory
    • By newfoundglory 4th Mar 12, 11:06 PM
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    • 666 Thanks
    newfoundglory
    Stigy probably works for the railways - so best ignored - all the railway wants is your £££££. Its not about fare evasion, its all about extra profit for the train operator. Why else would they be wasting time with this, after you had already touched in? You would have paid for the journey either way.

    The whole system is setup so the commuter gets screwed.

    (i'm anti-railway by the way, and even more anti-SWT)

    And another rule: NEVER sign anything.
    Last edited by newfoundglory; 04-03-2012 at 11:09 PM.
    • s b
    • By s b 4th Mar 12, 11:10 PM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 2,340 Thanks
    s b
    Stigy probably works for the railways - all the railway wants is your £££££. Its not about fare evasion, its all about extra profit for the train operator. Why else would they be wasting time with this, after you had already touched in? You would have paid for the journey either way.

    The whole system is setup so the commuter gets screwed.

    (i'm anti-railway by the way, and even more anti-SWT)

    And another rule: NEVER sign anything.
    Originally posted by newfoundglory
    original post says they didnt tag in because they had no credit
    so you are saying its fine to defraud a railway company?
    i dont come on this forum to read about things like this i come on to money save people
    • Livingthedream
    • By Livingthedream 4th Mar 12, 11:12 PM
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    • 3,489 Thanks
    Livingthedream
    I know what the solicitor will tell you to do with the incriminate yourself form, but you will be better hearing from them.
    Originally posted by vax2002
    One would think the solicitor would fill in the form in a way that would hopefully ensure a settlement out of court, however, that will cost you extra mony and isn't guaranteed.
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