Facing prosecution for slip of the tongue

Bertie the bus

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It would be bad advice if you were guilty, which is what he's alleging. Is his remark based on assuming you're guilty?
As I have already pointed out, and the letter the OP has received backs up, just telling people what they want to hear doesn’t help them. It does the opposite of what you intend.
 
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Kilopylae

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I think it's particularly egregious that, having read this thread and yet having somehow still determined that Tentx is guilty, he decided to throw in what I can only imagine would have been a snide or patronising reference to a 'forum that gives bad advice'. T.I.L. need to have their wings clipped.
 

some bloke

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Tentx account of TIL on the phone said:
No settlement can be made due to TILs contract with Chiltern railways and due to the nature of the offence.
He appears to be saying TIL won't settle, rather than that he knows Chiltern won't.

You may be making some progress. It's probably better to sort out misunderstandings before court, rather than at court.

You can say in your first letter to Chiltern that you would like to clarify the position, following TIL's account of your defence.
TIL said:
you asked for a ticket from Amersham for your party knowing that you had travelled from Stoke Mandeville.
Possible answer: "It is more complex than the investigator might imply. I clearly knew earlier that we had travelled from Stoke Mandeville. But when I gave my answer, I was unaware that I was saying anything untrue. I then realised that I had made a mistake."

TIL said:
I...cannot see how your ‘slip of the tongue ‘ can be a reasonable excuse as Amersham and Stoke Mandeville sound nothing alike.
Possible answer: "The investigator's response here is not relevant to the defence I gave. In my letters I did not use the idea of a "slip of the tongue" as an "excuse", or the idea that the station names sounded alike."

It may or may not be relevant that he wrote,
TIL said:
your excuse that you were thinking of living in Amersham several years ago...
whereas you had written,
at one point...
 
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Haywain

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telling you that you are guilty, which might perhaps be regarded as bullying
If TIL are recommending going ahead with a prosecution it is abundantly clear that they think that Tentx is guilty, or they are wasting both the court's and their client's time. To suggest stating this fact is bullying is ludicrous.
 

Bertie the bus

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I honestly don't see how any additional advice on this thread is worthwhile. The investigator has stated he reads it and when the OP is still making comments like the one below she obviously still thinks she has done nothing wrong and is being persecuted.
What also doesn’t help is that a senior RPO spoke to me so I’m kind of thinking an example is being made of me
 

Fawkes Cat

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So let's summarise the current position
- the case is still with TIL
- they have advised that they don't see any reason why they should not recommend that Chiltern prosecute you.

So you are almost at the end of the line with TIL, but then there will be a whole new group of people at Chiltern looking at whether to prosecute. So the practical advice of what to do next remains the same - make sure you reply to every contact, explaining that you have learnt your lesson and asking if they would agree to settle out of court. It's possible that once the case is with Chiltern, they will agree.

The time when you may have to change how you respond is when you are told that the case is going to court (as opposed to them thinking about taking it to court). If you reach that point, you will have to choose - plead guilty as early as possible and get the lowest possible fine, or ask for the case to be heard, which will cost more if you lose, but give one last chance to seek an out of court settlement. You will also have to take into account whether you sincerely believe by the letter of the law whether you are innocent or guilty.

So for the moment, keep plugging along with the apologies. But keep an eye out for a summons or a 'single justice procedure' notice.
 

Starmill

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I think it's particularly egregious that, having read this thread and yet having somehow still determined that Tentx is guilty, he decided to throw in what I can only imagine would have been a snide or patronising reference to a 'forum that gives bad advice'.
My interpretation of the comment is that management at TIL dislike this board a great deal, because it is a means of exposing their immoral business practices, so they will use the opportunity to throw criticism around.
 

gray1404

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Just to echo the advise given above. You have more chances of getting offered an out of court settlement from the train company directly, rather then TIL. They are a hopeless cowboy organisation whose days are numbered. They do not engage in any meaningful dialogue with customers and clearly get a buzz out of sending letters to people threatening them with a criminal record rather then actually resolving a problem. I am seeing multiple breaches of the civil procedure regulations on their part.

The next step is to continue to request an out of court settlement in response to any correspondences you receive. If TIL are passing the file back to the train company, I would expect your previous contact to be there any the person at the train company will see that you have learnt your lesson and want to settle.
 

stuart

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I've read all through this thread, and while there seems to be a lot of going over the same ground, one thing I don't think has really been pursued is the comment (my italics) in the original post of "I often mince my words". We've been through how Amersham might have popped into the OP's mind on this occasion, but this would be a more credible line of defence if there were any evidence of other occasions, quite unrelated, where the OP has said one thing and meant another. This is pretty much the only thing that, as an impartial reader of the story, would now convince me of innocent intentions.
 

CyrusWuff

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Taking a step back for a moment, let's look at the potential loss of revenue had the OP been sold tickets from Amersham. I'm going to assume none of the group holds a Railcard at this point.

An Off-Peak Day Travelcard from Amersham is £14.50, so five would come to £71.50.

An Off-Peak Day Travelcard from Stoke Mandeville is £23.50. However, Chiltern offer a "Small Group" discount which works like old Groupsave (i.e. 3 or 4 Adults for the price of 2 and kids go for £1).

Applying the discount, four people would have paid £11.75 each and the fifth would have paid £23.50, making a total of £70.50.

Obviously the figures will be different if anyone has a Railcard, but even though a short fare was offered it would have potentially ended up costing the OP £1.00 more than the correct fare had it been sold!
 
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some bloke

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You will also have to take into account whether you sincerely believe by the letter of the law whether you are innocent or guilty.
Bearing in mind that the letter of the law is not necessarily what we expect:

"A man who has been physically conveyed on a railway does not cease to travel on that railway merely by alighting on the platform."
https://swarb.co.uk/bremme-v-dubery-1964/

A person who intended to pay, until they decided at the destination's barrier to take an opportunity to short-fare, would still be guilty of travelling on the "railway" "with intent to avoid...".

@Tentx, I'm not saying this applies to you - it's just a clarification.
 

Tentx

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An update:

I’m going to be summonsed to court. The prosecutor has been given strict instruction to take it all the way. No chance in hell of settling outside of court due to the nature.

This is such a horrible situation. I’ve got a Drs appointment to talk about my speech problems which won’t affect my case but I am petrified of this every happening again.
 

JBuchananGB

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As you do not deny that when asked where you had travelled from you said "Amersham",although you had in fact travelled from Stoke Mandeville, then advice seems to be to go to the court and talk to the prosecutor before you get in the court room to see whether he will do a deal at the last minute. Otherwise plead guilty. If you intend to plead not guilty then seek legal advice.
 

Tentx

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As you do not deny that when asked where you had travelled from you said "Amersham",although you had in fact travelled from Stoke Mandeville, then advice seems to be to go to the court and talk to the prosecutor before you get in the court room to see whether he will do a deal at the last minute. Otherwise plead guilty. If you intend to plead not guilty then seek legal advice.
I’ve been speaking with the prosecutor and he isn’t budging. I am looking at legal advice just waiting for call backs
 

gray1404

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When you say "speaking" do you mean on the phone or be email/letters? There is a big difference.

You are NOT dealing with the prosecutor, who you would not ever have any contact with until the Court date. Rather, you have been dealing with a dreadful company called Transport Investigations Limited. They seldom listen to reason and sense. You need to keep asking them if they would be willing to settle out of Court. Sadly you will have to repeat his message several times as it usually falls on deaf ears.

However, sometime they eventually, and I stress eventually (and having asked time after time after time) agree to settle out of court.
 

CyrusWuff

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Given that, if we assume no Railcards are in play, offering the short fare in this case would have cost them more than saying Stoke Mandeville in the first place, I find myself wondering why the person/company the OP has been dealing with thus far is unwilling to accept a settlement, particularly when you consider that:
  1. With a settlement, Chiltern gets to keep every penny (less whatever they have to pay TIL).
  2. If it goes to Court, any fine goes to the Government. All Chiltern get is the fare due plus costs (typically around the £150 mark).
In any case, Chiltern have until mid-May to decide on whether to go to Court or not, and it may be the end of May before the OP receives any paperwork from the Court.
 

Tentx

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When you say "speaking" do you mean on the phone or be email/letters? There is a big difference.

You are NOT dealing with the prosecutor, who you would not ever have any contact with until the Court date. Rather, you have been dealing with a dreadful company called Transport Investigations Limited. They seldom listen to reason and sense. You need to keep asking them if they would be willing to settle out of Court. Sadly you will have to repeat his message several times as it usually falls on deaf ears.

However, sometime they eventually, and I stress eventually (and having asked time after time after time) agree to settle out of court.
I’ve been speaking with him by email and on the phone. I asked if he’s the prosecutor that will be attending court and he said yes... On our call yesterday he said a settlement cannot be offered due to the nature of the case as it’s in their contract with Chiltern not to settle outside of court
 

Tentx

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Given that, if we assume no Railcards are in play, offering the short fare in this case would have cost them more than saying Stoke Mandeville in the first place, I find myself wondering why the person/company the OP has been dealing with thus far is unwilling to accept a settlement, particularly when you consider that:
  1. With a settlement, Chiltern gets to keep every penny (less whatever they have to pay TIL).
  2. If it goes to Court, any fine goes to the Government. All Chiltern get is the fare due plus costs (typically around the £150 mark).
In any case, Chiltern have until mid-May to decide on whether to go to Court or not, and it may be the end of May before the OP receives any paperwork from the Court.
I’ve told TIL the fare between SM - London has already been paid but obviously they aren’t listening. The prosecutor I have been speaking with has advised the court date will be 9th March so I’ll be receiving the papers any day now. But I’ll be pleading not guilty, hopefully that’s what the solicitors also recommend, so the court date will be postponed
 

Fawkes Cat

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Given that, if we assume no Railcards are in play, offering the short fare in this case would have cost them more than saying Stoke Mandeville in the first place
Are you sure about this? Glancing at BRFares.com gives anytime singles to Marylebone of £8.50 from Amersham against £14.30 from Stoke Mandeville. What am I missing?

(Note for the OP - these are the 2020 fares, so may be a little different from those in effect when the incident occurred.)
 

CyrusWuff

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Are you sure about this? Glancing at BRFares.com gives anytime singles to Marylebone of £8.50 from Amersham against £14.30 from Stoke Mandeville. What am I missing?
I was basing it on the assumption that the group involved wanted Travelcards rather than Single tickets.

That being the case Chiltern's (since withdrawn) Small Group discount would have applied for four of them from Stoke Mandeville, but not from Amersham as the latter is an LU station and they set the fares.

At last year's prices, the five Amersham Travelcards would have been £71.50, whilst four discounted Travelcards and one at full price from Stoke Mandeville would have been £70.50.

If they only wanted Day Returns, the fare from Stoke Mandeville would have been even lower, but I'm not currently at work so can't look on KnowledgeBase.
 

Haywain

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I’ve told TIL the fare between SM - London has already been paid but obviously they aren’t listening.
Past reading of this forum tells us that telling the TOC or TIL that they are in the wrong is not going to get you a sympathetic hearing. They want to hear an acknowledgement that you are in the wrong and that is what might, just, encourage them to settle out of court.
 

HSP 2

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I thought that I'd read in this thread that it was the TOC that would decide to prosecute, working on the advice of TIL. Not that TIL would be the prosecutor. Or have I got it all wrong.
 

Fawkes Cat

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I thought that I'd read in this thread that it was the TOC that would decide to prosecute, working on the advice of TIL. Not that TIL would be the prosecutor. Or have I got it all wrong.
I may have been spreading that view - but it would seem from what the OP has told us that I was wrong. So maybe I've had the wrong end of the stick for some time, or maybe the contractual arrangements between TIL and the TOCs have changed. In some ways, assuming TIL to be good at their job (and let's not get into that argument here) it would make sense to have one body (TIL) doing all the prosecutions and so becoming expert and efficient at doing it, rather than twenty or so TOCs each doing a handful of prosecutions, and so not making good use of their briefs' or the courts' time.
 

some bloke

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Tentx, is there anything that you could clarify about what he meant here?

He did say I can write to Chiltern which he’ll pass to them in the review.
............

maybe the contractual arrangements between TIL and the TOCs have changed.
Yes, or maybe they're exercising options now. Several of us, me included, wrongly assumed that the prosecutor would be Chiltern. I wasn't aware of any cases where TIL had prosecuted. In fact TIL have started prosecutions themselves on behalf of at least one other train company.
[TIL's] website does say they do prosecutions.
The summons came from TIL rather than TfW.
The settlement was offered by the company prosecutor for TIL. TFW have no involvement in TIL cases anymore.
 

Fare-Cop

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When you say "speaking" do you mean on the phone or be email/letters? There is a big difference.

You are NOT dealing with the prosecutor, who you would not ever have any contact with until the Court date. Rather, you have been dealing with a dreadful company called Transport Investigations Limited. They seldom listen to reason and sense. You need to keep asking them if they would be willing to settle out of Court. Sadly you will have to repeat his message several times as it usually falls on deaf ears.

However, sometime they eventually, and I stress eventually (and having asked time after time after time) agree to settle out of court.
TIL staff have been the prosecutors in these matters on behalf of various TOCs since 1998

http://transportinvestigations.co.uk/our-services/revenue-protection/fare-recovery-prosecutions/
 
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