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Carnet problem - solicitor recommendation and any other comments?

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cantabrigian

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Can anyone recommend a solicitor to deal with a case of alleged fare evasion, preferably one based in Cambridge (but more important to have someone suitably qualified than someone right on the spot)? It is not yet clear to me whether I need one or not but it would be good to have some ideas in case I do, as I am guessing I may have to move quickly when the time comes.

There is a lot I could say about the facts but in brief, I have a problem with a badly completed carnet ticket (I am learning that they are not very easy to write on and it appears from other threads on this board that I am not alone in this?) that gave the ticket inspector and the other person (who I think is called an RPI, revenue protection inspector?) with him the impression that it might have been re-used. I know it wasn't re-used and I answered all the questions I was asked truthfully so in principle perhaps I should have nothing to fear but what I have been reading suggests that it may not be as simple as that. At the moment, I am waiting for the TOC to write to me to tell me what it proposes to do next.

Meantime, can anyone help me with the following?

- When I should expect to hear from them (I have been waiting nearly two weeks now but Easter has been in the way meantime)?

- What are the TOC's options now? I think it can just accept what I said and take things no further (but even though this the first time) I'm not optimistic it will because although I know I didn't re-use the ticket, even if they believe me in the end they may need more information before they see my point. And I don't think they will ask me for a penalty fare because it is presumably not their case that I didn't have a ticket, rather that I had one but was trying to rip them off with it. But at this point I get confused about railway bylaws [17 and 20?] and the 1889 Act - are there two levels of possible action against me with differing consequences in terms of whether they lead to a criminal record and different severities of punishment in terms of fines and (although this seems unlikely?) jail sentences etc?

- Supposing they do go forward with whatever sort of action against me, how specific will their allegation be? Do they have to say "we believe you previously used this ticket on day X" or just "we believe you used it more than once"? I ask because the tickets were printed three days before all of this took place and although I can provide evidence as to what I was doing on all of the days in between (specifically - I was basically at home apart from short trips out that didn't involve getting on any trains), I think they think I used it on a specific prior day (one day before I actually did) and it would be less work to provide evidence just for that day.

- I see comments here about settlement out of court (although there does not seem to be consensus on how likely that is in a case like this); would that be offered up front by the TOC or would it have to be requested by me and if so when, and can an offer to settle be taken as any kind of admission of guilt? Distinct from some other users here, I haven't "done anything wrong" (see below) so apologising (other than for consuming everyone's time) doesn't help me much and any kind of admission is not very attractive in case push really comes to shove and I have to defend myself in court in the end (for professional reasons, even if I can afford the fine I can't accept a criminal record, so no real choice but to fight even to the level of an appeal).

- I know I haven't "done anything wrong" in the sense that I bought a ticket for a journey and then I took that journey, in addition to which my carnet did clearly include the correct date (the problem being that it's messy, ie it has the correct date but - they seem to think - other information too) but can I still have committed an offence by making a mistake and if so does that carry the same penalty or a lesser one?

- How quickly do I have to react when the TOC does contact me and do I have to react in full including all the evidence I can bring to bear or is there some more gradual dialogue? This is the sort of issue that could probably be sorted out by correspondence but if there is a strict, formal process I fear it will get quite nasty quite fast.

- Does the TOC have to prove that I re-used the ticket or do I have to prove I didn't, and what standards of proof apply? I can demonstrate fairly effectively that it is unlikely (even highly unlikely) I re-used the ticket because I can show via various electronic records that, basically, I did not go far from my home on the relevant days but of course proving a negative is never easy. I can paint a pretty good picture but not so good that no alternative conspiracy theory could ever be put forward by someone sufficiently paranoid ...

- How seriously would witness evidence be taken? My family could for example declare "he was at home all weekend, didn't go anywhere" and for the work days I could get testimony from colleagues (and of course give a statement myself) but I'm conscious that these are all people connected to me so I don't know what attitude is taken to that.

I'm also conscious that some or all of these may be dumb questions (fortunately I don't have any previous experience of this) so apologies if that is the case, but any comments anyone can supply would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Cantabrigian
 
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DaveNewcastle

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I will answer a few of your questions, in no particular order :

The most likely offence to be investigated would be 'altering' the ticket, which is associated with a presumption of an attempt to defraud. This is a Criminal matter, and so the standard of proof will be 'beyond all reasonable doubt'. But it is the 'altering' of the ticket which must be established to that standard.

If there is also evidence of an 'intent' to defraud, then S.5 of the RoRA Act may be invoked. Evidence of that allegation must achieve the same standard, and, which, if successfully prosecuted, would result in a Criminal Record entry.

If there was evidence of you re-useing the carnet, then the question of altering the ticket would be peripheral to the fraudulent abuse. But if it is a matter of fact that you had not, and had never, re-used a carnet ticket, then it seems implausible that the Investigator will have any evidence suggesting that you had. In which case, it is sterile to consider that further.

Yes, you can, inadvertently, commit an offence by mistake, but most 'mistakes' would be incompatible with an 'intent' to defraud, and therefore would not be an RoRA S.5 recordable offence.

It may be a few more days to a few more months until you are contacted. When you are, it will most probably be from an investigating Officer who will have received the report from the front-line Inspector. If so, you will asked to provide more information to assist in that investigation, then you should clearly state the relevant facts of the matter.

Yes, Out-of-Court settlements are widely accepted resolutions to ticketing incidents on the railways. The Judiciary supports attempts to resolve matters out-of-court.

Any local law firm which specialises in Criminal Defence work will have someone who can assist you.

Witness Statements from persons willing to confirm that you did not travel on any date that you might find you are accused of travelling with an altered carnet may be of some assistance, if and when you find that such as accusation is made against you. Sworn Witness Statements are taken very seriously. But as no such accusation appears to be likely, then that would seem an unneccessary action. You appear only to be under investigation for the 'altering' of a carnet ticket.

If there is some evidence that you have travelled on other occasions with a misused carnet, then I'm sure you will already be aware of it.

Criminal Records are not negotiable, (cannot avoided by you preferring not to have one), or can you reverse one simply by chosing to Appeal on the basis of some evidence which you fail to introduce at the time of conviction or a matter of law which isn't argued at the time of conviction. An Appeal against a decision of a lower Court will succeed only of the basis of the facts or the applicable law. If there is Evidence of a Criminal Offence and you are convicted on the basis of that Evidence and that Law, then what basis do you guess might exist to support an Appeal against such a conviction? I have to assume that, either, you are speculating without any justification, or there is some justification for the speculation which you have not explained on here.
 
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najaB

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Does the TOC have to prove that I re-used the ticket or do I have to prove I didn't, and what standards of proof apply?
Just thought I'd expand on one point in DaveNewcastle's comprehensive reply. One likely line of investigation that the TOC will follow is that you altered the ticket so that it could be used on more than one occasion (and not necessarily that you actually used it multiple times).

How confident are you that the ticket, if subjected to forensic examination, will fail to support the supposition that the date was altered? In other words, did you write the date once and the ink then smudged, or did you 'go over' the date in an attempt to make it clearer?

If the former then you can be reasonably confident that the matter will be resolved swiftly and with the minimum of fuss. If the latter then it is likely that it will take some time to reach a satisfactory outcome.
 

jon0844

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Isn't an ongoing problem in these cases that there isn't any forensic examination done, nor are the tickets handled in such a way that you could be sure that a ticket wasn't tampered with after being taken?

It seems TOCs just rely on intimidation (or perhaps an admission) to get a result.
 

jon0844

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Remember what happened when they tried it against someone working at the BBC.

You'd think that if a TOC wanted to catch those that DO tamper with their tickets (and I'm sure a fair few do, as it's clearly easy to change some numbers like a 1 to a 7 or a 1 to a 4 etc) then RPIs should perhaps have evidence bags that can be securely sealed? Without that, surely any prosecution is doomed to fail unless someone actually owns up?
 

cantabrigian

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Thanks very much to everyone for these comments, which are very helpful.

Jon - certainly on this occasion the ticket was not placed in an evidence bag in my sight or anything like that. Whether the TOC plans to make any forensic investigation or not, I don't know but I doubt it. I guess it would depend on exactly what they think I did but I'm not sure it would add much to them saying it looks funny and me trying to explain how it got that way.

NajaB - If they did do a forensic investigation, I have not actually seen the ticket for quite a while now so it's hard to be clear but from what I recall, "go over" probably describes it better than "smudge". If you looked at it microscopically, I think the ticket would at least look more complicated than one that I'd had no difficulty completing.

Dave - My point about an appeal is only that if I were convicted but advised that the lower court was arguably wrong, it might be worth me pursuing this (on the same evidence, as you say) via an appeal rather than simply accepting it even though it would cost more than paying the fine. However, I would need to understand better the consequences of a criminal record for an offence of this nature before deciding on that so clearly you're right that this is all speculation at a point when I don't even know what happens several steps earlier in the chain.

On the good side, I do know for sure that I didn't intend to defraud anyone (and that the TOC has lost no money because I used one ticket for one journey, not one for multiple journeys) so that is something. So if I were not prosecuted under the RoRA but was held (inadvertently but that doesn't seem to matter) to have "altered" the ticket, would I still have a criminal record? Some of the other threads here seem to suggest not but maybe that is just wishful thinking.

Also, just to be clear, suppose the TOC now writes to ask me for details and I write back, what sort of form should that take? Obviously I need to say what I think happened, but do they care about evidence at that point or does that come only later if they decide to prosecute when they've heard my side of the story? I don't think I have much if any evidence about any alleged "alteration" (only to the effect that I could not have been re-using the ticket so if I'm not accused of that, maybe it's not relevant).
 

najaB

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TNajaB - If they did do a forensic investigation, I have not actually seen the ticket for quite a while now so it's hard to be clear but from what I recall, "go over" probably describes it better than "smudge". If you looked at it microscopically, I think the ticket would at least look more complicated than one that I'd had no difficulty completing.
That makes matters a little more complicated, but nothing that can't be sorted.
So if I were not prosecuted under the RoRA but was held (inadvertently but that doesn't seem to matter) to have "altered" the ticket, would I still have a criminal record? Some of the other threads here seem to suggest not but maybe that is just wishful thinking.
That is correct. If they attempt to bring a prosecution for presenting an altered ticket then that would be a Byelaw offence, which wouldn't carry a criminal record.
Also, just to be clear, suppose the TOC now writes to ask me for details and I write back, what sort of form should that take? Obviously I need to say what I think happened, but do they care about evidence at that point or does that come only later if they decide to prosecute when they've heard my side of the story?
Just reply with a statement of facts and answer any questions in their letter. What, if any, evidence you should provide will depend on what, if anything, they choose to accuse you of doing.
 

cantabrigian

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Thank you; that helps a great deal.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
NajaB - on reflection, if you have a few minutes more, I have a question. I'm struggling with the difference, if any, between alteration and alteration with/without intent to defraud. You said:

One likely line of investigation that the TOC will follow is that you altered the ticket so that it could be used on more than one occasion (and not necessarily that you actually used it multiple times).
What does that mean exactly? This makes total sense in general but what sort of alteration means a ticket could be used twice? So for example, in one of the other threads in this board, there was a case where the passenger was accused of turning a 17 into 19, with the implication that he travelled (or could have travelled?) on the 17th and the 19th of the month on the same ticket. Is that the sort of change you mean and if so would it matter if he could prove that he never did travel on the 17th?

Logically, I would say that even if he did turn the 17 into a 19, unless he had already used it once, he was not altering the ticket in a way that meant it could be used twice because it had not already been used once (or more generally in a way intended to defraud the TOC because they were going to lose no money when he travelled, once, on the 19th). On the other hand, regardless of whether he used it once or twice, he would have been altering it in a way that made it look like it could *have been* used twice. Is that what you mean and if so is that still a breach of byelaw 20 on altering tickets (or the byelaw requiring a "valid" ticket, if this action makes it invalid)?
 

najaB

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The post quoting went a little wrong, but I got the idea. :)
I'm struggling with the difference, if any, between alteration and alteration with/without intent to defraud.
With the usual caveat that I'm not a lawyer, my understanding is that a carnet ticket is only valid if it is clearly and correctly filled in - so if it looked like it had been altered you would be in breach of Byelaw 18.1

If it isn't just unclear, but appears that it's been altered so that it can be reused - your example of changing a 7 into a 9 is a typical one - puts you in breach of Byelaw 20.1. Note that you don't actually have to attempt to use it, merely be in possession of it.

Presenting it for inspection would put you in breach of Byelaw 20.2.
 

cantabrigian

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Well, I meant to make a new post with a quote but in the end I got an edited one with a sort-of quote. So I am almost as good at this as at filling in tickets!

This is useful, thank you. In fact the conditions of the carnet don't seem to say exactly that, just that it has to be validated in permanent ink before commencing the journey but I am guessing "validated" means clearly and correctly filled in. It is also interesting that the "intent" aspect seems to be so weakly relevant when in a moral sense there is an obvious difference between a dishonest practice intended to defraud someone and an honest error that can't defraud anyone (eg if on the 19th of the month, the passenger mistakenly writes 17th, corrects to 19th and then gets on a train right away). But that's the law for you; sometimes form gets the better of substance.
 

najaB

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It is also interesting that the "intent" aspect seems to be so weakly relevant when in a moral sense there is an obvious difference between a dishonest practice intended to defraud someone and an honest error that can't defraud anyone.
It's a common thing in law. Usually, 'intent' is determined by the action rather than what was in your mind. 'Correcting' a ticket such that it could be used twice, is enough to say that you have demonstrated intent to do so.
 

cantabrigian

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Sure. I don't agree but I don't make the rules.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sorry, me again ...

You have explained that a byelaw offence does not carry a criminal record but is it still legally a "criminal offence"? Dave's post said it was a criminal matter so I assume yes.

Also, does anyone know how, if at all, it would affect travel under the US visa waiver program (or to other countries but the VWP is my main interest). I think the answer may be that it's not relevant and doesn't have to be declared when applying for visa waiver (and even if it is, I don't suppose it would stop someone getting an actual visa) but I can't tell for sure. More an immigration matter, though, so I may need to ask elsewhere for this.
 

DaveNewcastle

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You have explained that a byelaw offence does not carry a criminal record but is it still legally a "criminal offence"? Dave's post said it was a criminal matter so I assume yes.
I'll quote from a post that I make regularly:
Whether or not a Conviction leads to an entry on the Criminal Records computer that might be disclosed during a standard DBS check depends on whether the offence is :
  • listed in the National Police Records (Recordable Offence) Regulations 2000 (a long schedule which includes fare evasion under the RoRA but not the under the RCCA, and not all offences in the RoRA, some other offences against railway property, forgery, counterfeiting and fraud); or,
  • is a caution, warning or conviction for an offence which is capable of a custodial sentence (i.e. it carried the potential for imprisonment irrespective of the actual sentence given following any specific conviction); or ,
  • is one of the specific offences listed in the National Police Records (Recordable Offences) (Amendment) Regulations (as amended) (related to vagrancy, car hire, health workers, the licenced trade, football, prostitution, motor vehicles and others, but not fare evasion; or,
  • is an offence listed in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) Code D. (which is mostly summarising all of the above).
The Regulation of Railways Act Section 5 is listed in the above. None of the Railway Byelaws are.
There are many Criminal Offences which, on conviction, do not lead to a record in the 'Criminal Records' database.

. . . It is also interesting that the "intent" aspect seems to be so weakly relevant when in a moral sense there is an obvious difference between a dishonest practice intended to defraud someone and an honest error that can't defraud anyone . . .
'Intent' in law is the subject of very many academic papers and speeches, many practical guidance notes, and much popular criticism. I won't even begin here, but it's enough to note that the law in Criminal matters, is persuaded of 'intent' by evidence of actions and words, and evidence which is supported 'beyond reasonable doubt'.
But that's the law for you; sometimes form gets the better of substance.
I disagree. If such a simple critique were true, then I would suggest the opposite, that the rich and chaotic broad range of real-world circumstances which actually engage with the law privide a constant challenge to all of its superficial appearances of simple basic structures and principles.
 
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cantabrigian

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Thanks Dave, this is helpful. I am not surprised that "intent" is a topic of debate at higher levels! But meantime at my lower one, it is really useful to know that a byelaw offence does not lead to an entry on the criminal records database. This is reassuring in a lot of ways but do I understand you correctly that it is still a "criminal offence", as opposed to something else? This is relevant to me for reasons I can't set out in detail here (but at which you can probably guess from the quote marks) and if I am convicted, I will probably need formal confirmation of it anyway (not so much to tell me the answer but so that I can show I got it). But if the answer is clearly yes, it is a criminal offence even if not a recordable criminal offence, it makes a settlement that much more desirable if one is available.

But regardless, many thanks; all of this helps me a lot as I wait to find out what the TOC wants to do next.
 

snail

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Also, does anyone know how, if at all, it would affect travel under the US visa waiver program (or to other countries but the VWP is my main interest). I think the answer may be that it's not relevant and doesn't have to be declared when applying for visa waiver (and even if it is, I don't suppose it would stop someone getting an actual visa) but I can't tell for sure. More an immigration matter, though, so I may need to ask elsewhere for this.
Many people think this. However, be aware that it is US law not English law that you are dealing with on a visa (waiver) application. Just because an offence is not recordable in the UK doesn't mean you can automatically ignore it for US visa purposes.
 

cantabrigian

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Sure, good point, so whoever writes the rules has to make them general enough that they deal with travellers from many countries. I was able to find some information about what sort of things definitely have to be declared, especially crimes of "moral turpitude", and it is all much heavier stuff but it's hard to be absolutely sure. It looks as if you probably can legitimately answer "no" to the relevant question on the ESTA application but that doesn't necessarily mean this is right at an absolute level or that it doesn't make sense to apply for a visa instead.
 

Puffing Devil

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The USA have changed the ESTA wording recently to remove the ambiguous "Moral Turpitude" question and have replaced it with the following:

Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offence or crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority; or ever violated any law related to possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs?
Which removes minor offences, such a bylaw offences and even single Drink Drive offences from the need to declare.

There us a useful resource and examination of the ESTA rules for those with convictions here and here.
 
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jon0844

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Well, I meant to make a new post with a quote but in the end I got an edited one with a sort-of quote. So I am almost as good at this as at filling in tickets!

This is useful, thank you. In fact the conditions of the carnet don't seem to say exactly that, just that it has to be validated in permanent ink before commencing the journey but I am guessing "validated" means clearly and correctly filled in. It is also interesting that the "intent" aspect seems to be so weakly relevant when in a moral sense there is an obvious difference between a dishonest practice intended to defraud someone and an honest error that can't defraud anyone (eg if on the 19th of the month, the passenger mistakenly writes 17th, corrects to 19th and then gets on a train right away). But that's the law for you; sometimes form gets the better of substance.

In the case of GTR, they should be allowing these on The Key by now so doing away with the problem - and making it clear you must touch in AND out every single time, but before that GTR or FCC should have had a simple machine that you put your ticket in to stamp the date on - removing all doubt, and also stopping people risking ruining a ticket by using the wrong type of pen (or even putting the wrong date on by genuine mistake).

If the ticket had a box both top and bottom, you could even cope with people who put the ticket in the wrong way round (but the right way up).
 

cantabrigian

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Mmhm. And strangely, German S-Bahn stations have had exactly those machines for many years. Old technology compared to Oyster-type touch-in/out, but still effective ...
 

Skimpot flyer

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I understand the requirement, with Carnet tickets, to write the date clearly and legibly on the ticket. I also understand that over-writing the date a second time because, for example, you aren't using the right sort of pen / ink on the initial filling-in of the date could lead an RPI to suspect misuse. Indeed, I can also see that someone could attempt to change a 1 to a 4, or a 7 to a 9, to use a Carnet twice. But here's something that I don't understand...

If a Carnet ticket is being used to travel on one of the first nine days of the month, is it a requirement to write the date in the format DD MM YY, with a requirement to write the leading zero for the day of the month (e.g. 08 04 16, for 8th April 2016) ?

I ask because it occurs to me that someone intent on abusing / re-using a Carnet would not run the risk of altering the date they had previously inked, but could - for example - write 8 4 16 for today's (Friday) journey, and then ten days later, ink in a '1' before the 8 to make it 'valid' for travel on Monday 18th ?? Far less easy to spot, and a good reason why Carnet tickets should, IMHO, just be done away with. Someone entirely innocently writing '8 4 16' may end up being suspected of attempting multiple use !!
 
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jon0844

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The system is fraught with problems and, as you say, it's very easy to defraud without arousing suspicion if you wanted to (remember, many people with carnet tickets will not use a gateline validator to try and keep it 'as new'). The best system would be the scratchcards, which FCC used to issue to season ticket holders, but a) they're obviously much more expensive and b) can't be issued by a TVM.

Thing is, B isn't really an issue as someone wanting carnets would likely be prepared enough to buy them in advance, and could order them online.

It's a total bodge and the quicker they're replaced by The Key, the better.
 
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cantabrigian

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Hello.

My letter from the Greater Anglia Prosecutions Department arrived today. Unfortunate timing as I am just about to go away for a few days for work purposes, but at least after the comments that people have made here, I am reasonably well prepared.

The letter reads:

"On [DATE] at [STATION] a person giving the above name and address was questioned by a member of rail staff about the payment of a rail fare.

All the available evidence is being considered as to whether legal proceedings are appropriate. if you consider that there are any further mitigating factors that may influence any decision that may be made about this matter, you are invited to respond, within 14 days of the date of this letter using the enclosed FREEPOST envelope. If you wish to make any comments about the incident, please do so on the reverse of this letter. Please ensure that ALL details below are completed and returned to ensure our records are up to date

DO NOT SEND ANY PAYMENTS TO THIS OFFICE

[FORM TO FILL IN MY NAME, ADDRESS, DOB ETC]"


So it is very standard and does not ask any particular questions. I assume this is normal?

From the help I have had so far here, I have some ideas about how to reply so my remaining questions at this stage are:-

- I get the distinction between recordable and non-recordable offences now but am still not quite clear about this: is an offence under the byelaws a "criminal offence" (Which is the term used in my contract of employment, no further qualification as to whether it has to be recordable or not) at all?

(I am assuming yes.)

- It seems odd that they have "all the available evidence" and I have none of it; can I ask them for copies of the tickets and the statement that I provided on the day?

(Presumably I still need to reply in substance before the 14 day deadline in any event.)

- Is your advice still that I should just reply and say what I can, with whatever evidence seems relevant, rather than involving a solicitor at this point? Any danger that this will damage my position if I am later prosecuted, especially under the the RoRA as opposed to the bylaws?

- As well as stating what facts I can, is this the time to offer to settle?

(I am thinking that I could explain what happened to the extent I can, say I don't think I should be prosecuted but if they think different I would welcome the chance to settle if possible; is that appropriate or not and if not is there a better way to do this or should it come later or should I wait for them to raise it?) The more I think about it, the more I think a settlement might be a good outcome for them as well as me but I don't know how to raise it. Can the offer to settle be taken as an admission of guilt and can anything be done to minimise that risk?

All other help of course gratefully accepted.

And finally, ironic that they suggest making the comments on the back of a one-page letter, given that the only other sample of my handwriting they've seen is what got me in this mess. Notwithstanding their kind provision of a blank side of paper, I think I'll type my reply ...
 

najaB

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So it is very standard and does not ask any particular questions. I assume this is normal?
Yup, it's a pretty standard letter.
I get the distinction between recordable and non-recordable offences now but am still not quite clear about this: is an offence under the byelaws a "criminal offence" (Which is the term used in my contract of employment, no further qualification as to whether it has to be recordable or not) at all?

(I am assuming yes.)
Yes, it is a criminal offence. Though almost no employer would consider it serious enough to affect employment.
It seems odd that they have "all the available evidence" and I have none of it; can I ask them for copies of the tickets and the statement that I provided on the day?
Yes, you can. Though the term 'all available evidence' is used before inviting you to provide anything else you wish them to consider. It isn't meant to imply that they have anything secret or unknown to yourself.
Is your advice still that I should just reply and say what I can, with whatever evidence seems relevant, rather than involving a solicitor at this point? Any danger that this will damage my position if I am later prosecuted, especially under the the RoRA as opposed to the bylaws?
Only if you don't state something that you later rely on.
As well as stating what facts I can, is this the time to offer to settle?

(I am thinking that I could explain what happened to the extent I can, say I don't think I should be prosecuted but if they think different I would welcome the chance to settle if possible; is that appropriate or not and if not is there a better way to do this or should it come later or should I wait for them to raise it?) The more I think about it, the more I think a settlement might be a good outcome for them as well as me but I don't know how to raise it. Can the offer to settle be taken as an admission of guilt and can anything be done to minimise that risk?
Yes, though be careful how you word the offer - you want to say something along the lines of 'I understand now that since the ticket wasn't clear, it wasn't valid and don't want to cause you additional trouble or expense' since that can't be misconstrued that it was a deliberate act on your part.
And finally, ironic that they suggest making the comments on the back of a one-page letter, given that the only other sample of my handwriting they've seen is what got me in this mess. Notwithstanding their kind provision of a blank side of paper, I think I'll type my reply ...
Feel free to use as much paper as you feel appropriate. :)
 

DaveNewcastle

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Yes, a Byelaw Offence is a Criminal Offence, but as Byelaws as 'secondary legislation', then a conviction for a violation is not regarded as serious.

You are confused about what you are being asked. You are being asked if you want to provide any further information which would inform the decision of whether or not there is adequate evidence to beleive that a prosecution would have a reasonable prospect of success. For you to make the decision (of whether you want to provide such information), it would be premature to consider whether to "say I don't think I should be prosecuted but if they think different . . . ". because that decision is not one for for you to make, and the Company won't make that decision either, until they have received your reply. Perhaps you have nothing else to add?

If the decision is taken that there is enough evidence to believe that a prosecution would have a reasonable prospect of success, (a belief which we should expect that any reasonable person would come to on reviewing the evidence), then, it would be taken forward for prosecution - at which point the evidence can be tested and challenged. And during all this time, there is the opportunity to seek an administrative disposal in the form of an Out-of-Court settlement.

If you think that you would be likely to instruct a solicitor to assist or to represent you if it did go forward to a prosecution, then they are unlikely to be grateful for anything you say in response now which removes any of the possible opportunities for a challenge later - even some simple personal emotve responses can inadvertendly provide a key piece of evdence which was hitherto missing from the chain of contribtory factors which lead to confidence in a successful prosecution. So in short - if you're minded to instruct a solicitor when you're out of your depth, then do it now, and they'll probably manage to prevent you getting there in the first place.
 

island

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Note also that you are not under any obligation to provide your date of birth, occupation, any distinguishing features, etc.
 

PauloDavesi

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Also remember that if the ticket was not placed and kept in a secure evidence bag, the possibility exists that the TOC, or it's operatives &/or agents, may "amend" the condition of the ticket &/or any markings on the ticket to their advantage.
 

najaB

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Note also that you are not under any obligation to provide your date of birth, occupation, any distinguishing features, etc.
True...

Also remember that if the ticket was not placed and kept in a secure evidence bag, the possibility exists that the TOC, or it's operatives &/or agents, may "amend" the condition of the ticket &/or any markings on the ticket to their advantage.
Also true.

But seeing as the OP is trying to achieve a settlement, it's probably best not to take an uncooperative or accusatory stance just yet.
 
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