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Train fare evasion - need advice please

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
23 replies 14.4K views
ippy_2ippy_2 Forumite
6 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
Can I start by saying, please no berating me. I have done a very stupid thing and I know that. I couldn't feel any worse than I do already.

Yesterday morning, I got on my usual train (which is at an unmanned station) and tried to buy my ticket off the conductor as usual. He said his credit card machine was broken so I'd need to buy it when I got off at my destination. When I got off, I queued up to buy it at the ticket inspection barrier and I very stupidly I said I got on at a closer stop. I normally wouldn't dream of doing this - have only ever done it once before and didn't get caught - but I am under enormous financial pressure right now. I only have £23 to last me for two weeks and that has to pay for travel (£22.60 a week) and food. So on the spur of the moment I tried to save £2 by asking for a ticket from a station I didn't get on at. Next thing I know, the guy hands the ticket he just sold me to another staff member who takes me to one side and tells me the station I said I got on at is closed. I immediately confessed, told him where I really got on at, that I did genuinely try to buy a ticket and that I lied because I am so broke at the moment. He took my name and address, did an address check and told me I would receive a letter from them in a month and at best I'd get a fine, at worst I'd also be prosecuted.

Now, I did wrong and I fully own up to it. It was stupid and spontanious and totally not worth it. I've just googled to see what happens and it seems this train company does prosecute people whenever it can. So I may get a criminal record, which will affect my job. I can't tell my partner as I am mortified and don't want to worry him. I feel sick.

Again, please, don't berate me. I know I deserve it and it's stupid and wrong and I don't know honestly why I risked it for the sake of £2. I know it doesn't make sense. I just want to know if anyone has this experience and what will happen to me.
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Replies

  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    i've fought and won one of these for someone who actually did have a defence, whereas you don't.

    off the top of my head I think I recall it's railway byelaws 17/18 that apply but irrelevant since you are at fault.

    you won't get a criminal record as long as you pay the penalty fare! why did you not do so when challenged?

    just vaguely cos trying to recall, you still can can't you? waiting for further correspondence will add to the cost.

    -
  • cattiecattie Forumite
    8.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    It'll be a fine which needs to be paid within a certain amount of time & if not then it will be referred to court. As long as you pay up when the letter arrives you won't have a criminal record.

    As Neil asks, were you given the opportunity to pay a penalty on the spot as this is generally a cheaper option?
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • ippy_2ippy_2 Forumite
    6 Posts
    No, I immediately said I'd pay the full fare or whatever but the revenue protection officer said it was too late. If it was a £50 or £100 fine then I'd suck it up without complaining because I get paid next week and should be slightly better off financially but the cases I found when googling suggests it will be hundreds, which I would have to take a loan out for as we are really struggling to keep our heads above water, hence the momentary idiotic lapse in judgement. I am terrified I will end up with a criminal record or something as I've never been in trouble before, not even a speeding fine.
  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    As far as i recall, and can't remember exactly, it's only £20!

    you should have been given the option (on top of due fare i think) and also given paperwork to either pay that amonut in a set time or appeal to - errrrr, i think they are called ICAS?

    if neither then something is wrong. it certainly should not be hundreds.

    ICAS, if that is the correct name, collect these as well as dealing with appeals - ahem - draw your own conclusions! they don't immediately go to Court but eventually will. They use DCAs to tempt you first.

    In your situation I would try and find out how to pay quickly. You may have some case via not being correctly advised, insufficient paperwork, etc but if it is £20 - get it out of the way IMO.
  • ippy_2ippy_2 Forumite
    6 Posts
    Thanks Neil - I think I have to just wait til they write to me. I would be actually grateful for just a £20 fine at this stage. But there are lots of stories like this one (oh okay, I'm not allowed to post links) about a woman who wrongly paid 40p less than she should have and was fined £465. Same stations, same rail network as me.
  • Come on guys, give the woman a break, have you never done anything wrong in your lives, done 32 in a 30 limit taken a pen home from work, made a peronal call at work etc?....ippy said she undertood she has done wrong and is willing to take her punishment she doesn't need a telling off from anyone on here.

    ippy, yes you did wrong but you are under incredable strain, why don't you contact the station tomorrow, explain the situation and see what the options are?

    Best wishes

    TPA
    MFW - We've only gone and blooming done it!
    May 2013:j
  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Come on guys, give the woman a break, have you never done anything wrong in your lives, done 32 in a 30 limit taken a pen home from work, made a peronal call at work etc?....ippy said she undertood she has done wrong and is willing to take her punishment she doesn't need a telling off from anyone on here.

    ippy, yes you did wrong but you are under incredable strain, why don't you contact the station tomorrow, explain the situation and see what the options are?

    Best wishes

    TPA

    Excuse me? What are you on about? Only myself and one other have responded and neither of us have had a pop at the OP. What is your point?
  • hstudenthstudent Forumite
    599 Posts
    You're lucky it wasn't Northern Rail, they gave a woman a £465 fine over a 40p error.
    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1113642_mum_fined_465_for_40p_error
  • davetrousersdavetrousers Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    To the OP, would you not save money by buying a weekly or monthly ticket?
    .....

  • edited 8 June 2009 at 12:04PM
    DCoddDCodd Forumite
    8.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 8 June 2009 at 12:04PM
    To the OP, would you not save money by buying a weekly or monthly ticket?


    Absolutely correct! OP some firms offer travel loans so you can but a monthly or even yearly tickets (at good discounts) might be worth looking at.

    Tesco points addict, this is a very polite and helpfull thread.

    EDIT -just seen the date of the thread!! Any NEWS ippy? The people who offer advice do like to know the outcome. It adds to the "collective" experience and may help another in a similar situation!!!
    Always get a Qualified opinion - My qualifications are that I am OLD and GRUMPY:p:p
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