Asked for a ticket from Bridgend, when I had actually travelled from Pyle

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by jayne123, 29 Aug 2015.

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  1. jayne123

    jayne123 Member

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    I know it's my own fault but I am besides myself with worry. I boarded a train at pyle on the 15th of August, I was going out with friends and had a few alcoholic drinks prior to this.

    There are no facilities to buy tickets in Pyle so you usually purchase them on the train. When the conducted passed through the carriage I asked him if we could buy a ticket and he said he was busy and to buy the ticket at the station.

    When we arrived at the station I was laughing with my friend and enjoying the day. When asked where I boarded the train I said Bridgend as we were catching the 11'06 back there that evening. When I was then told there are barriers in Bridgend, I said I got on the train at Pyle but was returning to Bridgend at 11'06. I was then approached by an inspector and asked questions, I admitted saying Bridgend, I was not intending to evade my fare and had not walked up to the desk with the intention of doing so.

    I was travelling back to Bridgend that evening and had stupidly not processed the question correctly. I was questioned in the corridor with a queue of people waiting to buy tickets, by this time I was shaking and sick with worry. I signed my statement and went.

    I have now received a letter through the post which is asking me for any mitigation that I wish to be considered. On the letter it is highlighted in yellow saying there are some areas where prosecution is unavoidable and one of these being knowingly claiming a short journey.

    I am absolutely beside myself as I am a single mother and a qualified nurse and I stand to lose everything, can anybody advise please ?
     
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  3. ian959

    ian959 Member

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    Write back explaining your actions without all the irrelevant stuff, express remorse at being an idiot and ask if they would consider an out of court settlement. You might get lucky if you are very contrite AND concise.

    Being drunk is no excuse, being a single mother is irrelevant, being a nurse is irrelevant. By asking for a ticket from Brigend rather than Pyle, you certainly showed intent to avoid your fare in the eyes of the law. You knew where you got on, you knew where you had to get a ticket from. Simple as that.

    Maybe I am being overly harsh but the TOC has heard every excuse you can think of and more. None of what you have said suggests anything but a definite attempt to short fare. End of.
     
  4. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    Agreed. Stating an incorrect station may be construed as intent to avoid the correct fare, which can open up an opportunity for a Regulation of railways act, which may result in a criminal record upon successful conviction. Being very apologetic and perhaps offering to pay any admin costs may avoid this from occurring. It is harsh but that's how it works unfortunately.
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Am I correct in assuming that you were heading into Cardiff? While you may not have intended it, you asked for a ticket from a station that was has a lower fare than the station at which you actually boarded. I'd love to be able to say that everything is going to be fine but, as it says on the letter, short-faring is something that the railway has been fighting for a long time and something they take a particularly dim view of.

    So the first thing you need to recognise is that you are guilty and will lose if this gets as far as court - as others have pointed out, having a few drinks in doesn't change things.

    So, given the above, your main objective is to avoid this going to court. They have given you the opportunity to put forward any case for mitigation - this is basically your first, best and probably only chance to convince them that a prosecution isn't in anyone's best interest. In your letter you need to leave out any 'waffle' and convey four things:
    • That you recognise what you did was wrong.
    • That you understand that short-faring costs them money
    • That you cost them even more money in investigation and processing costs
    • That you have learned an important lesson and will never do it again.
    There's no guarantee that you will be successful, but please post what you intend to send and we can hopefully provide some further advice.
     
  6. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Even if you are prosecuted and convicted, you are not going to lose everything because of this.

    Follow najaB's advice and there's a reasonable chance you can avoid court altogether.
     
  7. jayne123

    jayne123 Member

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    I have been completely ridiculous, I am in a terrible state at the minute and its all my own fault. I stand to lose my career and home if convicted. Thanks everyone, I will post my letter on here before sending it in.
     
  8. jayne123

    jayne123 Member

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    This is the letter I am going to send

    Can anybody advise ?
     
  9. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    I would include a sentence about how you were returning to your friends in Bridgend.

    Also, if it is that serious for you as a nurse, I would go see a local solicitor* before sending your letter.

    * any local firm who specialises in criminal defence work should be able to assist
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I'd hold off on that until a summons is received. As the TOC's prosecutions team are still gathering evidence there is little a solicitor can do at this stage other than lighten the OP's purse.
     
  11. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The only thing I see wrong with that is the last line doesn't make sense. Did you mean "because of my serious error of judgement" or similar?

    Edit: I agree with 34D that if you bought a return ticket it might be worth mentioning that you only intended to travel back as far as Bridgend so that they don't think you planned to short fare in both directions.
     
    Last edited: 30 Aug 2015
  12. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    A suggestion:

    Dear Sirs,

    Your Ref : xxxxxxx [I assume there is a case reference]

    On 15th August 2015 I travelled from Pyle to Cardiff on one of your trains, intending to return with friends on a later train but to Bridgend. As you will be aware there are no ticket issuing facilities at Pyle and I tried to purchase a ticket from the Conductor on the train but he was busy and advised me to buy at my destination.

    At Cardiff I joined the queue to buy a ticket. When asked from where I had travelled I foolishly said Bridgend (my return destination) rather than Pyle, where I Had started my journey.

    I now realise that this was not only foolish but also a serious offence which can result in court action. I also understand that in addition to the underpayment of the fare your company has to meet the costs of investigating and processing this case.

    I can only apologise for my foolish action and ask whether you would consider settling this matter through an agreement that covers the underpayment together with your administrative costs.

    Sincerely,



    Or something similar?
     
  13. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    I disagree. Proper help with a strategy may be a wise investment.
     
  14. jayne123

    jayne123 Member

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    Thanks to those who have taken the time to advise, I am so distressed at the moment. I am going to send my letter in Monday and await my reply. I am praying they let me settle but what Will be will be, I only have myself to blame.
     
  15. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I recommend you follow the advice from najaB and 6Gman. There is no need at all to involve a solicitor at this stage. Your letter has a reasonable chance of success in getting the matter settle in my view.
     
  16. jayne123

    jayne123 Member

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    I have received a reply from til today, they have offered me an out of court settlement, to say I am happy is an understatement, never again will I disrespect the railway or the employees. I never want to go through this again so a huge life lesson learnt. Also a huge thankyou to gman and najab for your advise, you have helped me so much , not that I deserved it.
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks for updating us.

    That's good news indeed. It's good for you (a weight off your shoulders), the Train Company (they get to keep the settlement without incurring the costs of a court case; a fine awarded by a court would not have gone to them!) and it's a good 'advert' for this forum and helpful for people reading this thread who may be in a similar position (or, in some cases, people might ensure they're not ever in a similar position, having read the potential consequences!)
     
  18. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I'm really glad to hear that you had a positive outcome and you won't have this hanging over your head any more.
     
  19. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Thanks for coming back and letting us know the outcome. I'm glad, but not that surprised, that you achieved an out of court settlement.
     
  20. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Delighted you got a good outcome. Very pleased if you felt my comments were helpful.

    Be careful in the future ('cos a further slip might not be dealt with in that way). And, please, be careful with the pop! It can lead to bad decisions ...

    Good luck.
     
  21. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    How much was the amount they are willing to settle with?
     
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