Child Ticket! Need help

Silv02

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1 Aug 2020
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London
The other day I travelled from east Croydon to Gatwick, but I bought a Child ticket at East Croydon. But as I have recently lost my photo card oyster and low on money. I made the stupid mistake of buying a ticket from Horley to Gatwick. And upon revenue inspection they took my ticket, checked where I bought the ticket. Placed me under caution and asked a series of questions . they said for fraud act 2006 I was in a state of shock, so I answered very basically but pretty much admitted it, said it was only today. and said that I didn’t know it was fraud but I know I did wrong and I didn’t mean it. Which is stupid of me. But I just said what came to my head.
. Which to me sounds daunting.
they said I will receive a letter and receive a fine of around £100 for a fare of £5.50
I don’t mind paying the fine but upon research I can see that I can go to court for it which is not ideal at all.
Any guidance or information is highly appreciated
 
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najaB

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The other day I travelled from east Croydon to Gatwick, but I bought a Child ticket at East Croydon.
Would I be correct in assuming that you are an adult?
I made the stupid mistake of buying a ticket from Horley to Gatwick.
How did you purchase the ticket?
Placed me under caution and asked a series of questions . they said for fraud act 2006 I was in a state of shock, so I answered very basically but pretty much admitted it, said it was only today. and said that I didn’t know it was fraud but I know I did wrong and I didn’t mean it. Which is stupid of me. But I just said what came to my head.
Well, assuming that you are aged 16+ and they knew that you had short fared there wouldn't have been much benefit in denying it.
 

Haywain

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The other day I travelled from east Croydon to Gatwick, but I bought a Child ticket at East Croydon. But as I have recently lost my photo card oyster and low on money. I made the stupid mistake of buying a ticket from Horley to Gatwick. And upon revenue inspection they took my ticket, checked where I bought the ticket. Placed me under caution and asked a series of questions . they said for fraud act 2006 I was in a state of shock, so I answered very basically but pretty much admitted it, said it was only today. and said that I didn’t know it was fraud but I know I did wrong and I didn’t mean it. Which is stupid of me. But I just said what came to my head.
. Which to me sounds daunting.
they said I will receive a letter and receive a fine of around £100 for a fare of £5.50
I don’t mind paying the fine but upon research I can see that I can go to court for it which is not ideal at all.
Any guidance or information is highly appreciated
How old are you? What photo card Oyster did you have?
 

Silv02

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London
Would I be correct in assuming that you are an adult?
How did you purchase the ticket?
Well, assuming that you are aged 16+ and they knew that you had short fared there wouldn't have been much benefit in denying it.
Yes I’m 18 years old, I purchased it at a machine.
 

najaB

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Yes I’m 18 years old, I purchased it at a machine.
I don't know about the machine that you used, but with the ones that I've used purchasing a ticket from a different station, and purchasing a child rather than adult ticket are both deliberate actions. So it will be stretching credibility to claim that this was an accident. As such, the best advice is to be honest, demonstrate contrition and ask for the matter to be resolved as a private matter rather than involving the court.
 

WesternLancer

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Possibly worth you showing that you have learned a lesson from this and you could do that by buying a young persons railcard for example. Unless you rarely ever travel by train and do not plan to do so again.
 

Fawkes Cat

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To amplify the good advice given above:

It's not your choice if this goes to court - it's for the railway to decide whether they prosecute you or not.

But not all cases go to court: sometimes the railway will decide that it's best to 'settle out of court'. For that to happen, they will want to believe that you have learnt your lesson and won't fare dodge again, and they will want to have covered their costs (both the fare that you dodged, and the cost of checking your story out: that takes time, and it costs more than you might think to employ people to do this).

So to avoid a conviction, you will want to do everything you can to persuade the railway that you aren't going to do it again. That means that if they are in touch and ask for anything you want to tell them, you need to

- say sorry. Explain that you know what you did was wrong, and you won't do it again
- offer to pay the fare you should have paid and any reasonable costs that the railway has incurred because of what you did.
- if offered a settlement, accept it and pay it. You are not in a strong position to negotiate so there's no point in trying to reduce the amount you have to pay.

If you want a bit of help on what to say, you can always put a draft on this thread (suitably anonymised to protect your privacy) and people will advise on the best way to say things.
 

Silv02

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I don't know about the machine that you used, but with the ones that I've used purchasing a ticket from a different station, and purchasing a child rather than adult ticket are both deliberate actions. So it will be stretching credibility to claim that this was an accident. As such, the best advice is to be honest, demonstrate contrition and ask for the matter to be resolved as a private matter rather than involving the court.
Will they be willing to settle the matter privately ? This is my first time offence and I did say to the revenue inspection I would pay the fine. Is there any chance on the first letter they can give me an out-of-court settlement. Or will I need to appeal no matter what
 

30907

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The railway can't issue fines, technically, so £100-odd will very likely be an out of court "administrative" settlement. Wait for the letter, ask advice again if you need to, and start saving :)
 

Silv02

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The railway can't issue fines, technically, so £100-odd will very likely be an out of court "administrative" settlement. Wait for the letter, ask advice again if you need to, and start saving :)
I don’t mind how much it is :) I just want to be reassured that it won’t go to court
 

Fawkes Cat

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I don’t mind how much it is :) I just want to be reassured that it won’t go to court
Please see my post above: but you also need to know about what it means if it does go to court and you are convicted.

In short, it's not the end of the world. A lot of employers ask when you start a job if you have any criminal convictions - and it's embarrassing to have to say 'yes'. But there are very few organisations who won't employ you if you have one conviction: for most people, getting a ticketing conviction means that you made a silly mistake, and as long as you have learnt your lesson and don't do it again, your future employer will put it down as learning the hard way to be honest.

If you have a particular career in mind (maybe medicine, nursing, teaching, working in the city) have a look at their corporate website - this may reassure you.
 

Silv02

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Please see my post above: but you also need to know about what it means if it does go to court and you are convicted.

In short, it's not the end of the world. A lot of employers ask when you start a job if you have any criminal convictions - and it's embarrassing to have to say 'yes'. But there are very few organisations who won't employ you if you have one conviction: for most people, getting a ticketing conviction means that you made a silly mistake, and as long as you have learnt your lesson and don't do it again, your future employer will put it down as learning the hard way to be honest.

If you have a particular career in mind (maybe medicine, nursing, teaching, working in the city) have a look at their corporate website - this may reassure you.
Do you think it would go to court ?
 

Fawkes Cat

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Do you think it would go to court ?
I don't know. But do everything you can to encourage TfL to settle out of court, and if that doesn't work then remember that going to court isn't a disaster.

It's worth mentioning that even if your first request for an out of court settlement is refused, you can ask again at every stage until the magistrates hear the case. From time to time, we do hear of people who agreed a settlement with the prosecutor by talking to them before everyone went into the court room on the day of the trial.
 

Silv02

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I don't know. But do everything you can to encourage TfL to settle out of court, and if that doesn't work then remember that going to court isn't a disaster.

It's worth mentioning that even if your first request for an out of court settlement is refused, you can ask again at every stage until the magistrates hear the case. From time to time, we do hear of people who agreed a settlement with the prosecutor by talking to them before everyone went into the court room on the day of the trial.
Thank you for the response. I just want to hear opinions and previous similar results
 

WesternLancer

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I don’t mind how much it is :) I just want to be reassured that it won’t go to court
Given that is what you want, when you have to respond it will probably be an idea to share your draft written response here so that people can advise you, which may increase chance of you not going to court and them offering you a settlement option instead.
 

Silv02

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Given that is what you want, when you have to respond it will probably be an idea to share your draft written response here so that people can advise you, which may increase chance of you not going to court and them offering you a settlement option instead.
I shall so stay tuned when I need to send it
 

WesternLancer

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I shall so stay tuned when I need to send it
You should get a letter from them before long (maybe within next 6 weeks - if you don't prob best check here for further advice as it does not mean problem has gone away). That is when you need to act and may need further advice in how to respond (you get a decent amount of time to do that).
Did you give them your correct name and address? As far as you know did they record that address and name correctly?
If you move house during this process - which could take 6 months or so potentially, it is vital that you arrange postage to be forwarded by Royal Mail - as you can end up being taken to court and found guilty without you knowing it if you do not get the letter - they will not send it you by e-mail for example AFAIK. Open all your post.
 

Silv02

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You should get a letter from them before long (maybe within next 6 weeks - if you don't prob best check here for further advice as it does not mean problem has gone away). That is when you need to act and may need further advice in how to respond (you get a decent amount of time to do that).
Did you give them your correct name and address? As far as you know did they record that address and name correctly?
If you move house during this process - which could take 6 months or so potentially, it is vital that you arrange postage to be forwarded by Royal Mail - as you can end up being taken to court and found guilty without you knowing it if you do not get the letter - they will not send it you by e-mail for example AFAIK. Open all your post.
Yes I gave all my correct information, will this affect me in any way until I Either go to court or settle it ?
 

WesternLancer

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Yes I gave all my correct information, will this affect me in any way until I Either go to court or settle it ?
No - don't think so - just get on with normal life. But obv be sure to buy correct tickets for ever journey - and if you can get a Railcard ASAP as that will help show the you are committed to paying correct fares and can be used in the apology letter you will have to prepare to help your case as a mitigating point to show you intend to always pay correct fares from now on.
 

Silv02

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No - don't think so - just get on with normal life. But obv be sure to buy correct tickets for ever journey - and if you can get a Railcard ASAP as that will help show the you are committed to paying correct fares and can be used in the apology letter you will have to prepare to help your case as a mitigating point to show you intend to always pay correct fares from now on.
Okay, thank you for your help.
 

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