Fare Evasion Possible Prosecution- Please help

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by tadic1533, 22 Dec 2019.

  1. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    Yesterday I was taking a train from my town with Chiltern Railways into London. The barriers were open at my origin station, so I purchased a cheaper ticket fare whilst on the train only covering the cost of an outer London station to the London terminal

    On arrival, the ticket inspectors at the gates promptly referred me to a fraud investigation officer. He essentially got me to confess on the spot what I had done- (under pressure I openly admitted I had paid for the cheaper fare to save a little bit of money). He then gave me an official caution, which I signed and during this caution I very stupidly said that "it was a mistake" and "I regret it" which he wrote down on the sheet.

    The officer said that I will hear back from Chiltern regarding a possible prosecution. He said however, because I was courteous and honest with him he gave me the email for the Chiltern fraud investigations unit. He told me to email them, be honest about what I did and ask for an out of court settlement, and because it is my first offence they will probably be happy to do this.

    I am a student who is soon going to be applying to jobs, and being prosecuted and having a criminal record would quite literally ruin my life and everything that I have worked so hard for. I have never been in trouble with the law before, and so I am of course distraught.

    I would like some advice please- should I email the investigations unit and admit everything, or should I wait for a letter in the post before responding? Also, based off your knowledge of Chiltern (and other companies), how often do people in my circumstances get taken to court straight away, even for a first offence? At what point should I consider legal representation?

    I would greatly appreciate any advice from the Railforum community. Thank you for your time.

    P.S I apologise for not being specific about some of the stations, I am just worried that they might be monitoring these forums.
     
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Wait for the letter and then pay the out of court settlement amount stated in the letter to avoid a criminal record.
     
  4. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    How do I know they will offer the out of court settlement straight away and not a provisional court date? Surely they have enough evidence against me to prosecute?
     
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    They do, but it's better for the company for you to pay them a substantial settlement, which the company can keep, than it is for them (and you) to incur court costs and you be issued with a fine.

    Train companies get to keep settlements, but not fines.
     
  6. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    I understand. For peace of mind, would emailing them before the letter arrives be of any help at all? The officer said he was doing me a favour by giving me the email, so I would imagine it would make them more likely to settle?
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Sorry I missed that, if that's what he told you to do, to maximize your chances of an out of court settlement, then yes I would do that.
     
  8. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    Keep the email brief, and if it's true, say you've learned your lesson and won't be doing it again.

    If you post a draft on here with identifying details removed, people can comment on it.

    It's quite common for people to think that, as you can see from threads on here, and to find it's far from the truth. What kind of jobs are you looking at, and what requirements are there from employers or professional organisations?
     
  9. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    I am looking at highly competitive jobs in the city (consulting finance etc). However, I have also considered pursuing another degree in medicine.

    What are the implications of the conviction? I heard it is spent after a year, but this would basically mean I would have to declare it to any employer as it would come up on a CRB check?
     
    Last edited: 22 Dec 2019
  10. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

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    When I was doing professional services (infosec) consultancy, the initial background check - sufficient for working with retail/investment banks - included a BPSS screening. As I understand it, this would not show spent convictions, and even if you did apply before it was spent or it showed up anyway I would be really surprised if anyone cared. There are really more important things to consider when evaluating candidates, particularly in areas where there is a shortage of skilled applicants.

    Regarding medicine: Most of my work now is in HE. I know that for MB ChB applicants the university does expect applicants to go through an Enhanced DBS check which I believe would also include spent convictions. I don't know the specifics here, but I think that any conviction not listed here https://assets.publishing.service.g...offences_that_will_never_be_filtered_PDF_.pdf is potentially eligible for filtering if no custodial sentence was handed down and would therefore not appear on such a screening. I think a GMC-registered doctor would need to complete a notification upon conviction too... though I would be surprised if this was considered to compromise fitness to practice.

    In short: pursue the settlement out of court as has been recommended above but it's not the end of the world if it does end up in a conviction.
     
  11. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    Thank you.
     
  12. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    Here is a draft of an email that I plan to send. Any feedback or comments would be really appreciated.

    ***Email Removed by User for Privacy Concerns***
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2019
  13. Essan

    Essan Member

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    One thing I would add, is that when you say:

    You were not being stupid at all. As, indeed, his response to you showed.

    Being polite and contrite in these situations is always the best course.
     
  14. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    Others know better than me how to judge the likelihood or unlikelihood of prosecution, but if it's crucial to avoid conviction, you could at some stage consider hiring a solicitor - which may depend on your personal preference.
    BPSS is a basic standard for government-related work.
    Whether spent convictions need to be disclosed in finance depends on the job - including jobs in future years:
    https://www.nacro.org.uk/resettleme...ions-from-people-with-criminal-records/#banks
    https://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/a-to-z-eligibility/
    http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/financial-services-sector/
    https://www.gov.uk/find-out-dbs-che...-regulated-by-the-financial-conduct-authority

    You may have to do some research on employers' attitudes.
    Unlock and Nacro have helplines.
    ...

    You could remove "huge":
    Maybe "I ran":
     
  15. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

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    This is good advice, seems some of the FCA-approved roles are a bit stricter but you can definitely go pretty far and make a good living without requiring any of that.

    For what it's worth, I did no government work in my role - it was almost entirely financial services. From what I've heard, the government work tends to require SC/DV clearance (though it would depend on the exact work) which are both an entirely different kettle of fish.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    In any case, it's highly unlikely that a single rail ticketing offence would be the sole determining factor in getting/not getting a job. I guess if there were two candidates who were equal in every other possible way...
     
  17. island

    island Established Member

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    I work in a bank. Some roles allow us to request a standard DBS check (includes spent convictions). Others are basic only.

    We would be very unlikely to refuse a job applicant who had and declared a single conviction for a single instance of evading a train fare.

    We would be quite likely to refuse that applicant if they did not declare the conviction when invited and we later found out about it from another source (such as a DBS check).
     
  18. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    Thank you everybody for your helpful replies. I really appreciate it.

    I will send off the email shortly. With regards to the mitigation letter arriving, does anybody have an idea about roughly how long it takes to come from the date of offence? And following the return correspondence, the time before the final decision arrives?
     
  19. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Slightly longer than the average piece of string...

    Could be a week, could be a few months.
     
  20. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    The waiting will be painful. I am unbelievably stressed and having sleep issues, I hope it is resolved sooner rather than later.
     
  21. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Put it to the back of your mind. There's literally nothing else you can do at present.
     
  22. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    They can drop the prosecution at any time. So if they didn't settle at first, you could keep trying to persuade them by letter, email, phone - including through a solicitor if you chose.

    The last resort before court would be to go early, ask staff where the prosecutor is and try to persuade them.

    No-one here has said court is likely. @yorkie has said why it's in the company's interest to get your money instead of going to court, and your account of what the officer said at the time is consistent with that:

    If it's difficult to stop worrying, perhaps read some threads on here to see what other people's experiences have been in obtaining settlements. On employment, perhaps do some research on people's experiences and companies' attitudes, to add to what @island says. See above - Unlock and Nacro have helplines.
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2019
  23. J4u4u2c

    J4u4u2c Member

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    This kind of crime falls under bylaws which means although you will recieve a criminal record it will be a non recordable criminal record so it will not show up on CRB/Enhanced CRB check but will appear on PNC. Hope you feel better.
     
  24. island

    island Established Member

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    There are no such things as CRB checks any more, but byelaw convictions may appear on enhanced DBS checks. They would appear on standard or basic DBS checks only if recorded incorrectly,
     
  25. J4u4u2c

    J4u4u2c Member

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    if it gets recorded incorrectly, can you call the team managing DBS and get revoked?
     
  26. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    No, it would be for the court who entered it to correct the entry. But that's really not something worth worrying about as it only happens rarely.
     
  27. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    That is an offence under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 rather than the byelaws.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/52-53/57/section/5
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/railway-byelaws

    It would be open to them to allege a byelaw offence, but in line with what you say above, they have evidence for the more serious allegation.

    The RoRA offence is "recordable" on the Police National Computer.

    As with other convictions resulting in a fine, a person over 18 at the time of conviction would have to declare it to an employer for at least a year.

    It would appear on DBS checks for the period appropriate to the level of check (a year for "basic" checks).

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-guidance-on-the-rehabilitation-of-offenders-act-1974
    https://www.gov.uk/find-out-dbs-check
     
  28. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    I have received correspondence from the TOC directly for mitigation rather than TIL. Is it a good thing that they are dealing with me directly rather than going through the latter?
     
  29. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    That has to be a good thing - if nothing else, it means they might read your reply!
     
  30. tadic1533

    tadic1533 Member

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    In one were to have incorrectly purchased said ticket after drinking just a little bit, leading to the momentary lapse of judgement, would it be a good or bad idea to include this in the return letter? Or would it be incriminating due to the intoxication byelaw?
     
  31. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The Byelaw offence requires you to be unfit to be on the railway due to intoxication. I suggest that there's a bit of a delta between making minor mistakes and being in an unfit state.
     

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