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Warning in lieu of Prosecution

Help! On 8th December I travelled from Hersham to London. The ticket office was closed and the queue for the ticket machine was huge. I joined it but 10 minutes later my train cam and I joined it without a ticket. I travelled to Waterloo and approached a guard when I arrived to buy a ticket. It turned out that he was an Inspector not a guard and wouldnt accept my circumstances nor the fact that I voluntarily approached him to try and buy a ticket instead he reported me for fare evasion. I put across my case but he didn't listen and said that I should expect a fine. I received a letter today a 'Warning in lieu of Prosecution' whereby I have to pay £86.30 (this includes the ticket price £6.30 plus Operational costs of £45 plus Administration costs of £35) or face my day in court. I was expecting a £20 fine.

I am forced to pay this or go to court - which frankly I find terrifying. I feel that I'm backed into a corner and I am forced to pay £80 in costs which I find hard to justify. I looked on line and found other people have had similar experiences. Is there anything I can do????

Thanks

Replies

  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
    177.9K Posts
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    Jscalpello wrote: »
    Is there anything I can do????
    Go to court, plead your case and hope that you either get cleared or a fine of less than £80.
  • HO87HO87 Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    !!!!!! wrote: »
    Go to court, plead your case and hope that you either get cleared or a fine of less than £80.

    That's your only chance of reducing your outlay.

    However, from the point of view of the offence you knowingly travelled without a valid ticket and which ever way you dress it - that's fare evasion. You might consider pleading guilty and offering your explanation as mitigation but I'd not rate you chances of reducing any penalty very highly unless your income is particularly low (any fine will be means tested) or your travelling at that time was a matter of urgency/necessity. Being late for work won't, frankly, cut it.

    If you were to opt for court - hoping for a reduction in the penalty - then you need to factor in an order for costs (which the prosecution will certainly demand. Keep in mind that the prosecution will not be conducted by the CPS but by solicitors for the Train Operating Company and their costs will not be cheap). A CPS mounted prosecution with a guilty plea at first hearing would seek costs of between £43 and £85. And to that you'd have to add the Victim Support levy of £15 and, of course, your fine.

    I'd suggest that at £86.30 the offer to settle looks remarkably good value. Especially as you'd also avoid a criminal conviction as technically fare evasion counts as such.

    If you want clarification on this issue send a PM to Stigy who has far more specific and professional expertise in this area than I do.
    My very sincere apologies for those hoping to request off-board assistance but I am now so inundated with requests that in order to do justice to those "already in the system" I am no longer accepting PM's and am unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future (August 2016). :(

    For those seeking more detailed advice and guidance regarding small claims cases arising from private parking issues I recommend that you visit the Private Parking forum on PePiPoo.com
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
    30.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    What happened to the umpteen other posts on this thread? I'm not dreaming am I? Or too much vino?
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • edited 29 March 2012 at 9:37AM
    rdrrdr Forumite
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    edited 29 March 2012 at 9:37AM
    HO87 wrote: »
    That's your only chance of reducing your outlay.

    However, from the point of view of the offence you knowingly travelled without a valid ticket and which ever way you dress it - that's fare evasion. You might consider pleading guilty and offering your explanation as mitigation but I'd not rate you chances of reducing any penalty very highly unless your income is particularly low (any fine will be means tested) or your travelling at that time was a matter of urgency/necessity. Being late for work won't, frankly, cut it.

    If you were to opt for court - hoping for a reduction in the penalty - then you need to factor in an order for costs (which the prosecution will certainly demand. Keep in mind that the prosecution will not be conducted by the CPS but by solicitors for the Train Operating Company and their costs will not be cheap). A CPS mounted prosecution with a guilty plea at first hearing would seek costs of between £43 and £85. And to that you'd have to add the Victim Support levy of £15 and, of course, your fine.

    I'd suggest that at £86.30 the offer to settle looks remarkably good value. Especially as you'd also avoid a criminal conviction as technically fare evasion counts as such.

    If you want clarification on this issue send a PM to Stigy who has far more specific and professional expertise in this area than I do.

    I disagree.

    The OP made two reasonable attempts to buy a ticket - he was not seeking to avoid buying a ticket. It seems that the inspector was having a bad day. I think there is some guidance on how long you should be expected to queue for a ticket.
    Fare evaision is an offence involving dishonesty and conviction (or accepting a warning?) could have long term effects on employability. If you can evidence the attempts to buy the ticket fight it.
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