Can a 16yo be pursued for travelling on a child’s ticket?

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Pete the boy

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I have received a letter from GWR claiming my 16YO daughter was travelling without a valid ticket a few months ago
I have asked for evidence that it was my daughter ( she seems sketchy on the whole incident), but they will offer none. We are going round in circles...I have no issue paying if it’s due,,,she doesn’t think it’s correct..and they will offer no evidence at all....just getting told to pay it or risk court.

As a parent, am I liable for this debt?.can they pursue a minor... does anyone have any experience with this?
 
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najaB

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As a parent, am I liable for this debt?.can they pursue a minor... does anyone have any experience with this?
They can't pursue a minor for a debt, but the age of criminal responsibility in England is 10 years old so they could prosecute if so inclined. (Though most TOCs won't, in most cases).
I have received a letter from GWR claiming my 16YO daughter was travelling without a valid ticket a few months ago
What exactly is being alleged to have happened?
 
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Pete the boy

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They can't pursue a minor for a debt, but the age of criminal responsibility in England is 10 years old so they could prosecute if so inclined. (Though most TOCs won't, in most cases).
What exactly is being alleged to have happened?

they won’t say....just that she was travelling or attempting to travel without a valid ticket.
she was with a group of girls, and I think it’s likely that one of the other girls said she was my daughter. As I mentioned on my post, if it’s due....I will get it paid, but no evidence or clarity is making me want to push back as a point of principle ( up to a point ).
 

najaB

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they won’t say....just that she was travelling or attempting to travel without a valid ticket.
Does she have any evidence that she did, in fact, have a valid ticket? Is she saying that she's 100% confident that she had a valid ticket?
 

gray1404

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How much are they asking for and what is the date of the incident? The person giving your daughters details would have to have been able to give your daughters name and address. So do you think any of the other friends would have been able to do that. Do you think your daughter is being vauge because she has something to hide. In other words, why isn't she saying with certainly to you that she had a ticket and it was X friend who didn't.
 

Pete the boy

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No...she had no evidence that she had the current ticket...they were all a bit drunk and on their way to a festival. All the kids are being vague...as none of them have worked out that we know they had been drinking. I’m guessing she was on a kids ticket...but she’s saying nothing and just looking confused...and fronting it out.
I am mostly hacked off with GWR and their attitude, which is always pay or court! Its
becoming a point of principle...which I know is a bit stupid, but it won’t get to court, as I’ll pay the £39 rather then have it escalate
 

najaB

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No...she had no evidence that she had the current ticket...they were all a bit drunk and on their way to a festival. All the kids are being vague...as none of them have worked out that we know they had been drinking. I’m guessing she was on a kids ticket...but she’s saying nothing and just looking confused...and fronting it out.
Since you can't say for sure that your daughter had a valid ticket then you'll have to accept that it's entirely possible that she did not.
Its becoming a point of principle...which I know is a bit stupid, but it won’t get to court, as I’ll pay the £39 rather then have it escalate
If you're going to stand on a point of principle then you should at least be sure that you're in the right!
 

Pete the boy

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Since you can't say for sure that your daughter had a valid ticket then you'll have to accept that it's entirely possible that she did not.
If you're going to stand on a point of principle then you should at least be sure that you're in the right!

You are right, I’ve asked them to confirm what the issue was...I can then speak to her.
I really do not want to run up a massive legal bill when they are right
 

Fawkes Cat

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In considering when/if to concede, you should bear in mind that the amount due to the railway escalates quite quickly. If I've understood things properly, your daughter is currently being asked to pay £39. That's most likely the amount of the unpaid fare. If GWR don't receive payment of this within whatever timescale they have offered, then they may well move to prosecution. At that point, the only guaranteed way to bring the matter to an end will be to either plead guilty or face trial and risk conviction: in either case, the result will be a fine, plus costs, plus victim surcharge. These will add up to more than £39 - probably a few hundreds of pounds. It may be possible to get GWR to agree an out of court settlement - but that will also be more than £39 in that they will want their costs paying as well - expect a total of over £100.

It may, of course, be the case that your daughter is innocent of the charge, or that GWR's evidence is insufficient to achieve a successful prosecution. In these cases, then there may be nothing to fear. But the quickest way to make the issue go away is to pay the £39 now.
 

Pete the boy

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In considering when/if to concede, you should bear in mind that the amount due to the railway escalates quite quickly. If I've understood things properly, your daughter is currently being asked to pay £39. That's most likely the amount of the unpaid fare. If GWR don't receive payment of this within whatever timescale they have offered, then they may well move to prosecution. At that point, the only guaranteed way to bring the matter to an end will be to either plead guilty or face trial and risk conviction: in either case, the result will be a fine, plus costs, plus victim surcharge. These will add up to more than £39 - probably a few hundreds of pounds. It may be possible to get GWR to agree an out of court settlement - but that will also be more than £39 in that they will want their costs paying as well - expect a total of over £100.

It may, of course, be the case that your daughter is innocent of the charge, or that GWR's evidence is insufficient to achieve a successful prosecution. In these cases, then there may be nothing to fear. But the quickest way to make the issue go away is to pay the £39 now.

i agree, well put!
 

malc-c

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...they were all a bit drunk and on their way to a festival. All the kids are being vague...as none of them have worked out that we know they had been drinking. I’m guessing she was on a kids ticket...but she’s saying nothing and just looking confused...and fronting it out.
I am mostly hacked off with GWR and their attitude, which is always pay or court! Its
becoming a point of principle...which I know is a bit stupid, but it won’t get to court, as I’ll pay the £39 rather then have it escalate

Underage drinking.... tut tut :) - Kids eh !

Having raised three children, the youngest of which is nearly 18, I always find that if they are vague or not forthcoming with details when asked then chances are there is more to the story than what they are letting on. :) Best advice, pay the £39 stated in the letter and get on with your life. As others have said, this could escalate into a much larger fine or worse a criminal conviction for your daughter.
 

Pete the boy

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Underage drinking.... tut tut :) - Kids eh !

Having raised three children, the youngest of which is nearly 18, I always find that if they are vague or not forthcoming with details when asked then chances are there is more to the story than what they are letting on. :) Best advice, pay the £39 stated in the letter and get on with your life. As others have said, this could escalate into a much larger fine or worse a criminal conviction for your daughter.

you know it!! Lol
 

Darandio

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I am mostly hacked off with GWR and their attitude, which is always pay or court! Its
becoming a point of principle...which I know is a bit stupid, but it won’t get to court, as I’ll pay the £39 rather then have it escalate

I'm not sure what other option you expect? Pay up, go to court or we'll let you off? :lol:

You do mention that it's always like this, has there been previous here?
 

Cowley

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Underage drinking.... tut tut :) - Kids eh !

Having raised three children, the youngest of which is nearly 18, I always find that if they are vague or not forthcoming with details when asked then chances are there is more to the story than what they are letting on. :) Best advice, pay the £39 stated in the letter and get on with your life. As others have said, this could escalate into a much larger fine or worse a criminal conviction for your daughter.
You’re so so right about that!
 

TurbostarFan

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I have received a letter from GWR claiming my 16YO daughter was travelling without a valid ticket a few months ago
I have asked for evidence that it was my daughter ( she seems sketchy on the whole incident), but they will offer none. We are going round in circles...I have no issue paying if it’s due,,,she doesn’t think it’s correct..and they will offer no evidence at all....just getting told to pay it or risk court.

As a parent, am I liable for this debt?.can they pursue a minor... does anyone have any experience with this?
I would advise paying and then appealing against the charge afterwards.
 

Pete the boy

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I'm not sure what other option you expect? Pay up, go to court or we'll let you off? :lol:

You do mention that it's always like this, has there been previous here?


The other option is to look at the evidence before going to court and make a balanced judgement......and the “always “:is the sequence of emails we have exchanged trying to resolve this.
To be sent a fine for a 3rd party....with no information as to what has actually happened .....no opportunity to confirm who the GMR guy actually spoke with....and be told pay it...or go to court seems wrong to me?
In summary...no previous, just a bloke who hates letters that threaten court with no information as to exactly why...no phone numbers...and admin people with an amazing attitude whereby they can seemingly do what they want under the railways act( or whatever it’s called )
 

Islineclear3_1

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Your daughter travelled using a child ticket to which she was not entitled. She should have paid the adult fare.

Pay the £39 now to make this go away

Then sit down with your daughter; explain the seriousness of what she has done and teach her some financial responsility. She is at the age now where she should have some understanding of the consequences of her actions and wrongdoing
 

ComUtoR

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It's actually quite simple.

Did she have a valid ticket :

Yes - Challenge it.
No - Pay up.

Are kids honest, not always. Will you find out the truth, probably not. Personally, I see my job as a parent is to help educate them. Sit them down and discuss the need to purchase a valid ticket and the importance of being honest when challenged. Help them understand the impact their actions have and the importance of personal responsibility. If this was either of my kids; I'd make them cough up the cash.
 

gray1404

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I agree that GWR should be giving you some details as to what the request for payment is if they haven't already as you're the parent of the child. In their letter, going my parents who have received posted previous letters from them (or other First Group train operators), the letter should normally: be addressed to the parent, state the journey made and the date and then a breakdown of the charge. For example X amount is the unpaid fare and X amount is an administration fee to bring about a total of.

I do recall a case on here of a parent who was unhappy with a train company, which was also a member of First Group like GWR, in relation to an unpaid fare for their child. The parent phoned them up and the end result was they only paid the unpaid fare element and the matter was closed there and then over the phone. I think this parent was clear that they were not happy at the charge on top of the fare. However, each case is different and we'd need to know exactly what was said in the letter you have received.

My understanding is that most train companies do not take minors to court usually. Of course, we can't say they won't but it is very rare indeed that they take a matter through the youth courts. This is more likely to be done in the case of staff assault or persistent and ongoing failing to buy a ticket.
 

Pete the boy

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Your daughter travelled using a child ticket to which she was not entitled. She should have paid the adult fare.

Pay the £39 now to make this go away

Then sit down with your daughter; explain the seriousness of what she has done and teach her some financial responsility. She is at the age now where she should have some understanding of the consequences of her actions and wrongdoing


It's actually quite simple.

Did she have a valid ticket :

Yes - Challenge it.
No - Pay up.

Are kids honest, not always. Will you find out the truth, probably not. Personally, I see my job as a parent is to help educate them. Sit them down and discuss the need to purchase a valid ticket and the importance of being honest when challenged. Help them understand the impact their actions have and the importance of personal responsibility. If this was either of my kids; I'd make them cough up the cash.

she will certainly be paying if it’s due, my issue is more a letter from the Train co. with no detail demanding money.. all I’ve asked is for some details ie..nat was the
Your daughter travelled using a child ticket to which she was not entitled. She should have paid the adult fare.

Pay the £39 now to make this go away

Then sit down with your daughter; explain the seriousness of what she has done and teach her some financial responsility. She is at the age now where she should have some understanding of the consequences of her actions and wrongdoing


I mentioned that I suspect a child’s ticket as she had literally just turned 16 so probably chanced her arm....all I’ve asked for is some clarification as to what she has done or not done so I can speak to her.
Thank you for your parenting advice, as any parent will agree...it’s always much appreciated and prized.
 
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Chew Chew

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I agree that GWR should be giving you some details as to what the request for payment is if they haven't already as you're the parent of the child. I

Are there any GDPR implications here hence the lack of information the TOC are willing to share with a 3rd party?
 

Llanigraham

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Are there any GDPR implications here hence the lack of information the TOC are willing to share with a 3rd party?

As far as I understand it, if she is over 16, then yes they will not provide the details to a third party without her permission.
 

Chew Chew

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Yet the TOC is happy demand money from the parent.

Have we seen the 'demand' to the parent?


Maybe getting a bit off topic anyway but the only time when I was 'vague' to my parents was when I was in the wrong.
 

SteveM70

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If your daughter *did* have a ticket, I’m guessing it would’ve cost ~£20 (if the amount they’re chasing is £39) which if my kids (of similar age) are anything to go by would have been paid by card/phone/watch/whatever rather than cash, and therefore there’d be a record of the transaction.
 

malc-c

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As far as I understand it, if she is over 16, then yes they will not provide the details to a third party without her permission.

This is where things really need tightening up. The 16-18 year old period is such a grey area in terms of not being an adult in some organisations, but not been classed as a child so information can not be discussed with the parents. Even the government have got things wrong... Kids at 16 can lawfully have sex, but can't buy an adult magazine from a newsagent and read about it until they are 18... There are so many examples like this for 16-18 year old's it makes life very confusing for them and their parents !
 

Brissle Girl

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but can't buy an adult magazine from a newsagent and read about it until they are 18...
I think you might be showing your age...I'm vaguely aware that there are other ways of accessing such information these days that don't require having a long reach.:lol:
 

malc-c

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I think you might be showing your age...I'm vaguely aware that there are other ways of accessing such information these days that don't require having a long reach.:lol:

True (or so I've been told) - but the last time I popped into WH Smiths to pick up a copy of Rail magazine, the top shelf still contained such magazines (age.. yeah when I was 16 magazines or VHS tape was the only source of educational material :) )
 
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