Accused of false details and avoiding fare. Summons on the way.

Status
Not open for further replies.

Idiot

New Member
Joined
6 Jun 2016
Messages
2
I'll save the sob story and skip to a quick summary of the events that transpired on the train...

I got caught having a discounted railcard ticket and no railcard. I was handed a book to write my details in, and in a sleep deprived frustrated act of defiance....I gave them my other surname and said I lived next door to the flat I actually lived in, I also threw in a few spelling mistakes for good measure. (haha in your face ticket inspector lady...totally got you) I then showed them my debit card that stated otherwise. They handed me the book again to correct my mistakes. For the love of God I do not need to be told how stupid this was. It wasn't even a attempt to avoid anything, just pure frustration.

Anyway, I was given a slip that said I was to send a copy of my railcard to their prosecution dept. I didn't have a railcard, so I went a bought one and did exactly that (Obviously the date on the railcard shows I purchased it after the offense) in hopes to amend my wrongdoing. That didn't work of course.

Then I receive a letter stating that they intended to prosecute for 'providing a false name' and 'avoiding fare', and I had a chance to detail the evens from my perspective or face prosecution. In my letter I stressed the point that the name I gave was in fact me and that I use that name sometimes (this is the truth), I didn't mention anything else I had written in the book, just stressed that I was indeed the person I said I was. I then went on apologising profusely and flat out admitted I had used the railcard discount because I couldn't afford the full fare at the time. I offered to pay the full fare amount (About 45 squid) in my letter. That wasn't enough.

I have now received a letter stating that they have considered the points I raised in my letter and that a summons to attend magistrates court will be sent to me soon.

So now I'm here in an attempt to not dig this hole any deeper...

I would have obliged to a fine had they sent one, but now that they have a letter with my details of the events they have some sort of case and reason to take me to court. Is there anyway to amend this out of court? Can I write another letter and offer to pay a heftier penalty? Or am I going to court for providing false details and avoiding fare? I rarely use the trains, I had never used the railcard discount before...I just needed to catch my train and didn't have enough money. Now because I didn't have the means to pay on the spot I'm going to have to fork out a lot more in court I'm assuming...

Some advice would be greatly appreciated. Any questions, please ask.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,387
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
I guess from the way that you've explained the key points here that you've correctly idenfied the issues.

Let's deal with the technicalities first.
Firstly, the incorrect price paid for the ticket became a fraud when you attempted to claim that you had a Railcard which entitled you to the discount. This is an offence under Section 5.3(a) of the 1889 Regulation of Railways Act
RoRA said:
)5.3 If any person—
(a)Travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof . . . he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale
The phrase "his fare" refers to the appropriate fare, and the discounted fare that you paid is not the appropriate fare".
Secondly, the false name and address didn't just compound the matter but added a separate offence under Section 5.3(c) of the same statute
RoRA said:
5.3 If any person—
(c)Having failed to pay his fare, gives in reply to a request by an officer of a railway company a false name or address . . . he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale

I also guess that the investigating officer will have satisfied themselves that the evidence they now have is adequate to secure a conviction in the Magistrates Court. Whether that really is the case or not will be a matter of fact, but as we can't be sure what is written in the Inspector's notebook, we can only make an assumption that it is adequate.

Interestingly, the Company can receive no compensation for a conviction on the second count, though the Court can impose a fine, so while the name and address issue is additional evidence of the first offence, it is of no benefit to the Company to pursue it as a separate conviction. I mention this as background in case you are summonsed to appear in Court; there would be an opportunity to suggest an early plea of guilty to the first offence if te second one was dropped (which would earn you a substantial discount from the fine)

But to get to your question. Yes, most Railway Companies will reach an Out-of-Court settlement at some point or other, some more willingly than others. But even if they don't, it is still possible to attend the Court earlly on the date of the hearing and ask for a brief interview with the Prosecutor before (s)he goes in, and to offer to make a settlement to the company there and then as an alternative means of dealing with the matter.

Having said all that, there is still an opportunity to atttempt a settlement before a Summons is issued for you to attend the Court. You can contact the Investigations and Prosecutions department by phone, email or letter, you can do it yourself or ask a solicitor to do it for you, and when you do, just get straight to the point - no dispute about the facts - just the offer to dispose of the matter there and then without them having to do any more work on it. A refusal won't reduce your chances of success in reaching a settlement later.

All of the above assumes that you are over 18 y.o.
 
Last edited:

ukkid

Member
Joined
25 Apr 2016
Messages
67
Not clear if they're going for false address, but I think its unlikely you would get convicted for a false name on its own, because despite everything you said, its not really a false name, its your name and you use it.

If you made up a name to avoid being traced or gave someone else's name for the same, that's a different matter and whilst there might be some evidence here to suggest some attempt to deceive or make difficult (with your explanation above), you still gave them a name you normally otherwise use.

If you do get convicted on the other matter a court record might convict you under your main name (passport drivers etc) but I would expect it to list the other name as an alias / or also known as.

had a work colleague who was KH on her work pass and some underused bank cards but was KB on her passport drivers licence and most bank cards. My sister mainly uses Miss A maiden despite 12 years of marriage, but variously deemed and accepts Mrs A married or Mrs A maiden on documents, she only objects to the use of Ms! Her son and husband however end up erroneously as Mr mothers/wife's maiden half the time.
 

Idiot

New Member
Joined
6 Jun 2016
Messages
2
Thank for the info guys, I've sent them a very concise plea to settle out of court. Hope it works out soon. Will update.
 

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,387
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
Not clear if they're going for false address, but I think its unlikely you would get convicted for a false name on its own, because despite everything you said, its not really a false name, its your name and you use it.
You are raising two separate points here, but treating them as one. It's not just "unlikely" that Idiot would 'get convicted for a false name on its own' because that is not the offence. I quoted the wordng of RoRA S.5.3 above. Its a combination of failing to pay the fare AND giving the false name or address.

As for the advice that "a court record might convict you under your main name", I can only say that there is nothing random about which of two alternative names a Court 'might' choose when entering a conviction.
 

timbo58

Member
Joined
17 Dec 2013
Messages
175
He also admitted to giving the wrong name AND wrong address with intent to avoid the fare due btw, not just the name.
 

ukkid

Member
Joined
25 Apr 2016
Messages
67
I probably wasn't clear, from what Idiot said didnt appear as though the toc had picked up on a false address nor he/she confessed to it when they wrote to the toc. So my point was having been convicted for the first offence Dave mentioned 5.3 (a) I didn't think they could get him/her on the seperate count 5.3 (c)

I'm not suggesting there is anything random about the name they convict under. they consider this quite carefully they just include all other known names as aliases. "Tommy Robinson" aka Stephen Lennon whilst his passport has him down as Paul harris is an example.
 
Last edited:

Flamingo

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2010
Messages
6,810
Apropos of nothing, a friend who is a criminal defence solicitor tells me of clients who have well over a hundred names recorded on the PNC. It's down to their culture apparently. The courts seem to manage to deal with them ok...
 

timbo58

Member
Joined
17 Dec 2013
Messages
175
My point was that if the TOC carry on with the offence of giving false details that the combination of a false name AND false address is enough, in my view, to show intent to give false information rather than a simple slip up on the name 'because another is also used legitimately on occasion'.
A bench might accept ONE 'mistake', it seems unlikely they would accept an alternate name AND an incorrect address.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,028
Location
Scotland
So my point was having been convicted for the first offence Dave mentioned 5.3 (a) I didn't think they could get him/her on the seperate count 5.3 (c)...
I don't think you are reading the legislation the same way that I am. Giving a false name/address (5.3 (c)) isn't a crime in and unto itself and you can't be found guilty of breaching it until an offence of travelling with intent to defraud (5.3(a)) has already been proved.
 

ukkid

Member
Joined
25 Apr 2016
Messages
67
I don't think you are reading the legislation the same way that I am. Giving a false name/address (5.3 (c)) isn't a crime in and unto itself and you can't be found guilty of breaching it until an offence of travelling with intent to defraud (5.3(a)) has already been proved.

I am not saying (5.3 (c)) is a crime in itself,

should I have written

"So my point was having proved 5.3 (a)..." rather than "having been convicted" "...I didn't think they could get him/her on the separate count 5.3 (c)...


I use "separate" in the same context as Dave's post "but added a separate offence under Section 5.3(c) of the same statute"

Again on the basis they didn't pick up the use of a false address.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top