Fare evasion. One word against another

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Simplydb

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Good afternoon

I am writing to gain some information as my son who is a serving member of the armed forces has been summoned to court.

He caught a train while on sick leave for a injury. He bought a ticket via the train line and applied hm forces discount.

When he was asked for his ticket by the warden he asked for he railcard to which my son went and fetched it from his bag and gave it to him. After doing so the warden told my son that it was out of date my son looked and apologised that he didn't realise as he rarely catches a train and stated he had his military ID which has Been sufficient in the past (I know now that it is not) my son stated that he didn't intend to make this mistake as a railcard could easily be attained from work but he hadn't been back since being injured. My son offered to pay the discounted fare when the warden said he could not as it was a mobile ticket ...

This is where it becomes tricky
My son says he offered to pay the full fair many times to which the warden declined. The warden (as stated it his court summons statement says my son refused to pay. Of course I trust my son and believe him but I'm trying to lay everything on the table. The warden asked for my sons details and railcard and A passenger then said that was illegal as he was ex forces and this couldn't be done. After the warden and pass her had a brief debate my son became apprehensive at handing them over but in the end did so and have correct details .
He wasn't asked to leave the train and the police wasn't called and now there has been a back and forth of letters from TLI with my son stating he offered to pay as well as still offering to pay and even a fine so that the matter can be dealt with to no avail as now court summons have arrived. Him having s criminal record will affect his armed forces career as well as others so he doesn't want to plead guilty.

I'm just wandering what his options and chances are as well as why the train line would go so far over something if he offered to pay and if it's his word against the wardens. Also why a fine wasn't offered and to what the rough cost of court will be.

Many thanks for your replies in advance I am aware my son is at fault for not having an in date railcard and that is his own fault. But he was not trying to "evade fare" and offered to pay the difference and the full amount. To his account.
 
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najaB

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...to no avail as now court summons have arrived. Him having s criminal record will affect his armed forces career as well as others so he doesn't want to plead guilty.
Exactly what offence is he being charged with? Does it say something like "entered a train without a valid ticket" or mention "Railway Byelaw 18"? Alternatively does it mention anything about "attempted to travel without paying his fare"?
 

Simplydb

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Exactly what offence is he being charged with? Does it say something like "entered a train without a valid ticket" or mention "Railway Byelaw 18"? Alternatively does it mention anything about "attempted to travel without paying his fare"?

"Did travel or attempt to travel upon the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof"

Contrary to s.5 (3) (a) regulation railways act 1889 as amended by section 84 (2) of the transport act 1962 and section 18 of the British railways act 1970
 

Clip

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The warden asked for my sons details and railcard and A passenger then said that was illegal as he was ex forces and this couldn't be done..

Well he was wrong as its against the byelaws not to give your details however as najaB has asked - what are they being charged with.

It is an offence not to produce a railcard when presenting a railcard discounted ticket so its best to know what the charge is before any further advice can be given
 

SussexMan

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After doing so the warden told my son that it was out of date my son looked and apologised that he didn't realise as he rarely catches a train and stated he had his military ID which has Been sufficient in the past

He rarely travels by train but you state it has happened before. If it had happened before I would have expected your son to be extra careful that his railcard was valid.
 

Simplydb

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He rarely travels by train but you state it has happened before. If it had happened before I would have expected your son to be extra careful that his railcard was valid.

I appreciate your help but I came here for help. I said in the pat meaning when he first joined the armed forces and travelled by train while in training. I somehow feel like I'm being lectured rather than helped. He's not an idiot and completely agrees he should have had to repay or fined for his mistake and error. But he tried to do so and was refused. Now what
 

island

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The issue here is that a criminal offence is committed by joining a train without a valid ticket (and a Railcard-discounted ticket is not a valid ticket if not accompanied by the correct and valid Railcard) — the only exceptions would be if he joined at an unstaffed station with no ticketing facilities or was given permission to join the train by an authorised person. Subsequent offers to pay do not diminish this.
 

ian959

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I appreciate your help but I came here for help. I said in the pat meaning when he first joined the armed forces and travelled by train while in training. I somehow feel like I'm being lectured rather than helped. He's not an idiot and completely agrees he should have had to repay or fined for his mistake and error. But he tried to do so and was refused. Now what

The TOC have considered what your son has to say and obviously feel that proceeding to a prosecution in court is warranted. There may be reasons why they have done so, such as a prior offence or he failed the "attitude test" - only the TOC know why.

The remaining option now is to contact the prosecutor before the court date OR at the court on the date of the listing and request an out of court settlement. If that does not succeed, then a court appearance is inevitable unless he pleads guilty.

The relevant facts are that without a current railcard, your son was not able to produce a valid ticket when requested. That is a strict liability offence so it is NOT a question of one person's word against another. Your son's railcard was out of date and therefore his ticket was not valid. Your son will be asked one question in court: did you present a valid ticket when requested, his only answer can be no, he could not say anything else unless he intends to lie to the court.

On the basis of what information has been provided, your son is guilty and pleading not guilty is unlikely to be a wise move. Note that intent is determined by actions - and not having a valid railcard for a discounted ticket demonstrates intent to evade the proper fare, however inadvertently.

The fine in court could be as much as £1000 but if this is a first offence then more likely to be in the region of £300, plus costs (the unpaid train fare). Obviously an out of court settlement would be less, and avoid any chance of a criminal record.
 

najaB

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"Did travel or attempt to travel upon the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof"

Contrary to s.5 (3) (a) regulation railways act 1889 as amended by section 84 (2) of the transport act 1962 and section 18 of the British railways act 1970
Hmm. Unfortunately that is the stricter of the two commonly used sets of legislation, and a conviction would be recordable. However, unlike the Byelaws that ian959 mentioned it isn't a strict liability offence - the TOC is required to provide evidence of intent to avoid paying the correct fare.

How sure are you that your son is telling you the whole story? I ask because the TOC's case doesn't appear to be strong based on what you've posted. And while inspectors are human and make mistakes in their reports, out and out lying isn't a common thing.
 

DaveNewcastle

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I agree with najaB that the Company is pursuing a offence which is based on the remark you quoted from the summons "his court summons statement says my son refused to pay.". This will have been written duing the discussion with your son ant the time of travel, and whoever is dealing with the prosecution now has that simple statement as a cricial element in the evidence before them.
However that remark fits (or doesn't fit) with your son's report of what actually happened, it is going to help you to appreciate that the Company has that statement and is treating it as fact.

I appreciate that you will be drawn to an attempt to see how that statement can be reconcilled with your son's report to you, but at this stage it is going to be of more assistance to decide how to deal with it. You (and he) can either admit guilt and move on, or contest it with some persuasive challenge to that statement in the Inspector's 'Witness Statement'.
A local law firm specialising in Criminal Defence work might be willing to Defend the accusation against him and/or to negotiate an alternative resolution by way of a settlement for you. But I urge you to choose one or the other - it's not going to help him to advise pleading 'not guilty' where the only basis for that plea will be his sworn statement 'but I didn't'.

Hope this helps.
 

snail

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I somehow feel like I'm being lectured rather than helped.
To help we need to understand the facts of the situation. The advice can then sometimes be not what you want to hear.

I'm still unclear from your explanation as to what happened, particularly the comment My son offered to pay the discounted fare when the warden said he could not as it was a mobile ticket .... If he bought a railcard discounted ticket without a railcard, then offered to pay the same fare when challenged that could easily sound like an intent to avoid paying the correct fare for the journey. How many chances should someone get to demonstrate that they weren't trying to avoid paying the correct fare?
 

Simplydb

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Apologies if I am coming across as confused but I don't understand what you guys mean when u say they have "that statement".

He offered to pay the discounted fare and the full fare. The terms and conditions of the train line and cross country trains state that if someone does not have a valid railcard they will have to pay the discounted fare. He offered to do both and the conductor says he didn't.
So why have a term and condition that you must pay the full fare if your railcard isn't valid rather than the terms saying (if you don't have one you will be taken to court)
What if someone loses their railcard while moving through trains without noticing. Thanks for all your help so far by the way guys.
 
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philthetube

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"Did travel or attempt to travel upon the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof"

Contrary to s.5 (3) (a) regulation railways act 1889 as amended by section 84 (2) of the transport act 1962 and section 18 of the British railways act 1970

Have their been previous cases where lack of intent has been successfully shown, if yes, considering that a free railcard was available if requested, and that the previous railcard was available to be shown, that there would be a good chance of a not guilty verdict on the grounds that there was no intent.

Please bear in mind that this is only one opinion but I would have thought that if the case ended up in court that a not guilty plea should be entered, even though if unsuccessful this could be expensive, it sounds as if a guilty verdict would also be expensive, possibly far more so.
 

Simplydb

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To help we need to understand the facts of the situation. The advice can then sometimes be not what you want to hear.

I'm still unclear from your explanation as to what happened, particularly the comment My son offered to pay the discounted fare when the warden said he could not as it was a mobile ticket .... If he bought a railcard discounted ticket without a railcard, then offered to pay the same fare when challenged that could easily sound like an intent to avoid paying the correct fare for the journey. How many chances should someone get to demonstrate that they weren't trying to avoid paying the correct fare?
As I said he was genuinely surprised it was out of date and didn't knowingly jump on the train trying to pay a lesser fare. I understand that it may look that way but why state in terms and conditions that I must pay the full fare if not valid?
 

najaB

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Apologies if I am coming across as confused but I don't understand what you guys mean when u say they have "that statement".

He offered to pay the discounted fare and the full fare. The terms and conditions of the train line and cross country trains state that if someone does not have a valid railcard they will have to pay the discounted fare. He offered to do both and the conductor says he didn't.
That is what DaveNewcastle is trying to get across - the TOC has a statement from their inspector that directly contradicts your post. Is it possible that the truth of the matter is somewhere in-between the two?
So why have a term and condition that you must pay the full fare if your railcard isn't valid rather than the terms saying (if you don't have one you will be taken to court)
That is what normally happens, it is very unusual for a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution to be brought. If the events occurred exactly as you have described then it wouldn't be successful.
 
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Simplydb

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Apologies I can now see the confusion as to why u think this may have happened before. When I said it has been sufficient in the past he was relating to have withdrawn his military ID from his pocket and a conducter has said "that's fine pal" while he searched pockets for his HM railcard, and so was referring to that situation .
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
That is what DaveNewcastle is trying to get across - the TOC has a statement from their inspector that directly contradicts your post. Is it possible that the truth of the matter is somewhere in-between the two?
That is what normally happens, it is very unusual for a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution to be brought. If the events occurred exactly as you have described then it wouldn't be successful.
As mph1977 pointed out, a pending court appearance on a criminal charge is something that he should notify his employer about.

So Davenewcastle and yourself are trying to explain that somebody is lying apologies if I'm being an idiot in not understanding. Also regarding informing his commanding officer his commanding officers yes he has it was just that that was asked by someone who gave no help or input whatsoever. Thanks again najaB
 

najaB

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So Davenewcastle and yourself are trying to explain that somebody is lying apologies if I'm being an idiot in not understanding.
I honestly don't have any reason to think that either your son or the inspector are lying, I'm just trying to get to the core events of the day - it's often the case in these matters that the two descriptions of events don't match up, but not though any malfeasance from either party.

As I mentioned above, a RoRA prosecution is an odd thing for someone who has a railcard discounted ticket but no railcard. I could *almost* understand a Byelaw 18 prosecution (since there is no need to show intent to short fare). The actions you have described don't, in my opinion, display intent.

If you are confident that your son's description is correct then I suggest that he should reply to the summons pleading not guilty, simultaneously write to the TOC, enclosing a cheque for the full fare, explain again what happened and ask for them to drop the matter.

Since the summons has been issued, you should copy both parties (the TOC and the Court) into each of the letters.
 
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tony6499

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An inspector doesn't have to accept an offer of an excess payment if he suspects something more serious has happened that warrants a report for possible prosecution.

That your son offered to pay is not important now as it was refused due to the situation that the inspector thought it not appropriate for this case.
 

Bertie the bus

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He offered to pay the discounted fare and the full fare. The terms and conditions of the train line and cross country trains state that if someone does not have a valid railcard they will have to pay the discounted fare. He offered to do both and the conductor says he didn't.
So why have a term and condition that you must pay the full fare if your railcard isn't valid rather than the terms saying (if you don't have one you will be taken to court)

That doesn't make any sense and contradicts itself. First you claim thetrainline and CrossCountry both state you must pay the discounted fare if you don't have a valid railcard and then immediately state it says you have to pay the full fare. If they do state you have to pay the full fare, which they do, then why did your son offer to pay the discounted fare?

The elephant in the room is how was this 'offer' made? Did the RPI tell him he had to pay the full fare and he said no, but he would pay the railcard one? That could be construed as an offer to pay but could also be construed as a refusal to pay (the fare due).
 

najaB

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The elephant in the room is how was this 'offer' made? Did the RPI tell him he had to pay the full fare and he said no, but he would pay the railcard one? That could be construed as an offer to pay but could also be construed as a refusal to pay (the fare due).
Thanks. That was what I was trying to get across when I asked how confident Simplydb is that their son's version of events - as posted - is correct.
 

Simplydb

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That doesn't make any sense and contradicts itself. First you claim thetrainline and CrossCountry both state you must pay the discounted fare if you don't have a valid railcard and then immediately state it says you have to pay the full fare. If they do state you have to pay the full fare, which they do, then why did your son offer to pay the discounted fare?

The elephant in the room is how was this 'offer' made? Did the RPI tell him he had to pay the full fare and he said no, but he would pay the railcard one? That could be construed as an offer to pay but could also be construed as a refusal to pay (the fare due).

He offered to pay the discounted fare. She said this wasn't available as he had a mobile ticket . He then said ok wel I'll pay for a full ticket which she said it's too late for that. He only found the terms on a later date. Apologies if I was incorrect before but the train line states that in the event of an invalid rail card the discounted amount will be required where as cross country's state that the price of a new ticket is required.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have now found out that a railcard is around 15 pound for the year and comes directly out of salary. If people believe that he did it to avoid this cost you will have to take my word for it that he is not that desperate for money. to the posts about renewing it. He had a broken ankle rarely catches trains now and hadn't been back to work since breaking his ankle made the mistake of not checking believing it was in date later than the date of travel. The discount took 16 pound off travel, and he has already offered to pay the full fare plus a fine since the first letter came before these court summons and obviously wants a out of court settlements as this is just hassle for the sake of 16 pounds for a genuine mistake. What would happen if someone lost they're railcard on the train or it was stolen would they then be issued the same
Court summons? Even if they offered to pay for s brand new ticket for the journey without the discount because that is what's happened here. Just swap a lost railcard for a genuine mistake. For all u know the lost railcard could be a lie just like some of you think my son knew his railcard was out of date. I understand nobody knows my son to judge wether he's a liar or not. But do you think a serving member of the armed forces would knowingly risk getting caught out on crutches and embarrassing himself in front of a whole carriage for the sake of either 16 pound for the discounted ticket, 15 pound for a new railcard or 50 odd quid for a new ticket. And then if you believe he is lying to them give correct details as to be hunted down knowing that the minimum is a fine? Thanks for all your posts and help I will get him again to ask for w or of court settlement but I know he will not plead guilty when he offered to pay and she is calling him a liar. I think he would have plead guilty of her statement said "I do not have to allow the traveler to pay the full fare" but she said " he was asked to pay the full fare and refused"
 

StateOfPlay

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He offered to pay the discounted fare. She said this wasn't available as he had a mobile ticket . He then said ok wel I'll pay for a full ticket which she said it's too late for that. He only found the terms on a later date. Apologies if I was incorrect before but the train line states that in the event of an invalid rail card the discounted amount will be required where as cross country's state that the price of a new ticket is required.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have now found out that a railcard is around 15 pound for the year and comes directly out of salary. If people believe that he did it to avoid this cost you will have to take my word for it that he is not that desperate for money. to the posts about renewing it. He had a broken ankle rarely catches trains now and hadn't been back to work since breaking his ankle made the mistake of not checking believing it was in date later than the date of travel. The discount took 16 pound off travel, and he has already offered to pay the full fare plus a fine since the first letter came before these court summons and obviously wants a out of court settlements as this is just hassle for the sake of 16 pounds for a genuine mistake. What would happen if someone lost they're railcard on the train or it was stolen would they then be issued the same
Court summons? Even if they offered to pay for s brand new ticket for the journey without the discount because that is what's happened here. Just swap a lost railcard for a genuine mistake. For all u know the lost railcard could be a lie just like some of you think my son knew his railcard was out of date. I understand nobody knows my son to judge wether he's a liar or not. But do you think a serving member of the armed forces would knowingly risk getting caught out on crutches and embarrassing himself in front of a whole carriage for the sake of either 16 pound for the discounted ticket, 15 pound for a new railcard or 50 odd quid for a new ticket. And then if you believe he is lying to them give correct details as to be hunted down knowing that the minimum is a fine? Thanks for all your posts and help I will get him again to ask for w or of court settlement but I know he will not plead guilty when he offered to pay and she is calling him a liar. I think he would have plead guilty of her statement said "I do not have to allow the traveler to pay the full fare" but she said " he was asked to pay the full fare and refused"

Hi mate,

Look, as you can see there are lots of opinions on here, and a lot of confusion. As your Son will not plead guilty he needs to get legal advice. This site is for railway enthusiasts and you need a lawyer.

I always find the Citizens Advice a good place to get impartial advice and have provided you a link to their website where they talk specifically about being taken to court for fare evasion.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/c...re-taken-to-court-for-avoiding-paying-a-fare/

I hop that helps and wish your Son all the best.
 
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Llanigraham

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He offered to pay the discounted fare. (1) She said this wasn't available as he had a mobile ticket . He then said ok wel I'll pay for a full ticket which she said it's too late for that. He only found the terms on a later date.(2) Apologies if I was incorrect before but the train line states that in the event of an invalid rail card the discounted amount will be required where as cross country's state that the price of a new ticket is required.(3)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have now found out that a railcard is around 15 pound for the year and comes directly out of salary. If people believe that he did it to avoid this cost you will have to take my word for it that he is not that desperate for money. to the posts about renewing it. He had a broken ankle rarely catches trains now and hadn't been back to work since breaking his ankle made the mistake of not checking believing it was in date later than the date of travel. The discount took 16 pound off travel, and he has already offered to pay the full fare plus a fine since the first letter came before these court summons and obviously wants a out of court settlements as this is just hassle for the sake of 16 pounds for a genuine mistake. What would happen if someone lost they're railcard on the train or it was stolen would they then be issued the same (4)
Court summons? Even if they offered to pay for s brand new ticket for the journey without the discount because that is what's happened here. Just swap a lost railcard for a genuine mistake. For all u know the lost railcard could be a lie just like some of you think my son knew his railcard was out of date. I understand nobody knows my son to judge wether he's a liar or not. But do you think a serving member of the armed forces would knowingly risk getting caught out on crutches and embarrassing himself in front of a whole carriage for the sake of either 16 pound for the discounted ticket, 15 pound for a new railcard or 50 odd quid for a new ticket. And then if you believe he is lying to them give correct details as to be hunted down knowing that the minimum is a fine? Thanks for all your posts and help I will get him again to ask for w or of court settlement but I know he will not plead guilty when he offered to pay and she is calling him a liar. I think he would have plead guilty of her statement said "I do not have to allow the traveler to pay the full fare" but she said " he was asked to pay the full fare and refused"
(1) Which was not applicable, as has been stated many times.
(2) Sorry, but when he first applied for the Card he signed to agree with the T & C's of that Card, even if he did it on-line, and he signed the back of the card that says he has read and agreed the T & C's. If he did not read them it is still his fault. Ignorance is no defense in Law.
(3) Really? I think you are reading that incorrectly.
(4) They would be required to pay the full fare, and to suffer the consequences if they refused to do so.
 

najaB

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He offered to pay the discounted fare. She said this wasn't available as he had a mobile ticket . He then said ok wel I'll pay for a full ticket which she said it's too late for that.
Are you 100% sure this is exactly what happened or was there perhaps some back-and-forth that's been left out? If it really did happen how you've laid out, then I can't see how his actions support the charges. Did he sign the inspector's report to confirm that it was accurate?
Court summons? Even if they offered to pay for s brand new ticket for the journey without the discount because that is what's happened here. Just swap a lost railcard for a genuine mistake.
As I mentioned above, it is very unusual for a missing railcard to result in a RoRA prosecution this is all turning on the inspector's report. Is there anyone would would be able to corroborate that your son's version is correct?
Thanks for all your posts and help I will get him again to ask for w or of court settlement but I know he will not plead guilty when he offered to pay and she is calling him a liar. I think he would have plead guilty of her statement said "I do not have to allow the traveler to pay the full fare" but she said " he was asked to pay the full fare and refused"
It's never too late to reach an agreement to put the charges aside - be persistent and try to get the TOC to see sense.
 

Simplydb

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Thanks for yor replies and help citizens advice said it was a joke but that they can't really help. He didn't sign any sort of statement on the train she asked for his details on a blank piece of paper and he gave them. I'm not asking for any treatment because he's in the forces but I can't see why they would waste taxpayers money on this whole back and forth rather than say u messed up pay this fine don't do it again for a genuine mistake. You keep asking if this is genuinely what happened and I have said several times it is.
Thanks for all your support I'll let you all know how it goes on.
 

najaB

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You keep asking if this is genuinely what happened and I have said several times it is..
Yes, I do. And I apologise if it is annoying but it really is very important to be 100% certain about it. We're depending on a second-hand account and people have a natural tendency to describe events in the light that is most favourable to themselves.

I am not try to catch you out, nor do I disbelieve your posts and I don't think you son is a liar. Just if he intends to plead not guilty then he needs to be certain that the TOC won't be able to present any evidence that contradicts his statement.
 

DaveNewcastle

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Apologies if I am coming across as confused but I don't understand what you guys mean when u say they have "that statement".

He offered to pay the discounted fare and the full fare. The terms and conditions of the train line and cross country trains state that if someone does not have a valid railcard they will have to pay the discounted fare. . . . .
I was referring to the statement you quoted from the Summons, that he refused to pay the fare, and then I was taking that as a quote which the investigating officer would have extracted from the notes taken on the day of the incident by the ticket Inspector. That note has the effect of a Witness Statement.

I've already said that "I appreciate that you will be drawn to an attempt to see how that statement can be reconcilled with your son's report to you, but at this stage it is going to be of more assistance to decide how to deal with it." but as you seem to have formed the view that the only way to reconcile those two conflicting reports is to presume that one of the two parties must be lying, then I feel compelled to point out that there may be other ways to reconcile them. I'll give you one example (which on its face may even fit all the facts here), but rather than enter into the sort of argument which others have adopted on here, I'll provide it only to illustrate my general points that (1) there may be other ways to reconcile the two apparent contraditions, other than deliberate lying, and, (2) that it is probably going to be more productive to look at how to make progress from where we are, than it is to try to unravel the details of that incident or the principles of armed service any further.

Here's a scenario, in which the Inspector cannot reverse a decision to investigate a ticket irregularity on reciept of an offer to pay by the passenger (which is a policy designed to avoid the habit of fare evaders only paying when found to be ticketless, and only paying the due fare, and also to avoid putting the Inspector in a position of judgement of a wrong any more than gathering evidence following a suspicion):
Ticket Inspector: "Tickets Please."
Passenger: Presents ticket with Railcard discount applied.
TI: " Do you have a Railcard to go with that ticket?"
Pass: "Oh. Yes. Hold on, its in my bag"
Pass goes to bag & returns.
Pass presents expired Railcard.
TI: "That's expired."
Pass: "Oh. Is it? I normally just show my forces ID"
[TI becomes suspicious that there may be a regular avoidance]
TI: Do you have a current date Railcard?"
Pass: "No." (pass hasn't yet made the offer of payment of a full fare)
TI: "I can't let you travel with that."
(possibly the TI makes the first suggestion of Pass paying the full fare).
(Pass still makes no payment)
TI: understands that the Pass does not intent to pay.
TI: "I'd better take your details. Have you any ID?"
TI: forms the view that there is enough evidence to support a suspicion of fare avoidance and that (s)he should take details for an investigation.
Pass: is 'apprehensive at handing them over'
TI and Pass have that 'brief debate'.
Pass then hands over ID and makes offer of payment (or one of these first and the other later).
TI has begun taking notes of the incident and will not accept a payment which would trigger abandonment of an investigation.
TI possibly includes a question such as "what would you have done if I hadn't noticed your Railcard was out of date?"
Pass possibly doesn't refer to paying the full fare in his reply.
The stalemate is reached in which pass. continues to offer payment to regularise the situation and the TI continues to refuse and to ask further details. The passengers offer to pay after having learned that the incident will be reported for investigation may form part of the notes.

Subsequently, the note book is used in the Investigation and the Officer considers that it provides adequate evidence to support a Prosecution. The fare remains unpaid. The offer to pay is only evident at a time after the suspected fare evasion apparent to the passenger.​
I suggest this scenario only to illustrate that the subtle details of how an incident is remembered and recounted may lead to apparent contradictions without requiring the assertion that either party is lying. I hope this helps your son to make an appropriate decision in how todeal with the unfortunate situation you both find yourselves in.

Just to add to the above fictional scenario, there are a whole host of additional factors which, in themselves have absolutely no bearing on the validity of a ticket, but will be likely to influence the way in which an Inspector's reaches a suspicion of an irregularity; many of these will be entirely innocent actions. For example, appearing to be asleep during a ticket inspection; being drunk; going to the toilet when the Inspector arrives; having earphones apparently so loud that the request for tickets isn't heard; various 'attitudes' in response to requests. And then there are the additional factors which materially do contribute towards the suspicion, such as remarks "Well I always do this and no one has queried it before".
 
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Phil.

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Simplydb, I'm sorry that your son is in this position. The simple B.R. system of paying the difference is long gone and now everyone is a potential criminal.
 

RPTC

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I' no expert in railway offences but do know about enforcement elsewhere.

If it is a strict liability offence then all that needs to be proven is the offence i.e. wrong ticket

You can mitigate all you like but Strict Liability offences do not allow for this and some are extremely harsh. These are a nasty and pernicious way of dealing with offences in my view, but that is what Parliament decided.

On my TOC the situation is that if you don't have the ticket you pay the penalty fare (I think 2x the full price single for the journey) or give your name and address, and it is treated as a civil matter. If you refuse both then they move to the criminal. I have sat in 1st class listening to a woman come up with all sorts of excuses why she could not pay (my credit cards are company ones and I'm not allowed to use them and other BS!) and then refused to give her name. The RPI were very professional and clearly didn't want to bother BTP, but had run out of options. However as I was getting off one stop before the destination I paused next to her and said "You don't have the right ticket and these gents have tried to give you easy options to resolve this. We've had to listen to your excuses for 15 minutes. As you have refused to pay and refused to provide your details, despite having a purse full of cards, you are now liable to arrest for a breach of railway byelaws. I'm guessing that at the next stop you will be met by BTP who will remove you from the train, place you in a van and take you into custody. At 10am or 2pm today you will then go before the local Magistrate. I don't know what you do for a living but I'm guessing a conviction for fare evasion isn't career enhancing. My advice is pay these gentlemen before the terminus is reached." The look on her face was a picture as I got off.

Anyway, offering to pay the discounted or even full fare is probably too late. I agree offering the TOC to pay the full fare, any penalty fare and possibly a contribution towards costs could be a smart move, since the Courts are keen to avoid cases that could have been resolved out of court. Turning up and saying "we tried to resolve this with a full settlement but they refused" is better mitigation than "I didn't know". The TOC then has to explain to the Court why the Court's time is being taken up with avoidable case.

If as has been suggested earlier there are issues with people buying discounted tickets online and then not having the railcard. It could well be RPI's have been told to have zero tolerance on this issue as so many people are taking the proverbial. In which case the TOC may have decided that all cases like this go to court to put a stop to it, and the lad here has been caught by that.

There is nothing nasty about pointing out the Queens Regulations. It has to reported to the CO, and given this lad has already failed to keep his Railcard current I think it nothing more than helpful to remind him of the regs since he probably doesn't need the grief of a Court Martial as well.

But since the facts are unclear please get a lawyer. It is very easy to talk yourself into an avoidable conviction when the combination of the nervousness of being in the dock and a decent prosecuting barrister come into play.
 

StateOfPlay

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It is how it is pointed out that matters. I agree with the OP.

But I also think he should get legal advice and not listen to all the unqualified lawyers on this thread.
 
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