Summoned to court for sitting in first class

I was caught sitting in First Class with a Standard ticket- yes I admit I was in the wrong there is no point going on with excuses and I accepted that. I offered to move from first class back to standard they didnt accept that- fine (again im in the wrong, fair enough im due a fine). However at the time of the offence I was offered to pay a £20 fine there and then (I only had my work credit card on me at this time, I cant pay for a fine on this) so I asked the conductor what my other options were, they advised I would be sent a £20 fine in the post- this was all being recorded on their body cameras. I said thats fine, gave my details willingly.

I didn't receive any correspondence from the train company for 6 months then all of a sudden I receive a letter saying I am summoned to Magistrates court- I wrote back to see if this was some mistake as I hadn't received any kind of penalty charge or anything before in the post and explained in the letter that I had been told (on record on camera) that it would be a £20 sent to my home address.

They wrote back to say that I hadn't been given the option to pay an initial fine and my appeal had been rejected and that hey were proceeding with the court hearing.

This is my first offence and to be honest I'm in a state of shock that I am being summoned to court and could potentially end up with a fine of hundreds of pounds and potentially a criminal record for sitting in first class with a standard ticket, which can affect my job, my ability to travel abroad for work, my mortgage etc- yes I know still wrong but do I not have the right to pay an initial fine first, as I've never denied my wrong doing, I accepted the £20, I gave my details willingly to pay the fine?

Even if it was an £80 I'd think ok fair enough im in the wrong, pay it and move on with my life but I'm literally given no choice but to go to court which im clearly going to be found guilty at as I have already admitted twice my wrong doing- surely this cant be fair/legal?

Id appreciate any advice.

Comments

  • waamo
    waamo Posts: 10,298 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Is it a letter saying they may summon you to court or an actual summons from the court?
  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    Send a Subject Access Request to the Train Operating Company to get a copy of the bodycam footage.
  • Johno100
    Johno100 Posts: 5,259 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    agrinnall wrote: »
    Send a Subject Access Request to the Train Operating Company to get a copy of the bodycam footage.

    Six months later, they'll be lucky.
  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    Johno100 wrote: »
    Six months later, they'll be lucky.


    If they don't ask they won't know. Costs nothing so why not try? But please feel free to offer your better suggestions.
  • twhitehousescat
    twhitehousescat Posts: 5,368 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    6 mths?

    is this not a bylaw offence ?

    have you actually received a court summons , id so is there a date on it , that it was issued , and finally , what date was the offence committed
  • Manxman_in_exile
    Manxman_in_exile Posts: 8,380 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 1 May 2019 at 3:02PM

    I didn't receive any correspondence from the train company for 6 months then all of a sudden I receive a letter saying I am summoned to Magistrates court- I wrote back to see if this was some mistake as I hadn't received any kind of penalty charge or anything before in the post and explained in the letter that I had been told (on record on camera) that it would be a £20 sent to my home address.

    They wrote back to say that I hadn't been given the option to pay an initial fine and my appeal had been rejected and that hey were proceeding with the court hearing.
    .


    They've said they've "rejected your appeal" but you didn't make one did you - you've received no paperwork and you have not contacted them? I think I'd 'phone them for clarification.


    Also, as per waamo, is it an actual summons to court or are they asking for your version of events?


    I would post here: https://www.railforums.co.uk/forums/disputes-prosecutions.152/


    EDIT If it is an actual summons I'd post on railforums ASAP.


    PS - Too late for the OP, but I would advise anyone travelling on public transport (esp trains) always to have means of payment available. Anything could go wrong...


    EDIT2 Ah. See you've already gone to railforums.
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