False information given to Revenue inspectors

Florey

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22 Jun 2022
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London
My son received a letter in the post that he he owed almost £400 in unpaid court fines. When he called the court he was told that he was stopped last year for not having a ticket and it went to court and he failed to attend and was issue a fine. It turns out it was one of his old school friends who he has no contact with gave my son’s name, date of birth and used a fake address (we all used to live on the same road and he have a neighbours door number).

The court have since traced my son to our address and have issued a letter regarding bailiffs and they keep sending text messages to pay the fine. It’s really distressing for my son who suffers with anxiety. Please can anyone advise us? Will the police help? Can the boy be arrested? Will the boy who used my sons details be held to account? How do we sort this with the court?
 
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WesternLancer

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12 Apr 2019
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My son received a letter in the post that he he owed almost £400 in unpaid court fines. When he called the court he was told that he was stopped last year for not having a ticket and it went to court and he failed to attend and was issue a fine. It turns out it was one of his old school friends who he has no contact with gave my son’s name, date of birth and used a fake address (we all used to live on the same road and he have a neighbours door number).

The court have since traced my son to our address and have issued a letter regarding bailiffs and they keep sending text messages to pay the fine. It’s really distressing for my son who suffers with anxiety. Please can anyone advise us? Will the police help? Can the boy be arrested? Will the boy who used my sons details be held to account? How do we sort this with the court?
Hi welcome to the forum.

So basically, if you can clarify

q1) your son did not dodge a fare, was not 'caught' / spoken to by railway staff about any ticketing issues?

q2) your son did not receive any letter in the post earlier on from the railway company eg asking 'for his version of events' type thing - and probably also threatening that it could be taken to court? This is v important to check with your son - as if he did get such a letter and failed to engage (eg to deny it was him) with it then he maybe cannot use the process I mention below over this because that is about a case where you have been taken to court without knowing anything about the matter you are accused of.

q3) how old is your son?

q4) do you know what train company it is that initiated the court action?

I think the process for this is to (urgently) do something called a Statutory Declaration which 'resets the clock' on the basis that your son did not know about being taken to court as false details were given (I am assuming the court never had your son's correct address and it is the Bailiffs who have done the detective work and traced him to now get the money? Do you know if that is correct, or did the person who gave false details - the 'friend' - maybe give an old address where your son used to live?).

There are other threads on Statutory Declarations if you search the forum - or other experts on it may post to explain more.

IIRC from other thread you can do this yourself without using a solicitor, but it may be worth using one as they will know exactly what to do and probably do not charge much - maybe trying ringing a few local solicitors to you to get a price for doing that.

The reason you need to do it ASAP is that I think you have to do it (or your son will) within 21 days of finding out about this.

You could also urgently write to the train company and explain what you believe has happened, and you are taking steps with the court to sort this out, (ie your son's details have been used by another person maliciously) - they will want to hear from you as they will want to engage with this - if you think you know who has done this you could tell them that too (I would!) - unsure if they would then be able to commence proceedings against that person now but that is up to them. The railway company may originally have taken some brief descriptive details of the person they stopped and questioned - which may or may not match your son.

So at this stage today I would
a) ring the court and ask them about this / making a statutory deceleration
b) ring 2 or 3 local solicitors to see what they would charge to help with such a declaration
c) start to prepare a letter to the train company Revenue Protection Section explaining what you believe has happened
d) wait and monitor other advice on here for rest of the day etc to see what other experts suggest

Hope this helps.

Depending on the age of your son you may need a letter of authority signed by your son to act on their behalf I guess.

It may be worth trying to keep the Bailiffs at bay by taking a clear line with them and sticking to it / possibly writing to them - eg could say:
- your contact on behalf of the court is the first I have heard of this
- I believe my identity was used by another person falsely
- I am currently seeking advice on the best course of action to resolve this
- I am now in contact with the court about this matter

I've no idea what they would do but it may mean they go and chase someone else instead of your son for a bit / de-prioritise the case whilst you get the help you need and take the action you need to take.

Ref your specific questions:

A) Please can anyone advise us?
People here will help with suggested actions

B) Will the police help?
Probably not with this now it has been to court, but essentially your son is a victim of stolen identity I would think, and the perpetrator of that may do it again for other situations they are in - so personally I would report it to the police. The kid who did it may start to learn that actions have consequences....

C) Can the boy be arrested?
I don't know. (I assume you mean the boy who did it). If you mean your son I suspect not but the court Bailiffs will have processes to secure the money they believe they are owed and will keep trying to do that until the court tells them not to I would think - and that needs the case reviewing presumably - which is where the Stat Declaration comes in I think. That then allows your son to make it clear to the train company that it was not him who was stopped for ticket irregularity that day and hopefully the Train Company then drops the case against your son.

D) Will the boy who used my sons details be held to account?
Up to the Train Company I would think to decide what if anything they want to do about the person who they did stop (I suspect people giving false identities when stopped happens all the time so they will have a process they use in such cases).

E) How do we sort this with the court?
I think it is the Stat Declaration process but happy to stand corrected by others!

Hope all this helps - it's not what you need at any time, whether you suffer from anxiety or not
 
Last edited:

Haywain

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3 Feb 2013
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8,652
My son received a letter in the post that he he owed almost £400 in unpaid court fines.
When did he receive the letter? This is very important information. If, as you suggest, he is receiving messages chasing payment of the fine this suggests that time for a Statutory Declaration may have expired.
 

AlterEgo

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No longer here
My son received a letter in the post that he he owed almost £400 in unpaid court fines. When he called the court he was told that he was stopped last year for not having a ticket and it went to court and he failed to attend and was issue a fine. It turns out it was one of his old school friends who he has no contact with gave my son’s name, date of birth and used a fake address (we all used to live on the same road and he have a neighbours door number).

The court have since traced my son to our address and have issued a letter regarding bailiffs and they keep sending text messages to pay the fine. It’s really distressing for my son who suffers with anxiety. Please can anyone advise us? Will the police help? Can the boy be arrested? Will the boy who used my sons details be held to account? How do we sort this with the court?
How do you know the identity of the person who is alleged to have stolen your son's identity?
 

dosxuk

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2 Jan 2011
Messages
1,156
When he called the court he was told that he was stopped last year for not having a ticket and it went to court and he failed to attend and was issue a fine.
When did your son call the court? This is very important with regards to what avenues are open to resolve this.
 

Gloster

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Up the creek
I am not an expert in this area, but on general principles I would be very reluctant to name the person that you believe gave your son’s name to the railway authorities, unless you have very strong reasons for believing that it was them. Saying, ’It must have been X as I can’t think of anyone else who knew the information,’ is probably not sufficient. If you use a solicitor it might be worth checking this point. Others on the forum may be better able to advise you on this.
 

WesternLancer

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4,880
I am not an expert in this area, but on general principles I would be very reluctant to name the person that you believe gave your son’s name to the railway authorities, unless you have very strong reasons for believing that it was them. Saying, ’It must have been X as I can’t think of anyone else who knew the information,’ is probably not sufficient. If you use a solicitor it might be worth checking this point. Others on the forum may be better able to advise you on this.
Despite my instinct on what I would do / want to do in such a situation....I suspect this is wise advice.

However, if reporting the use of the son's identity to the police (as it is presumably a form of / case of identity theft) I suspect they would be bound to ask if you have any idea of who may have done it - it's then up to the police how they investigate that of course.

It might help the OP if you gave your line of thinking on why not to do this (ie risk of retaliation for example?).
 

Florey

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22 Jun 2022
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4
Location
London
Hi welcome to the forum.

So basically, if you can clarify

q1) your son did not dodge a fare, was not 'caught' / spoken to by railway staff about any ticketing issues?

q2) your son did not receive any letter in the post earlier on from the railway company eg asking 'for his version of events' type thing - and probably also threatening that it could be taken to court? This is v important to check with your son - as if he did get such a letter and failed to engage (eg to deny it was him) with it then he maybe cannot use the process I mention below over this because that is about a case where you have been taken to court without knowing anything about the matter you are accused of.

q3) how old is your son?

q4) do you know what train company it is that initiated the court action?

I think the process for this is to (urgently) do something called a Statutory Declaration which 'resets the clock' on the basis that your son did not know about being taken to court as false details were given (I am assuming the court never had your son's correct address and it is the Bailiffs who have done the detective work and traced him to now get the money? Do you know if that is correct, or did the person who gave false details - the 'friend' - maybe give an old address where your son used to live?).

There are other threads on Statutory Declarations if you search the forum - or other experts on it may post to explain more.

IIRC from other thread you can do this yourself without using a solicitor, but it may be worth using one as they will know exactly what to do and probably do not charge much - maybe trying ringing a few local solicitors to you to get a price for doing that.

The reason you need to do it ASAP is that I think you have to do it (or your son will) within 21 days of finding out about this.

You could also urgently write to the train company and explain what you believe has happened, and you are taking steps with the court to sort this out, (ie your son's details have been used by another person maliciously) - they will want to hear from you as they will want to engage with this - if you think you know who has done this you could tell them that too (I would!) - unsure if they would then be able to commence proceedings against that person now but that is up to them. The railway company may originally have taken some brief descriptive details of the person they stopped and questioned - which may or may not match your son.

So at this stage today I would
a) ring the court and ask them about this / making a statutory deceleration
b) ring 2 or 3 local solicitors to see what they would charge to help with such a declaration
c) start to prepare a letter to the train company Revenue Protection Section explaining what you believe has happened
d) wait and monitor other advice on here for rest of the day etc to see what other experts suggest

Hope this helps.

Depending on the age of your son you may need a letter of authority signed by your son to act on their behalf I guess.

It may be worth trying to keep the Bailiffs at bay by taking a clear line with them and sticking to it / possibly writing to them - eg could say:
- your contact on behalf of the court is the first I have heard of this
- I believe my identity was used by another person falsely
- I am currently seeking advice on the best course of action to resolve this
- I am now in contact with the court about this matter

I've no idea what they would do but it may mean they go and chase someone else instead of your son for a bit / de-prioritise the case whilst you get the help you need and take the action you need to take.

Ref your specific questions:

A) Please can anyone advise us?
People here will help with suggested actions

B) Will the police help?
Probably not with this now it has been to court, but essentially your son is a victim of stolen identity I would think, and the perpetrator of that may do it again for other situations they are in - so personally I would report it to the police. The kid who did it may start to learn that actions have consequences....

C) Can the boy be arrested?
I don't know. (I assume you mean the boy who did it). If you mean your son I suspect not but the court Bailiffs will have processes to secure the money they believe they are owed and will keep trying to do that until the court tells them not to I would think - and that needs the case reviewing presumably - which is where the Stat Declaration comes in I think. That then allows your son to make it clear to the train company that it was not him who was stopped for ticket irregularity that day and hopefully the Train Company then drops the case against your son.

D) Will the boy who used my sons details be held to account?
Up to the Train Company I would think to decide what if anything they want to do about the person who they did stop (I suspect people giving false identities when stopped happens all the time so they will have a process they use in such cases).

E) How do we sort this with the court?
I think it is the Stat Declaration process but happy to stand corrected by others!

Hope all this helps - it's not what you need at any time, whether you suffer from anxiety or not
Thanks for you let help 100% was not my son he has was at work that day and the boy who used his identify lives where that station is. My son has never been to that station before. My son is 18 years old. He did not receive any letters apart from the one he received recently. The court was sending letters to the address the boy gave them. The court traced my son to our current address. The station Woolwich Arsenal has a DLR and a rail station. We don’t even know which one it is to pursue. We have been given no information whatsoever apart from the date it happened. CCTV will clearly show it was not my son.
 

WesternLancer

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Messages
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He called the day he received the letter
and how long ago was that? This is a key thing.

I suspect it might be this form that is needed - and that says must be done 21 days from when you found out about it (so in that case within 21 days from getting that letter I assume)


Like I say may be worth getting a solicitor to help with the Declaration process (then when the clock is reset you / your son can engage with the railway company - using advice from this forum as it may well not be necessary to also need to pay a solicitor to sort that part of things out) - so get the quote from the solicitors just for the Stat Declaration at this stage if within the 21 days. If not within the 21 days I guess you need their help more on what to do - tho others may post on here about that (seen some good advice on here ref Stat Dec's in recent past from people).
 
Last edited:

Western Sunset

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23 Dec 2014
Messages
1,576
... The court have since traced my son to our address and have issued a letter regarding bailiffs and they keep sending text messages to pay the fine....
Are bailiffs able to access people's mobile phone records, as they appear to be sending the son texts?
 

WesternLancer

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Joined
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Messages
4,880
Thanks for you let help 100% was not my son he has was at work that day and the boy who used his identify lives where that station is. My son has never been to that station before. My son is 18 years old. He did not receive any letters apart from the one he received recently. The court was sending letters to the address the boy gave them. The court traced my son to our current address. The station Woolwich Arsenal has a DLR and a rail station. We don’t even know which one it is to pursue. We have been given no information whatsoever apart from the date it happened. CCTV will clearly show it was not my son.
That is good as I suspect he can prove he was at work (tho depends on time the incident happened I guess)

If son 18 I guess he has to do the leg work on this / sign docs / letters etc (or act with your help or give you written authority to act on his behalf)

I guess you need to know who has refereed this for prosecution given the nature of the station - could be Transport for London (DLR) or a railway company (South Eastern Railway would be my hunch)

CCTV: Do not rely on this - you said it was in 2021, I doubt they will have kept CCTV, nor have much interest in trawling through it.

Are bailiffs able to access people's mobile phone records, as they appear to be sending the son texts?
It was a 'friend' who was the fare evader and who gave the false details - they maybe knew the son's mobile phone number and gave it to whoever stopped the fare evader. That's more likely than the bailiffs accessing mobile phone records (tho people do give their phone numbers to all sorts of organisation that may legitimately be able to be accessed by bailiffs. People might even post their number on the web / social media - not saying that is what happened but it could have done).
 
Last edited:

Florey

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and how long ago was that? This is a key thing.

I suspect it might be this form that is needed - and that says must be done 21 days from when you found out about it (so in that case within 21 days from getting that letter I assume)


Like I say may be worth getting a solicitor to help with the Declaration process (then when the clock is reset you / your son can engage with the railway company - using advice from this forum as it may well not be necessary to also need to pay a solicitor to sort that part of things out) - so get the quote from the solicitors just for the Stat Declaration at this stage if within the 21 days. If not within the 21 days I guess you need their help more on what to do - tho others may post on here about that (seen some good advice on here ref Stat Dec's in recent past from people).
Thanks was the 15 June
 

WesternLancer

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Thanks was the 15 June
OK - sounds like you are in time if Statutory Declaration is the correct thing to do, but the clock is ticking so you / your son need to act promptly now.

Some sort of court record for whatever date the case was heard should presumably state who brought the case (ie what part of the railway / train company / TFL etc) - court ought to be able to tell you that now I would think so that you can also start to engage with them.

Good luck with all this. Total pain to have to sort out. The 'friend' of your son has really caused him a big problem that will not be without hassle / time and money to get sorted out.
 

185143

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One thing to note, that I've not seen above, the Inspector involved may well have caught this on bodycam. If so, could this still be available as it's evidence for court?

If so, it will obviously show who was stopped.
 

Watershed

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One thing to note, that I've not seen above, the Inspector involved may well have caught this on bodycam. If so, could this still be available as it's evidence for court?

If so, it will obviously show who was stopped.
Usually bodycam footage is continuously overwritten unless actively saved. So unless the member of staff had reason to save footage there won't be anything.
 

LondonExile

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Thanks for you let help 100% was not my son he has was at work that day and the boy who used his identify lives where that station is. My son has never been to that station before. My son is 18 years old. He did not receive any letters apart from the one he received recently. The court was sending letters to the address the boy gave them. The court traced my son to our current address. The station Woolwich Arsenal has a DLR and a rail station. We don’t even know which one it is to pursue. We have been given no information whatsoever apart from the date it happened. CCTV will clearly show it was not my son.

Currently, all of that is irrelevant.

Your son has been convicted of a criminal offence, and needs to react accordingly. Anything around proof he didn't do it, couldn't have done it etc. is for the court case that's already happened (with the result of him being found guilty).

He needs to make the Statutory Declaration within the time frame to give him the best opportunity of resolving this correctly. If he misses that deadline, he can still request that the court either accept the statutory declaration out of time, or ask them to re-open the case under Section 142(2) of the Magistrates Court Act 1980 (as being in the interests of justice to do so), but it is definitely easiest if he submits the Statutory Declaration within the deadline, as then there is no decision requiring to be made which may go against him, the clock is simply reset to the point at which he is summonsed.
 

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