Accused of paying for a shorter journey

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pooch

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Due to congestion around Station A, my wife took me to station B(further back up the line). This station did bit have any ticket facilities. I boarded the train, no conductor came around to allow me to purchase a ticket.
I queued in the unpaid ticket queue.When asked for start point , I declared a town that was near the actual boarding point(slightly further away actually) and said 'near station A' which was crucially closer to the end point.
I was then pulled aside and accused of declaring a shorter journey and cautioned and went through the forms. I was also informed that it may lead to a prosecution.
Sure enough , 2 weeks later(yesterday) I had the letter and I now get the chance to state my case.
I feel that I have mitigating circumstances enough to prevent a prosecution and criminal record:
1)no ticket facilities at start point
2)no conductor on train
3)total misunderstanding when purchasing ticket due to my lack of knowledge of start point station.I ran out of the car and straight onto the train due to the fact it was pulling in.
4)Inspector not willing to listen at the time so i filled out forms, gave my correct details (did i have to?) in order to get to my appointment on time
I would like to gauge the view of this forum before I state my case in my response
Thank you
 
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najaB

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Due to congestion around Station A, my wife took me to station B(further back up the line). This station did bit have any ticket facilities. I boarded the train, no conductor came around to allow me to purchase a ticket.
Can't see any problem yet.
I queued in the unpaid ticket queue.When asked for start point , I declared a town that was near the actual boarding point(slightly further away actually) and said 'near station A' which was crucially closer to the end point.
This 'A' vs 'B' thing is confusing, but am I to understand that instead of naming the station you boarded at, you named another station that was closer to the destination than both the station you boarded at, and the station you originally intended to board at?
I feel that I have mitigating circumstances enough to prevent a prosecution and criminal record:
1)no ticket facilities at start point
2)no conductor on train
3)total misunderstanding when purchasing ticket due to my lack of knowledge of start point station.I ran out of the car and straight onto the train due to the fact it was pulling in.
4)Inspector not willing to listen at the time so i filled out forms, gave my correct details (did i have to?) in order to get to my appointment on time
In order:
1. This would mean that you can't be prosecuted under Railway Byelaw 18 (1). It has no impact on a prosecution under the Regulation of Railway Act (RoRA).
2. This has no impact as you were entitled to purchase at your destination station as well.
3. I'm sorry, but I find it hard to believe that you would 'accidentally' remember the name of a station that was closer to your destination, rather than the station you actually boarded at (or the station you intended to board at). If you weren't sure of the name of the station, then why not say "The station before <name of station you intended to board at>".
4. Did you have to? Yes. And your poor timekeeping is of no concern to the train operating company (TOC).

In short, you do not have a strong defence against a RoRA prosecution, so you need to do everything you can to convince the TOC that it's not in anyone's best interest to proceed with that prosecution.

To copy from a previous post:
You need to reply to the TOC and get four points across:
  1. That you recognise and admit that your actions were wrong.
  2. That you now know that it was an offence and will never do it again.
  3. That you understand that short faring costs them money and puts fares up for other passengers.
  4. That you want to pay the outstanding fare and contribute to the costs they've incurred dealing with the matter, rather than add to their workload by taking the matter to court.

You may well be able to reach an agreement to close the matter without involving the Courts.

Hope this helps.
 
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pooch

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I may not have expressed myself properly, I boarded at a station that was closer to the town that I quoted at the payment point but further away than the the city I said it was near to. I genuinely did not take note of the station I boarded at due to the lateness caused by reverting to a station further away than my original start point and the fact that a ran to get the train that was in
Thanks for paying interest
 

6Gman

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Due to congestion around Station A, my wife took me to station B(further back up the line). This station did bit have any ticket facilities. I boarded the train, no conductor came around to allow me to purchase a ticket.
I queued in the unpaid ticket queue.When asked for start point , I declared a town that was near the actual boarding point(slightly further away actually) and said 'near station A' which was crucially closer to the end point.

The case will surely hinge on the credibility of your story, which I'm finding difficult to understand.

You were going to travel from Station A, but there was congestion (presumably on the road(s) leading to the station) so you went to Station B. When you reached the end of your journey you couldn't remember the name of Station B so you said you'd come from "xxxxxx near Station A".

I think you may have a problem persuading a prosecutor that your wife and yourself diverted to a second station without knowing its name!

Or am I missing something?
 

DaleCooper

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I may not have expressed myself properly, I boarded at a station that was closer to the town that I quoted at the payment point but further away than the the city I said it was near to. I genuinely did not take note of the station I boarded at due to the lateness caused by reverting to a station further away than my original start point and the fact that a ran to get the train that was in
Thanks for paying interest

It would help if you could tell us the actual stations (A and B) and the city you named then it might be easier to understand your mistake. I can't see that naming them would be detrimental.
 

CheesyChips

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I can kind of relate to the OP with what he means by diverting to a nearby station and not knowing the name of it. If it's anything like where I live just outside Birmingham there are lots of little stations which aren't always named according to the locale but rather the street name or some other identifer. When this is the case, local people have all sorts of names for the stations that aren't the real names.

Most people near me know Sandwell and Dudley as 'Oldbury' station and Rowley Regis is sometimes 'Blackheath' station, both of which are small towns less than half a mile from each station.

I know that Four Oaks and Chester Road stations are often known locally as Sutton Coldfield even though Sutton Coldfield is a station in the actual town.

It is possible to know that a station is nearby and not necesaarily know its formal indentity.

Yes, there is a responsibility to check, but I'm just trying to shed some light on what the OP is saying.
 

6Gman

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I may not have expressed myself properly, I boarded at a station that was closer to the town that I quoted at the payment point but further away than the the city I said it was near to. I genuinely did not take note of the station I boarded at due to the lateness caused by reverting to a station further away than my original start point and the fact that a ran to get the train that was in
Thanks for paying interest

Wouldn't "This might sound strange but I was going to travel from A, but went to the next station up the line because the traffic was so bad - and I can't remember its name! It's one further out than A ..." have made more sense than all this stuff about being near town x or city y ?
 

Agent_c

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I may not have expressed myself properly, I boarded at a station that was closer to the town that I quoted at the payment point but further away than the the city I said it was near to. I genuinely did not take note of the station I boarded at due to the lateness caused by reverting to a station further away than my original start point and the fact that a ran to get the train that was in
Thanks for paying interest

I think you're going to have a much easier time if you say specifically which stations A, B, and C are.
 

DaveNewcastle

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The arrangement you've described at the un-named destination station is very common in areas where large numbers of passengers travel without having previously paid for a ticket where they should have done just that. It is also very common in those places for passengers to lie. This is because, at the stations where the Railway Companies set up these arrangements of Inspectors standing near the 'unpaid fares office' who pull passengers to one side for questionning, there is ample evidence that hundreds (sometimes thousands) of passengers approaching the 'unpaid fares office' to buy more tickets from nearby stations than their head counts tell them the passengers actually board at those stations.
They know their passengers are lying. In large numbers.

It's common on the commuter services into Manchester, London and other local service routes in South Wales and the North West of England.

We can all speculate why their passengers might be lying. What we do know is that thousands of them have been successfully prosecuted for fare evasion, and that thousands of them have made Out-of-Court settlements with the investigating Company to dispose of an evidenced incident of fare evasion.

But before they get there, some of them will write back with their response to the letter they receive - the letter just like yours.

Now, after having probably irritated you by giving you that bit of general background which you probably already know, I'm now going to irritate the literary genius of our country's citizens. I want to classify all of those carefully crafted and very individual replies written by those ticketless passengers into just two categories:
a) those who get straight to the point. They either admit and apologise for travelling without paying when they should have done so, or they assert the simple factual reason that the Railway Company had not provided the working facilities to buy a ticket (and nothing else); and
b) those who have made long reply, present a convoluted story, make obscure references, introduce irrelevant circumstances, or make accusations of other parties' blame (usually the Railway Company is blamed, along with traffic, the time, other people, misfortune, hospitals and illness. Some give the reasons why their life would be inconvenienced by being prosecuted for a crime committed)

Hundreds of passengers a day wrongly name an origin station. It's arguably the second most popular form of passengers defrauding the railway of about £250million a year.
It's not something that passengers do who are not defrauding the industry, and to do so at one of the locations I've mentioned is immediately going to trigger suspicion of a fraud and the false statement of origin will be excellent evidence. On some routes, at some times of day, even naming a station further to the destination than the true origin will be persuasive evidence of a fraud.

The first category of replies are easy to deal with. A quick, and, relatively, low-impact resolution.
The second just makes more work, longer delays, incurs more cost, and leaves the probabilities of outcome very uncertain. And it tends to reduce the prospects for achieving an Out-of-Court settlement. No one will engage with the obscure replies.

So, to get to my point . . . I think that whatever you are trying to say by your obtuse posts on here, you are heading towards the second category.

Its your choice.
Hope this is at least as crystal-clear as your posts!
 
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exile

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That's all well and good, but an RPI's mere suspicion that someone has travelled from a station further away than the one they stated is not sufficient for a successful prosecution.
It would, however, be very helpful if the OP was able to tell us the stations involved as his original post makes little sense.
 

najaB

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That's all well and good, but an RPI's mere suspicion that someone has travelled from a station further away than the one they stated is not sufficient for a successful prosecution.
The OP stated that the RPI filled in a report, and has already stated that they asked for a short fare. There's no reason to believe that the RPI's report doesn't reflect the same.
 

scrapy

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Again without knowing the stations it would be difficult to advise. You say there were no ticket purchasing facilities at your start point yet as you didn't even have time to check the station name how do you know this for sure? Would you have had time to buy a ticket if there were facilities? I am not making judgement, just going through some of the questions you may be asked if the case went to court. Did you make any attempt to find the conductor. If it was a DOO service it is unlikely there was no purchasing facilities.
 

Llanigraham

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Due to congestion around Station A, my wife took me to station B(further back up the line). This station did bit have any ticket facilities. I boarded the train, no conductor came around to allow me to purchase a ticket.
I queued in the unpaid ticket queue.When asked for start point , I declared a town that was near the actual boarding point(slightly further away actually) and said 'near station A' which was crucially closer to the end point.
I was then pulled aside and accused of declaring a shorter journey and cautioned and went through the forms. I was also informed that it may lead to a prosecution.
Sure enough , 2 weeks later(yesterday) I had the letter and I now get the chance to state my case.
I feel that I have mitigating circumstances enough to prevent a prosecution and criminal record:
1)no ticket facilities at start point
2)no conductor on train
3)total misunderstanding when purchasing ticket due to my lack of knowledge of start point station.I ran out of the car and straight onto the train due to the fact it was pulling in.
4)Inspector not willing to listen at the time so i filled out forms, gave my correct details (did i have to?) in order to get to my appointment on time
I would like to gauge the view of this forum before I state my case in my response
Thank you

If I've got this correct the picture looks like:

B ----- A ----- Final city

You were due to get on at A but due to congestion you got on at B.
When you got to "Final City" you were stopped and told the Inspector you got on at A even though you actually got on at B. Is that correct?

Allegedly B has no ticketing arrangements but you can't remember what it is called!

Re your supposed "mitigating circumstances":
1/ Not relevant, since you lied to the Inspector about where you got on.
2/ Not relevant in any way.
3/ Not relevant, and if you can't remember the name of the station how do you know there were no ticketing facilities?
4/ Yes you did have to give your details, otherwise not relevant.
 
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6Gman

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If I've got this correct the picture looks like:

B ----- A ----- Final city

You were due to get on at A but due to congestion you got on at B.
When you got to "Final City" you were stopped and told the Inspector you got on at A even though you actually got on at B. Is that correct?

Would that it was that simple! :D

In his opening post the OP said that he told them he'd come from a town (near station B but further from Final City) "near Station A ... but closer to the end point" (i.e. Final City - I assume).

But in #3 he says that the station (B) "was closer to the town that I quoted at the payment point but further than the city I said it was near to".

I think.

If we are to help the OP he really does need to clarify Station A, Station B, his destination, the Town (near station B) and the City (that he said was near).
 

cjmillsnun

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OP first off you need to go back to the station you actually got on at and confirm which one it is.

Then tell us what the journey on your original ticket is for, and what station you told the RPI and excess fare window you got on at..

For us to help you we need the details.

It's as simple as that really.
 

extendedpaul

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One possible interpretation of the OP's account is that he said he had joined the train further away from his destination than he had done, ie he attempted to pay for a longer journey than he actually made.

Out of interest is that technically still an offence? Say a passenger arrives at London Paddington having boarded at Maidenhead and asks for a ticket from Reading ?
 

najaB

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One possible interpretation of the OP's account is that he said he had joined the train further away from his destination than he had done, ie he attempted to pay for a longer journey than he actually made.
Doesn't read that way to me. And the OP didn't take the opportunity to correct us if that is the case.
Out of interest is that technically still an offence? Say a passenger arrives at London Paddington having boarded at Maidenhead and asks for a ticket from Reading ?
No, you can buy 'long' provided that you are on an appropriate route for the ticket purchased.
 

Greenback

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I feel that I have mitigating circumstances enough to prevent a prosecution and criminal record

I'm afraid I don't agree. I find it rather strange that you knew that there were no ticketing facilities at the station you boarded the train but you didn't know where you were.

Admittedly, you could have found out later that there was no ticket office or machine, but if there had been, you would have been guilty of not buying a ticket before boarding anyway.
 
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