GWR Prosecutions

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Bigyid, 30 Sep 2019.

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  1. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    As far as I can tell, GWR only "decided to discontinue" because the OP paid the out-of-court settlement to protect their daughter's health.

    It also appears that GWR are refusing to entertain any complaiint/correspondance about how the matter was handled. In view of this, I don't know if there is any mileage in making a general enquiry (i.e not mentioning this specific incident at all) to GWR about what a passenger should do if the ticket they had paid for failed to print and there were no staff at the depature station able to assist.
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2019
  2. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Member

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    Surely there is the basis for at least a referral to the Rail Ombudsman given the evidence the OP has, and the failure of GWR to engage with the attempts to resolve this?
     
  3. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    Just to clarify, is this for this thread (where the OP has paid up for the sake of their daughter's health) or for https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/advice-on-pre-court-settlement-offer.179600/ (where the (separate) OP was threatened with a prosecution that was withdrawn before court)?
     
  4. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    Irrespective whether it was a penalty fare levied for the incorrect amount or the application of some other penalty in my view neither of these should have been charged. There was no means to buy a ticket so the OP had done nothing wrong (taking the OP's statements at face value as I have no reason to doubt them) so no penalty should have been issued. This is why I believe not only a refund of the "penalty" should be made but also a significant gesture of good will made. GWR may argue that their staff suspected attempted fraud and that the staff were only doing their duty but the OP has been presumed guilty and their word disbelieved especially when other passengers had the same problem . I do not see how the railway can (or rather should be able to) get away with this all the time.
     
  5. Western Sunset

    Western Sunset Member

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    Totally agree.
    If, as the OP mentions, there were other passengers in the same boat as being unable to buy tickets, then surely the GWR must realise there was something wrong with the ticket machine at that station. Unless, of course, all the passengers conspired to defraud the GWR.
     
  6. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    My apology, yes, I had read both threads and I posted on the wrong one. The process is the same of course, but the reference to withdrawal is in respect of the matter that had been discontinued by GWR.

    Please see my apology above, my reference to withdrawal from Court was posted on this thread in error
    .
     
  7. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    I came into reading this thread fairly late, but hope you will take this reply in the context that it is written as it is intended to be helpful, not critical of you or your daughter, though I know some readers may think otherwise.

    You can ask, but the TOC are not obliged to provide anything. If your daughter is over 18, any letter or request to the TOC would have to be made by her. It's extremely unlikely that any CCTV footage might exist, but will normally have been destroyed after 30 days and in any case as others have said on other threads, it is never likely to provide anything of value in these matters.

    It would be extremely helpful for anyone trying to give meaningful suggestions to help you, if we knew what date particular travel was made. It's not possible for any of us to find out anything from GWR by knowing that, so nothing to worry about, but it will add context to what may have happened.

    If your daughter was definitely issued an 'original fine paper'; as referred to in your post, that would suggest that she was given a Penalty Fare Notice. Your reference to an £85.50 “Pre-Court Settlement Letter” negates that happening as RPI's / Authorised Collectors, Guards etc. are not able to issue such a letter at the time of travel and any PF Notice has a 21 day appeal period, plus 2 follow-up letters if it remains unpaid or unresolved before any decision regarding potential for prosecution and any further action commences. That procedure takes 21 days allowed on the first notice, usually a further 28 days over two more reminder letters and then it may be referred for consideration of prosecution if unresolved. That process will take some further time, so if it had been a PF Notice you are looking at about a month after the event as a bare minimum

    It will be really helpful if you will upload a redacted copy of this letter as has been suggested on several previous posts

    It can be a Byelaw offence to travel without a valid ticket if working pre-purchase facilities were available to a traveller before boarding

    It's not quite as black & white as that. If any matter proceeded to issue of a Summons and a subsequent Court hearing, the Court might be asked to consider that question, but it would depend on what charge is laid by the prosecution. A Byelaw charge would be bound to fail if it can be shown that there was no working facility to buy before travelling.

    However, the vagaries of Magistrates thinking might be different if a S.5.3 RRA charge were laid. A number of other questions would be asked and the prosecutor will be pressing examination of 'what was the traveller's intention if they had not been stopped & questioned?'

    As has been pointed out many times, the ruling that 'a man shall be judged on his words & actions' and not what others might surmise was in his mind will be important here and you can never be certain how the Magistrates might go.

    A bank statement is not proof of purchase of any specific ticket. It does show that an amount of money left an account, but again, this would be a matter for consideration and no guarantee that it would always be accepted. That's difficult to accept I know, but factual nonetheless.

    Sorry if some of this isn't what you want to hear, but it doesn't alter the fact that your daughter might still pursue any complaint.
     
    Last edited: 8 Oct 2019
  8. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    In my opinion you need to continue to get an admission from GWR that they were in the wrong (ticket office closed and no ticket provided by ticket machine even though payment was taken) and a refund. I would imagine that your daughter's details would be kept on file and any other ticket mistake by her even if accidental would result in GWR being more inclined to go straight to a prosecution. I find it incredible that they ignore a bank statement showing a transaction for the same amount as the ticket in question. You may want to contact your bank and ask them whether they can refund the amount paid or help you in any way to provide more details of the transaction. I also find it incredible that having been unable to purchase a ticket through no fault of their own the passengers are subjected to this behaviour by GWR. NB I also understand from many threads here that there is no obligation on the passenger to seek out a conductor on a train to by a ticket so failure to do this should not be considered valid evidence in a court case.
     
  9. RPI

    RPI Member

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    You cannot be issued an £80.00 fixed penalty at the time, for the journey involved GWR wouldn't have gone straight to MG11, if paperwork was issued at the time then either a penalty fare or an Unpaid Fare Notice was issued which allows 21 days to appeal or dispute.
    Now if a Penalty Fare or Unpaid Fare Notice were issued at the time and it was ignored then that would explain why they have gone this far and why any appeal hasn't been entertained.
    If someone was reported straight away then they wouldn't be issues with anything at the time other than a "What happens next" card which has no cost or price mentioned on it, the only time any cost is mentioned is when the letter arrives.
     
  10. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    I'm sure that RPI is right and that is one reason why others have asked for sight of a redacted copy of the 'Pre-Court settlement letter' referred to in earlier posts. These letters normally make clear what the reason for the allegation is and what any suggested charge covers and it will be helpful to see how this is calculated in compiling any complaint.
     
  11. Bigyid

    Bigyid Member

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    She got the ticket and iirc it tells her that she will get a fine in the post. This is the letter she received.

    0A10B0CF-4BE9-4C1C-9632-E74C4BD3A3F2.jpeg

    Obviously this was back in September and I’ve been fighting it since then and each time they put case on hold until it’s been looked at. I have now paid the fine and have sent an email asking for a refund or a deadlock letter so the rail ombudsman can intervene.
     
  12. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    So it appears that the RPI filled out a ticket irregularity report (TIR) at the time rather than issuing a penalty fare for £80 plus fare. This make a lot more sense.
     
  13. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Indeed it does.
    And in answer to the OP's post #32, GW have followed correct procedure.
    They are not obliged to offer a penalty fare - for example, the RPI at Exeter may have believed people were attempting to evade paying the correct fare.
    Whether they had grounds for doing so is another matter, which the OP should certainly take up.
     
  14. RPI

    RPI Member

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    So this was dealt with by way of an MG11 then, which would lead to believe that there is more to this, I'm assuming then that the person in question was interviewed under caution?
     
  15. Bigyid

    Bigyid Member

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    There isn’t any more to it than I’ve already stated. Daughter bought a ticket as did others but machine didn’t give any tickets, she explained this to the enforcement officer on train and offered to pay for fare, he declined payment and reported her for travelling without a ticket, along with others who got on a Teignmouth... He was well informed by others on the train that my daughter was telling the truth and they experienced the same problem yet he continued to serve notices on my daughter and others.

    I have no reason to lie or make this all up, I wouldn’t waste my time emailing or trying to get GWR to reverse this, if I knew my daughter was in the wrong. I basically want them to look into this further and really something needs to change! I totally agree with handing out fines to fare dodgers but these revenue officers need to be more sympathetic and listen! If several people at the same stop tell them there’s a problem with ticket machine, then why issue out notices to prosecute? Obviously it’s a money making! Instead of handing out £20 fines or allowing customers to buy tickets on trains, they now just hand out these notices...

    anyway thank you all for your comments and information.

    Mods are welcome to close thread, I have sent emails off to GWR and have another meeting with CAB on 14th and have spoken with the railways ombudsman.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I must have missed something. According to the document you posted the event happened on September 8th and the document is dated September 16th. So the RPIs didn't hand out anything asking for £85.50?
     
  17. Realfish

    Realfish Member

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    In essence, GWR have within 6 working days of the incident, issued a demand for £85.50 to avoid escalation up to and including prosecution. While this is in line with GWR's revenue protection policies, there would seem to be a step missing, that of formally giving the customer the opportunity of responding before facing a possible detriment. It might be argued that that opportunity occurred at the time of the interview under caution. Thinking of the environment and possible circumstances, I doubt though that that offers the necessary safeguards for passengers including this one, who presumably with a 16-17 railcard is a minor (?).

    As an aside, does the OP know if the other passengers caught up in this were known to the OP's daughter?
     
  18. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Indeed so, and no-one on here has accused you, or your daughter, of lying.

    However, part of the purpose of this forum is to offer correct advice, and to do that sometimes means challenging stories that seem incomplete or slightly unusual.

    I hope you will be able to resolve this one satisfactorily.
     
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