I was an idiot. Preparing myself for consequences with Govia Thameslink.

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Izzy38, 7 Dec 2017.

  1. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    I reused my carnet and was caught. It was an utterly wrong thing to do and I completely hold my hands up that what I did was fraudulent and a crime. I am not trying to make excuses. I don't know what I was thinking, and the more I dwell on it the more mortified I feel. It didn't feel like a crime or theft when I did it, I don't know why, but now I do realise how grave it was. I have never done anything like this before and have used the railway lawfully for years.

    It took place on a St Albans to London journey.

    I have not yet received any letter from Govia but I am sure it is coming. I would like to prepare myself as best possible, recognising the need to both pay for my crime and recompense Govia, but also seeing if an out of court settlement is possible.

    I've read through the various threads on similar issues and found them really helpful.

    What I am hoping you might be able to advise on is how likely Govia are to settle out of court or whether I should prepare for an inevitable prosecution.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    Hmm. Misuse of carnet tickets is taken very seriously, due to the significant potential for extended, repeated fare evasion that they represent. In partiuclar, Govia will be interested to know whether you have done this previously.

    However, as you may have read on other threads, train companies are still often willing to respond to a well-written letter apologizing and offering to settle out of court for carnet misuse (eg this thread from 2016), particularly if this was a first offence.

    So yes, you should prepare for a letter. Out of Court settlements are likely to be higher than for other ticketing issues, because of the potential for a higher fine and the relative complexity of investigation that they may want to carry out, but if this is a first offence and you apologize immediately, a settlement is still a reasonably likely outcome.
     
  3. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    Thank you Cuccir for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. This is my first offence and I haven't done anything like this before. I'm mortified at my own lack of judgement - I'm a parent and work in the charity sector. I don't know what I was thinking.

    I will work on composing a heartfelt letter to be able to ammend and send once their letter arrives.

    What kinds of investigations would they normally carry out in this case?
     
  4. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Before others start trying to find excuses for you (as they will), I think you deserve some credit for admitting what you did. Maintain the same tone with GTR and you won't find it getting near a court.
     
  5. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    Thank you Haywain. I think you are being kinder to me than I deserve.

    I do have another question, having read up on this some more, if anyone can answer. Is there any likelihood or precedent that I might be charged with fraud rather than Railway Byelaw 20? I am wanting to look at all the posdible consequences to prepare myself for. Many thanks.
     
  6. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you alter the Carnet at all (i.e. change the date written on to it)?
     
  7. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Prosecution is by no means inevitable though, as @cuccir pointed out, GTR will take a harder line than if it was a 'simple' ticket involved.

    If you take full responsibility for your actions, demonstrate remorse about it and make a commitment to never let it re-occur then there is a fair chance they will settle the matter without involving the Court.
     
  8. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    Fraud charges are reserved for repeated misuse of tickets over a long period of time. Govia would only look into this if there's some sort of evidence that this has been happend; if they suspect this, they may ask you in for interview (which of course you wouldn't have to attend).

    But we're getting way ahead of ourselves here. If you've been honest in your posts on this forum, then no you will not be charged with fraud, and the balance of probability is I think in favour of an out of court settlement.
     
  9. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    Yes, I overwrote the date to change it from the previous day (when I had used it) to that day, to use it again. Such a monumentally wrong and stupid thing to do.
     
  10. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    Thank you Cuccir and NajaB for your replies. I have been honest with all I have said here, so hopefully there is a chance I can settle out of court. I think I'm reading up on the topic too much and panicking. There isn't a lot I can do until I receive the letter from Thameslink. Will this letter say what they are intending to prosecute me for?
     
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thinking worst case scenario then I would say it is possible they would look to raise a prosecution for fraud. But, unless there is evidence to suggest that you've done this before and are a serial offender, it's probably unlikely and they would therefore stick with the more usual prosecution reasons via the Byelaws and the Regulation of Railways Act 1885 Section 5.

    Yes the letter will most likely state what they are intending to prosecute you for and ask for your version of events.

    For a first time offender usually it is possible to arrange to settle of court (though expect this to cost potentially several hundred pounds) but, of course, this cannot be guaranteed.
     
  12. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    Thank you Ainsworth74, I really appreciate you replying. That is quite reassuring, although obviously, as you say, nothing guaranteed. I will see what the letter says when it comes, and whether it seems a good idea to get a solicitor involved at that point. Thanks again.
     
  13. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    When you get the letter, come back here and you will get good advice on what to do next. However, you won't need a solicitor at that stage as you are clearly capable of taking and following advice.
     
  14. Izzy38

    Izzy38 Member

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    Thank you Haywain, I'll do that.
     
  15. 1B85

    1B85 Member

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    Not used carnets before, but I take it from what I've read that you need to write the date on before using. Was this something like changing a five to a six, as in 05 December to 06 December?
     
  16. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Yes, you date a box at the top of the ticket. Similar to how you use 3 in 7 (etc) rover tickets. There used to be a lot of fuss about FCC and the correct type of pen to use to ensure you weren’t wrongly accused of what the OP did. This is taking us off topic though!
     

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