Big day in court for GWR

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Bluejays

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The following cases were heard at Reading Magistrates’ Court:

February 11:


GARTH BANNISTER, 34, of Cheriton Court, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on October 16, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £2 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.

LAYMAR COLLINS, 27, of Fair Isle Way, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on October 8, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £2 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.
LODEMELA CROCKFORD, 55, of Silver Street, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on August 31, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £5.20 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs
ROBERY FORD, 29, of Henry Street, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Oxford on October 6, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £15.70 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.


PETER HILLS, 52, of Horn Street, Newbury, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Tilehurst on October 9, 2020. Fined £220. Also ordered to pay £4.70 compensation and £150 court costs.
ZAINAB KALOKOH, 23, of Granville Road, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on OCtober 24, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £21.20 compensation. Must also pay £150 court costs.

DEYONE MARSHALL, 31, of Beech Road, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on October 8, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £2 compensation. Must also pay £150 court costs.

THOKOZANI MOEBWE, 25, of Hazel Crescent, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Maidenhead on September 25, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £20.60 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.
KELLY RHONE, 38, of Military Drive, West Berkshire, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on September 24, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £6.20 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.

KERRIE RHONE, 41, of Military Drive, West Berkshire, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Reading on September 29, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £6.20 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.

ANTON ROBERTSON, 26, of Whitley Street, Reading, convicted of not being in a designated compulsory ticket area for train travel in Windsor & Eton on August 31, 2020. Fined £220 and ordered to pay £4 compensation. Must also pay £150 court costs.



Looks like GWR are really taking a prosecute first approach at the moment. Lots in Reading Court yesterday , £200 fine, £150 costs plus the ticket price . Some expensive lessons learnt
 
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richw

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Fined £220 and ordered to pay £2 compensation. Also ordered to pay £150 court costs.
That was an expensive £2 saved!

(Quote taken from link in OP)
 

Horizon22

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I wonder how many were convicted in their absence? I remember seeing a similar news article like this and it stated that pretty much everyone wasn't there.
 

CW2

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Surely a mistake with the reporting? They have all been convicted of "not being in a designated ticket area..." Shouldn't this be "...not being in possession of a valid ticket in a designated ticket area ...?
 

Bluejays

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Surely a mistake with the reporting? They have all been convicted of "not being in a designated ticket area..." Shouldn't this be "...not being in possession of a valid ticket in a designated ticket area ...?
I thought the same, the wording doesn't really make sense. Was surprised to see it repeated in every description.
 

Gloster

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I hope it is a mistake, most likely by the journalist. If not, then GWR will be able to fine just about everybody in the country who isn’t on a train, which would do wonders for their profits. (Flippant, maybe, but getting words right is important. Particularly when you are dealing with the law.)
 
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Haywain

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Looks like GWR are really taking a prosecute first approach at the moment.
That’s a strange assumption to make from just one press report, who proves nothing of the sort.
 

ComUtoR

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Where does the money go ?

My guess :
£150 in costs goes to the court.

Is this the actual court where the case was held ? Or a central office that pays staff etc ?

Compensation sounds like the train fare so this would go back to the TOC.

Where does the fine go ? If this doesn't go back to the TOC then surely the TOC is losing money by taking people to court ? Going to court to recover a £2 fare feels ludicrous and is surely an overall loss.

Cheers in advance.
 

Brissle Girl

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If nothing else, the publicity of such cases should discourage some potential fare evaders, both in terms of the cost if caught and the possibility of a criminal record.
 

Hadders

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Looks like GWR are really taking a prosecute first approach at the moment. Lots in Reading Court yesterday , £200 fine, £150 costs plus the ticket price . Some expensive lessons learnt
I doubt it's a change in policy from GWR. This is likely to be people that have been written to by GWR but have not engaged with them. They most likely think the problem will go away if they don't reply.

Is it really appropriate to list people's addresses? Invasion of privacy. Aren't the forum staff going to do anything?
The information is already in the public domain.
 

reb0118

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Where does the money go ?

My guess :
£150 in costs goes to the court.

I suspect these are prosecution costs so go to the TOC in question.

Compensation sounds like the train fare so this would go back to the TOC.

Correct.

Where does the fine go

This goes to into the court system.

AFAIAA there are also court costs & a (general) victim surcharge on top of what was quoted in the article.
 

DarloRich

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Looks like GWR are really taking a prosecute first approach at the moment. Lots in Reading Court yesterday , £200 fine, £150 costs plus the ticket price . Some expensive lessons learnt
Suspect most of those were convicted in absence - it was always the same with housing cases. You would get through 20 evictions on an open and shut, in absence, basis for every one you dealt with in person. If someone turned up, was honest and not a repeat offender most of the time the judge would not approve an eviction. They tended to give people time to come up with something, anything to do a deal.
 

swt_passenger

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I thought the same, the wording doesn't really make sense. Was surprised to see it repeated in every description.
They’ve “abbreviated out” completely the wrong part of the official summary, I expect. AIUI in any report of a byelaw 18 offence, the court will include the bit about “while not in a compulsory ticket area…” to make it clear that section 18 is being used, or put the other way round, why section 17 isn’t being used...
 

WesternLancer

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Looks like GWR are really taking a prosecute first approach at the moment. Lots in Reading Court yesterday , £200 fine, £150 costs plus the ticket price . Some expensive lessons learnt
Not necessarily - every chance this is the list of 'prosecute last' - ie people who have failed to engage with GWR at an earlier stage.

I wonder how many of them manage to evade paying up even now...

These sorts of court lists - not just railway fare prosecutions of course - are space fillers for local papers and always have been (if you look at family history sites / articles and even TV programmes like BBC 'Who Do You think you are' they often provide a source of info on people / relatives in decades past, as they get published and can then be found in local newspaper archive records decades later) - I suspect filling column inches with court lists is even more the case now that the local press is very much starved of income for journalists with time to do other more time consuming reporting.

Also may have thew wider benefit of deterring others of course.
 

Bluejays

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Not necessarily - every chance this is the list of 'prosecute last' - ie people who have failed to engage with GWR at an earlier stage.

I wonder how many of them manage to evade paying up even now...

These sorts of court lists - not just railway fare prosecutions of course - are space fillers for local papers and always have been (if you look at family history sites / articles and even TV programmes like BBC 'Who Do You think you are' they often provide a source of info on people / relatives in decades past, as they get published and can then be found in local newspaper archive records decades later) - I suspect filling column inches with court lists is even more the case now that the local press is very much starved of income for journalists with time to do other more time consuming reporting.

Also may have thew wider benefit of deterring others of course.
Very good points. I'd heard whispers from some of our revenue guys, that a more confrontational approach is being taken in lots of cases. But to be fair, I think I may have taken 2 plus 2 and made 5 in this case. I suppose in a lot of ways court stories are the original ' clickbait' for local papers
 

WesternLancer

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Looks like GWR are really taking a prosecute first approach at the moment. Lots in Reading Court yesterday , £200 fine, £150 costs plus the ticket price . Some expensive lessons learnt
A quick web search of a few of the names indicates at least some of these are people who seem to be known to the court system for other offences. I suspect engaging with GWR is not likely to be their usual approach....

eg these older reports as examples


"Rhone, 31, of Military Drive, Thatcham, received an eight-month suspended sentence for handling stolen goods, as well as a 16-week suspended sentence for theft after admitting to forcing Kyle Parker to withdraw money from a cash machine. The sentences will run consecutively and will be suspended for 12 months. Rhone was also sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work"

and

"Investigating officer PC Marcus Bridger-Wilkinson, of the Reading stronghold team, said: "Thames Valley Police will not tolerate the carrying of any weapons in a public place, and I am pleased that he has been convicted of this offence.

He was charged via postal requisition with the offence on February 6. Marshall, of Beech Road, Reading, has been bailed to appear at the same court for sentencing on Wednesday December 9"


I suppose in a lot of ways court stories are the original ' clickbait' for local papers
The "original clickbait" - yes, I guess you are spot on, very well put :lol:
 

6Gman

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I also wonder how much money will actually be squeezed out of these offenders?
 

FenMan

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And here's another recent article from the same source that deals with the more serious offenders. The multiples of the unpaid fares are eye-watering.


Extract (click on the link above for the complete article):-

A DAY in court is rarely a good day, and for train fare dodgers, they’re often very bad days. Several people who failed to pay their rail fares and subsequently neglected to pay up after being asked too appeared in Reading Magistrates Court last week. Some of them paid huge amounts worth several times more than the fee they were originally supposed to pay.
Here are five Berkshire train-ticket dodgers who will have to pay huge fines.

Sadeque Ali, of High Street, Burnham, was told to fork out £440 in fines plus costs of £180 after he skipped a £1.60 train fare travelling via Great Western Railway in December last year.
The 48-year-old, who was caught out while in Slough, was also told to pay compensation costs of £45.60 at Reading Magistrates Court on April 23. In total he will pay £665.60 in fines and costs - 416 times more than he would have originally paid purchasing the ticket.

A similar incident also from December last year will see a Slough woman stump up £667.50 in fines, costs and compensation after she refused to pay a £3.50 rail fare ... article continues
 

Kite159

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RPIs must have been busy at Reading West/Tilehurst stations to pick up all those people who think payment is optional
 

WesternLancer

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RPIs must have been busy at Reading West/Tilehurst stations to pick up all those people who think payment is optional
Well, I think for some people, and often in varying walks of life, they do think fare payment is optional. The culture seems deep seated and of course that is part of the problem for those people who make genuine mistakes and end up caught up in the process. Not always easy for staff / TOCs to show discretion I suspect as a result of this attitude.
 

island

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Given the flat fines of £220 i.e. 50% of the assumed weekly income when someone does not turn up/provide proof of income, I expect the vast majority were dealt with in the offenders' absence.
 

WesternLancer

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The addresses may be in the public domain (i.e. in a media article) but I don't agree they should be perpetuated further in a public forum. For the benefits of confidentiality, I would have at least redacted them.
It's an argument, tho even in the original newspaper report the full address is not listed. I suspect it's a commonly held view that part of the punishment for a criminal offence is that your wider peers (ie the general public) will know you have been found guilt of a crime. There's even a public value in it - eg I might not want the bank where I place my savings to be lending money them. But for this forum it's up to the mods I guess. Anyone can follow the link without the cut and paste of the content I suppose.
 

Islineclear3_1

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Personally, I am uncomfortable with this. The full address might not be listed but it still identifies the individuals concerned. It's called Information Governance which I practice carefully in my line of work.

Unless the sensitive information is actually in the public domain, the media should not be re-publishing it, otherwise this would be illegal.

I would just use "good practice" on a public forum and redact the addresses - especially if the people concerned have previously come onto the Disputes Forum for advice
 
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WesternLancer

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Personally, I am uncomfortable with this. The full address might not be listed but it still identifies the individuals concerned. It's called Information Governance which I practice carefully in my line of work.

Unless the sensitive information is actually in the public domain, the media should not be re-publishing it, otherwise this would be illegal.

I would just use "good practice" on a public forum and redact the addresses - especially if the people concerned have previously come onto the Disputes Forum for advice
But it IS in the public domain - usually posted up at the court for all to read I believe. Or you can go to the court room public gallery and listen to the case.

Some may even regard that it is an important safeguard against miscarriages of justice that such info is in the public domain ("hang on a minute, my mate Jo Bloggs can't have been fare dodging at Tilehurst, as it says in the paper, as he was staying with me in Aberdeen at the time, someone must have used a false name and address, I need to tell him so that he can get the record put straight or he will be down with a false criminal record")

On the balance of probabilities I don't think every newspaper all over the country would be reporting court cases illegally, and never have been challenged on it.

It's only because of the internet that means you no longer have to visit a newsagent in Reading or walk down to the court building in Reading to find out what happens there.

And no way of knowing if these people have come to the forum for advice, since most people do so anonymously (I very much doubt they have however), so no link can be made relating to the cases listed in this newspaper and thread on this forum, I would not think.
 
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pdeaves

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Unless the sensitive information is actually in the public domain, the media should not be re-publishing it
It is. The Reading Chronicle hasn't gone out looking for addresses, simply printed the information supplied by the court (which, I assume but do not actually know, is published in official legal-type places). Likewise, on this forum the original poster hasn't gone looking for addresses, just copied info from a public web page.
 

Bluejays

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Just to add, it's actually the forum rules that caused this. I originally just posted the link to the article, this provides the headline and allows people to click through. It also means that address info etc, is only available for as long as the original publication continue to publish it.

I was contacted quite soon by a moderator who told me to edit my post by pasting in the text of the article. It's a stupid rule admittedly, but it's the rule of the forum and they seem keen on enforcing it.
 

Islineclear3_1

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That's fine, but perhaps the forum mods should reconsider its stance on republishing sensitive personal information. Just because the media have gotten hold of it and published it, doesn't mean its right. Everyone has a right to privacy unless they've committed really serious offences where it's in the public interest to know. Ticketing offences are not in the same league

In my line of work, if I passed on sensitive information to those who have no need to know it, I would be promptly sacked. I don't believe the media should be allowed to either, but that's OT here
 
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