Dishonest regarding Station of origin after losing a ticket.

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Neathy, 9 Jun 2019.

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  1. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    Given that the last 40 plus years of my life have been spent working in this very area and for well over 20 years in Courts across the land. I think what the OP really needs to be helped with is understanding how these things often pan out in practice.

    Let's say that the Court is presented with something like this:

    1. There is no dispute that Mr X travelled,
    2. Mr X made to leave the railway at Cardiff and he could not produce a ticket when he was asked to do so
    3. Mr X stated he had lost his ticket, but did not produce any receipt or confirmation of any payment at the time of interview
    3. When he was given an opportunity to pay the fare due for the journey he had just completed Mr X stated he had travelled from Bridgend and offered to pay from there
    4. Because a revenue protection exercise was in operation Mr X was questioned further under caution, which he understood and at that time he then admitted he had in fact travelled for a longer journey from Neath
    5. The fare from Neath to Cardiff is considerably more than that from Bridgend to Cardiff (the actual fares would of course be quoted in Court.)
    6. The TOC allege Mr X intended to avoid the fare due at the time of questioning.
    7. Mr X may be the fifteenth similar case presented by the same prosecutor that morning, all arising from a special revenue check at Cardiff because a major event was bringing many thousand of people into the city and all of whom offered a short fare when challenged by inspectors

    The prosecutor may refer to case precedents, which may or may not be wholly relevant, but may have some similar matters of interest. (i.e; Corbyn [1978], Bremme [1965])

    Mr X might plead 'not guilty' and might seek to rely on creating 'doubt' as suggested by 'The Love of', but in my honest, practical experience this is very rarely successful in circumstances like this. The prosecutor will press the question 'If you did not intend to avoid the correct fare, why did you not tell the truth about where you travelled from?' Answering 'I was annoyed and wanted to save money' in front of the Magistrates isn't going to help much.

    Put yourself in the position of a Lay Magistrate and see how you think you might act, yes, you will be assisted by the Courts Legal Advisor, but LA's do also advise on the practicalities too.

    Whilst all cases should be assessed purely on evidence, I'm not daft enough to think that Magistrates will not consider probabilities in their discussions and that's why sometimes a result may seem perverse and why it is right that there is an Appeal to the Crown Court procedure too.

    I have to say that I am with 'tiptoptaff' on this one.
     
  2. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    You are entirely correct in, if I may summarise your post, saying that Magistrates' Courts will not always deliver true justice as the law establishes it. Accordingly, if TfW are unamenable to a settlement, and bring a prosecution under S5(3)(a) of RoRA, the likelihood of which occurring we don't know, then I think the sensible thing for the OP to do is clearly to instruct a solicitor to represent them, and if they are nevertheless found guilty, to appeal the case. Having the representation of a solicitor ought to be able to ensure some semblance of a fair trial to deflect any preposterous suggestions that someone who has paid their fare, and has relevant evidence of doing so as OP has, should be guilty of S5(3)(a).

    There remains, of course, the possibility of the case ending up with them being found guilty despite appointing a solicitor and appealing. It is clear that this would be an outcome that would be considerably more expensive than simply pleading guilty to whatever offence the OP is accused of at the earliest opportunity. However, given the OP has said that a conviction would affect their career substantially, it is a path which I think must be recommended as the only feasible way of avoiding a conviction if TfW refuse to settle informally.
     
  3. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    If the OP didn't mention that when questioned, it's going to look rather suspicious to suddenly 'remember' they'd bought a ticket all along. I am not sure how it will help showing a bank statement, given the examples already given of why it doesn't prove a valid ticket was purchased (irrespective of the fact it wasn't presented when requested anyway).
     
  4. MotCO

    MotCO Member

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    Is it possible to deterrmine at what time on the day the transaction was made, otherwise it could be argued that the OP had made this purchase after he returned to Neath? I'm not suggesting that the OP is not telling the truth, I am merely pointing out that an entry on a bank statement proves nothing.
     
  5. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I agree that the circumstances are far from clear-cut. But it is not the case that the bank statement is, as some people suggest, totally worthless. It could form an integral part of a well-constructed and presented defence against a S5(3)(a) prosecution.

    See above and previous comments; the bank statement is not the 'be all and end all', but it is certainly of some value. If the card issuer does not provide times of transactions automatically then they will no doubt be able to provide it upon request (if necessary, as a GDPR request), but far more valuable than this will be the data held on the purchase by TfW. If the OP wants to use the bank statement as part of their defence, this data will form an integral part of it.
     
  6. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    Of course, if the OP is tendering the bank statement entry on the basis that it forms evidence of a fare paid before travelling, it would be possible for the TOC to confirm through merchant services the time that card transaction took place and what ticket was purchased.

    However, as others have already pointed out, this is not conclusive evidence of any particular ticket held by any particular individual, but should be viewed as a 'basis of probability', by the prosecution team and may result in an alternative disposal.
     
  7. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    It's not clear that the OP didn't explain their predicament. Whether they did or they didn't the appropriate course of action was to b uy a replacement ticket covering the journey made.

    Personally, I would include the evidence of the bank statement to support the case that a RoRA prosecution would be inappropriate, but there remains the possibility of the ticket being used by someone else.
     
  8. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    A bank statement will simply show that an amount was paid to TfW on that date. It will not and cannot show exactly what ticket was bought, or what date that ticket could/might have been used. It doesn't even prove that the ticket was for use from that station, and I am quite sure that there may be other fares for that amount applicable between other stations.
    (Evidence: last week I bought tickets from Machynlleth station for use this week on a train from Caersws and for next week from Ludlow!)
     
  9. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Does it? As far as I can tell all the records will show will be that a purchase was made for £x and will not show any more details than that. Certainky never shows any more details than that on any credit card statement I have ever seen, and that also includes the statements issued to my wife's business for her sales.
     
  10. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    There seems to be some arguing at cross purposes here: ForTheLoveOf seems to be considering a possible charge under S5(3)(a) or S5(3)(b) RORA, while others have been discussing S5(1) , all of which can be found on the internet at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/52-53/57/section/5 as follows

    ForTheLoveOf may be right about the S5(3) offences, but as far as I can see what the OP has told us exactly matches S5(1): they did not produce a ticket when asked, and didn't then pay the fare from where they joined the train (Neath).
     
  11. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    Exactly correct, simply using the abbreviation 'S5 RoRA' and stating that an offence is not evident without specifying exactly which clause is referred to is essential.

    For the reasons I gave in my earlier post, it is feasible that a charge under Sect.5(3)(a) might succeed, it would be down to effective prosecutor presentation and how this is interpreted by the Magistrates, set against limited defence for the untruth, but that can only be known if summonsed and tested.

    The charge contrary to Sect.5(1) is effectively a strict liability matter
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2019
  12. nuts & bolts

    nuts & bolts Member

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    The OP could apply for a 'Subject Access' to Network Rail for CCTV footage from entering and boarding station during and after purchase of ticket there!
    Pairing the the ticket purchase transaction details with the footage is possible provided exact details can be polled from the bank/credit card co and ticket purchase evidence from the Train Company. There's a lot of legwork needed for this to happen but not impossible, engaging the services of a solicitor for this to happen is an expense to be considered.
    This aside the doubt remains from the courts perspective, ticket could have been passed onto another person and why did the OP lie!
     
  13. Neathy

    Neathy Member

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    To keep you all informed with proceedings I have gone down the route of employing a solicitor who specialises in dealing with transport issues such as mine.
    The bank statement has updated to show the amount of money paid to TfW although it currently only shows the date the payment cleared, I made mention of the fact I had previously paid for a ticket numerous times during my interview so I would expect that that would have been recorded in my answers.
    I’d also like to thank you for your help on the thread as it helped me confirm that I should pursue some professional advice on the matter.
    I’m genuinely remorseful and distressed with my actions on the weekend and can only hope for a positive outcome.
     
  14. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    I have posted this one before, it happened several years ago, but helps to illustrate some of the problems of relying on an expectation of 'proof' from CCTV. We had a case where a traveler without ticket was reported and in replying to the TOC letter, stated that he had 'purchased a ticket at the office at 07.44 hours as CCTV will clearly show.' The subject claimed to have tendered the exact fare in cash and said he did not ask for a receipt.

    Just because it was relatively easy at the particular station, the CCTV was checked and did indeed show Mr X go to the ticket office at the time stated, speak with the clerk, pass something over and receive something from the clerk, which he put in his coat pocket. There is no audio on virtually all of these recordings.

    It was decided to get a short note from the booking clerk to put on file confirming that a ticket had been bought so the matter could be closed down. When asked what ticket Mr X had bought the clerk replied 'He didn't buy a ticket, he asked for a new pocket timetable and gave me his out of date one to put in the bin.'
     
  15. Neathy

    Neathy Member

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    That’s a really interesting scenario, in my personal case would the combination of a record of the ticket bought from TfW on the date stated and at the time stated, along with cctv evidence of myself Buying a ticket from the machine and then passing through the barriers into the train carry more weight?
     
  16. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    Under S5(1), if the person does not produce a ticket showing their fare has been paid, and does not pay his fare from the place he started, he may give his name and address. He is in default with respect to that clause, only if he does none of these.

    It seems to me that if the OP did provide his name and address (and we can assume he did, as he was told to expect a letter) there is no way that a prosecution under that clause could succeed.
     
  17. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    If all of these points tie up accurately, very probably yes, although there is the matter of the strict liability offence referred to earlier.

    No-one can be sure how they will view that in light of your failure to declare the correct journey. It may be enough for TfW to offer you an opportunity to settle rather than prosecute.
     
  18. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    However, he did not offer the fare 'from the place whence he started'

    the TOC is entitled to ask what is the motive for failing to offer HIS correct fare?
     
  19. nuts & bolts

    nuts & bolts Member

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    To the OP Try and obtain the original ticket number from the train companies customer service centre (this being a separate dept from prosecutions). The (cctv) clock is ticking though!
     
  20. Neathy

    Neathy Member

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    In all honesty that is my aim, I’m not trying to get out of all punishment, just looking to avoid a criminal conviction that may have substantial effects in my professional and personal life.
    I’m hoping that by being able to show all of that previous evidence they would be more reciprocating to a settlement give I wasn’t fully dishonest and had paid the full fare.
     
  21. Neathy

    Neathy Member

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    I have spoken to a legal advisor today and will see if he thinks it’s a worthy course of action, given it can highlight in all probability I did indeed purchase a ticket it may be worth exploring.
     
  22. nuts & bolts

    nuts & bolts Member

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    You could argue that the OP is a victim......of circumstances.
     
  23. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    They are entitled to ask it, however that alludes back to S5(3). The reason I did not address S5(1) is because, as has been pointed out, the mere giving of the name and address means it is out of the question for prosecution.
     
  24. Neathy

    Neathy Member

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    Would it be possible for someone to clarify the differences between these? In regards to both the offence and the consequences of conviction under both.
     
  25. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    Of course they are entitled to ask and the dishonesty is a problem for the OP, but if the correct name and address was provided, not in relation to S5(1).
     
  26. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Section 5(1) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 makes it an offence to fail/refuse to do one of the following three when asked on the railway - produce a valid ticket showing your fare is paid, pay your fare, or provide your name and address. If you do any one of the three you have committed no offence; the legislation is effectively designed to capture those who commit the so-called "three fails". You have not committed an offence under Section 5(1) because you gave your name and address, and I don't think a prosecution under this Section would be in question because there quite plainly isn't a case to answer.

    Section 5(3) contains three offences, the first, (a), being that which is relevant here. This makes it an offence to travel (or attempt to travel) on the railway, without having previously paid your fare, if you intend to avoid payment of the fare. This, again, is not an offence which you have committed (at least in law), because you paid your fare before you got on at Neath.

    The only issue for this offence is that they may try to argue that you can't prove that you paid your fare before travelling (as otherwise why would you have declared an incorrect boarding station?). Alternatively they may say that, even if you did pay it, you were liable to pay the fare again due to the loss of your ticket, and you intended to avoid payment of this second fare. With legal representation I think it is perfectly possible to defend against a prosecution founded on such a basis.

    It would appear that a conviction under either Section carries the same sentence and criminal record.
     
  27. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Surely the only proof of having paid the appropriate fare is to produce the receipt (i.e. the ticket)?
     
  28. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    - yes, I agree. I misread the law. Many apologies for confusing things.

    Looking at things overall, I'm not sure that there is much that we can add: you are in contact with a legal advisor, and you are waiting for the railway company to write to you. But when it comes to the consequences of what you have done, I would endorse what ForTheLoveOf said in their first posting;

    In other words, don't panic! It's better not to have a conviction for a ticketing irregularity, but it is only a conviction for a ticketing irregularity. It's not for violence or theft and while it shows dishonesty, it's dishonesty on one occasion, not a pattern of behaviour. Most people and organisations (including most employers) recognise that everyone (including you this time) make occasional mistakes, so as long as this isn't part of a pattern of behaviour (such as, for example, showing continued dishonesty by covering up a conviction) they won't be worried about this. Check with someone you can rely on (such as your union) but I would not expect you to lose your job even if convicted.
     
  29. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Hang on a minute. What about this discussion from a few years ago?

    https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...ing-laws-compared-to-other-laws.136313/page-4

    DaveNewcastle:
     
  30. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Again we come back to different standard of 'proof'. Even producing a ticket doesn't 100% prove you've paid your fare, after all it could be you've simply picked it up when it was lying about on the train or the station. At the end of the day, the only proof absolute that you've paid your fare would be to wear a bodycam that continuously records from the point you buy your ticket, during your journey, until you exit the station. But quite clearly that is a ludicrous idea, and so we must deal with such things on the basis of the level of evidence/proof that can reasonably be expected. I would have thought that a competent solicitor would have little trouble in making a convincing argument for the fare having been paid on the basis of the evidence the OP has, and can obtain.
     
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