Intention to... prosecute :S

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RailwayUser93

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I recieved a letter of a notice of intention to prosecute from first capital connect today, I was stopped by inspectors on a train to finsbury park and i couldnt find my ticket. I was heading to north london and i had purchased my ticket using the machine a couple of days prior to the day of my job interview. The letter says notice of intention to prosecute for the offence of ''failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection''. I am a law student and a prosecution would be detrimental to my career path for obvious reasons. Please help? What is the likelyhood of this being taken to court? will they settle out of court if i pay the fare again ? Do they usually let people just pay the fare again? Will a grovelling letter in my details of offence help?


Thanks so much for any help
I wasnt issued with any kind of penalty fare, just an intention to prosecute

Update: The matter has now been resolved, RailwayUser93 settled out of court.
 
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Does it say under what legislation you would be prosecuted?

Do you have any proof that you purchased the original ticket, such as a credit card or TVM receipt?

FCC do settle out of court sometimes for a first offence, however you will be looking at substantially more than the original fare. For a case they are reasonably confident about, expect to pay upwards of £150.
 

RailwayUser93

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I paid by cash no credit card and i paid it in advance of the day because i already knew i had a job interview to go to prior to the day.

it says offence of ''failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection'' thats all it says ?
 

yorkie

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We have nowhere near enough information to provide any meaningful advice. Sorry.

Have you seen other threads on prosecutions? Such as First Capital connect notice to prosecute letter - help ?

If you are in a position to provide much more information, we may be able to assist.

However, if you look through previous threads, you will note that where people have committed the offence and have no previous 'history', then in several known cases, a reasonable offer to settle out of court has been accepted.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I paid by cash no credit card and i paid it in advance of the day because i already knew i had a job interview to go to prior to the day.
And you lost the ticket, and it was never recovered, right?

Were you interviewed under caution at the time? How did the conversation go? Were you asked for your version of events by post?
it says offence of ''failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection'' thats all it says ?
It sounds like a Byelaw 18 prosecution. This is far less serious than a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution.
 
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34D

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I recieved a letter of a notice of intention to prosecute from first capital connect today, I was stopped by inspectors on a train to finsbury park and i couldnt find my ticket. I was heading to north london and i had purchased my ticket using the machine a couple of days prior to the day of my job interview.
Few questions:
-you purchased your ticket "a couple of days prior" at a machine? Were you collecting a ticket bought online?

You were travelling towards Finsbury Park, and your ultimate destination was North London? This suggests you started your journey at either Kings Cross, Moorgate, Old Street, Essex Road, Highbury or Drayton Park. All (except Essex Road and Drayton Park, and possibly a couple of platforms at Kings Cross still) have barriers. So which station did you board at, and how did you pass the barrier line?
 

RailwayUser93

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Few questions:
-you purchased your ticket "a couple of days prior" at a machine? Were you collecting a ticket bought online?

You were travelling towards Finsbury Park, and your ultimate destination was North London? This suggests you started your journey at either Kings Cross, Moorgate, Old Street, Essex Road, Highbury or Drayton Park. All (except Essex Road and Drayton Park, and possibly a couple of platforms at Kings Cross still) have barriers. So which station did you board at, and how did you pass the barrier line?
Nope it wasnt bought online.
I was travelling from Hatfield to finsbury park and the barriers were open for some reason so i didnt actually need to bring out my ticket.

I even saw the inspectors prior to my boarding the train and asked them for directions to the quickest train to north london
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
We have nowhere near enough information to provide any meaningful advice. Sorry.

Have you seen other threads on prosecutions? Such as First Capital connect notice to prosecute letter - help ?

If you are in a position to provide much more information, we may be able to assist.

However, if you look through previous threads, you will note that where people have committed the offence and have no previous 'history', then in several known cases, a reasonable offer to settle out of court has been accepted.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

And you lost the ticket, and it was never recovered, right?

Were you interviewed under caution at the time? How did the conversation go? Were you asked for your version of events by post?

It sounds like a Byelaw 18 prosecution. This is far less serious than a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution.
How much would settling out of court cost me baring in mind im an 18 year old student ?

i was cautioned i think, if i remember correctly and yes i was asked for my version of the events both at the station and today i recieved the intention to prosecute alongside a sheet of paper asking for my version of events

will a byelaw prosecution result in conviction

This is my first time ever dealing with anything like this and im extremely worried
 

bignosemac

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A ticket purchased a 'couple of days before' from a Ticket Vending Machine?

That's not possible is it? TVMs only sell tickets for immediate travel or, if it's past a certain time (1600, 1700 etc), the next day.
 

yorkie

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How much would settling out of court cost me baring in mind im an 18 year old student ?
I am not FCCs prosecution department and have no connection with them, so cannot answer that. However a quick search of the words settled and court on this forum do provide some interesting results, such as parnelli1983 settled for £179 with XC for a similar offence. I do not know the amount, but hgb201 settled out of court, after receiving this advice.

I suspect you will, in fact, find all the answers to all of your questions on this forum, if you search for them and read posts on prosecutions carefully. However, be careful because the advice given will relate to the circumstances described and we can only advise based on the information that we are given. If the situation turns out to be more serious than what the defendant describes to us, then our advice is less likely to be appropriate. Also if we are not provided with the full story, again, the advice is less likely to assist.

i was cautioned i think, if i remember correctly and yes i was asked for my version of the events both at the station and today i recieved the intention to prosecute alongside a sheet of paper asking for my version of events
Right, in that case you are not being prosecuted yet, as it will depend on your response.

It's up to you what you say, and there is plenty of advice in previous posts, however perhaps an apology for losing the ticket, along with an offer to pay for the correct Anytime Single fare, plus reasonable compensation for the time the TOC has had to spend pursuing the matter, may be accepted.

If the original ticket has since been found, perhaps it could also be enclosed.

will a byelaw prosecution result in conviction

This is my first time ever dealing with anything like this and im extremely worried
Please refer to the answers provided in the links above.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A ticket purchased a 'couple of days before' from a Ticket Vending Machine?

That's not possible is it? TVMs only sell tickets for immediate travel or, if it's past a certain time (1600, 1700 etc), the next day.
No, it's not. Well spotted. This may also be noted by FCC!
 
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RailwayUser93

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A ticket purchased a 'couple of days before' from a Ticket Vending Machine?

That's not possible is it? TVMs only sell tickets for immediate travel or, if it's past a certain time (1600, 1700 etc), the next day.
i dont know the exact date it was bought i just know it was in advance, it mustve been the day before then because i asked my friend who lives on campus to get it for me, (as i dont know how to operate the ticket machines nor do i usually go to the station and theres usually queues at the counter) i just gave them money and was given back change and the ticket
 

RailwayUser93

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What was the price of the ticket?
well i gave a 10 pound note and was given change, but the change wasnt much so i dont know exactly i really cant remember exact detail as this was a couple of weeks back and i didnt think it was important at the time

i think the ticket for the train back was 10 something or around that reigon from finsbury park back to hatfield and i came back around 5 or 6pm
 

bignosemac

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I'm getting sceptical. I appreciate you've come here for help, but those who can offer good advice need to know the correct chain of events.

First you stated that, "i had purchased my ticket using the machine a couple of days prior to the day of my job interview." But now it's a friend who purchased it and "it must have been the day before...." And then you lost it....

And another vague answer about the cost of said ticket.

You are studying law are you?
 

RailwayUser93

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I'm getting sceptical. I appreciate you've come here for help, but those who can offer good advice need to know the correct chain of events.

First you stated that, "i had purchased my ticket using the machine a couple of days prior to the day of my job interview." But now it's a friend who purchased it and "it must have been the day before...." And then you lost it....

And another vague answer about the cost of said ticket.

You are studying law are you?
I understand the answer is vague but i honestly dont know the exact cost of the ticket, even on my return to Hatfield where i physically used the machine myself with the help of someone i dont know the actual cost i paid.

Yes my friend did get it, im saying ''I'' because it was my money used to pay for the ticket, not my friends

Yes i study law and i understand i should be able to give more detail but i genuinely donot remember the exact cost of it, at the time it wasnt of importance to me its not as if it was unusally high and i was more concerned with my job interview.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Any questions or further detail that is needed in order to help i am more than happy to answer but as i said the cost of the ticket (at the time) was insignificant to me. obviously now with hindsight i know hhow important a detail this is
 

yorkie

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Do you hold a Railcard? If so, what type of Railcard?

You held a return ticket, but lost it on your outward journey, is that right? How did you get back?

You left Hatfield after 10am, so on the 1008 Moorgate service, or the 1024 King's Cross (fast) service? They both arrive Finsbury Park around 1040ish.
 

bignosemac

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The cost is a less important detail than providing the facts, and facts that don't, on first reading, appear contradictory - both here to get accurate advice and in any correspondence with the prosecutions unit of FCC. If they sniff any inconsistencies the chances of an out of court settlement are greatly reduced.
 

RailwayUser93

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Do you hold a Railcard? If so, what type of Railcard?

You held a return ticket, but lost it on your outward journey, is that right? How did you get back?

You left Hatfield after 10am, so on the 1008 Moorgate service, or the 1024 King's Cross (fast) service? They both arrive Finsbury Park around 1040ish.
I dont have a railcard

Return ticket?
No the ticket which was lost was a single ticket and i used another single ticket to get back which i (myself this time) bought from finsbury park on the day, at the machine so i could return back to hatfield

the train to finsbury park must have left at 12-something because i arrived out of camden station at 1:37 ( i had to check my text messages to find this out).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The cost is a less important detail than providing the facts, and facts that don't, on first reading, appear contradictory - both here to get accurate advice and in any correspondence with the prosecutions unit of FCC. If they sniff any inconsistencies the chances of an out of court settlement are greatly reduced.
so to settle out of court what should i say?
i plan on calling them tomorrow
rather than go through interogation with them, is it easier to just say ''i didnt have a ticket im sorry'' and i am willing to pay the penalty fare plus the pice of the single fare ticket again?


because i have a feeling me not remembering exact details will be detrimental to me, I honestly never fuss or worry about exact price details of tickets i just pay what ive got to pay
 

yorkie

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I dont have a railcard
okay.
Return ticket?
No the ticket which was lost was a single ticket and i used another single ticket to get back which i (myself this time) bought from finsbury park on the day, at the machine so i could return back to hatfield
So, you are telling me the following:-

A friend bought an Anytime Day Single ticket for £9.00 from Hatfield (Herts) to Finsbury Park in advance, for travel the next day, from a ticket vending machine, paid for in cash. You then lost the ticket prior to travel. You travelled without a ticket because you did not realise you had lost it, and were stopped by an RPI. A discussion then took place, the details of which we do not know. There remains no evidence that the fare was paid for this journey. On the return journey, you bought another Anytime Day Single ticket for £9.00 and travelled without incident.

In total, you spent £18.00 on 2 x Anytime Day Single tickets, for a return journey which costs only £10.60 when an Off Peak Day Return ticket is purchased.

It is not for me to judge whether or not FCCs prosecution department is likely to believe this story or not. If they do not believe it, then they may be able to prosecute you for a Regulation of Railways Act offence. But, even if they do believe it, you are still likely to be found guilty of the strict liability offence for which they are currently intending to prosecute you for.

the train to finsbury park must have left at 12-something because i arrived out of camden station at 1:37 ( i had to check my text messages to find this out).
Camden Road or Camden Town station? Presumably you used Oyster PAYG from Finsbury Park? Or did you buy another ticket?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
so to settle out of court what should i say?
That is up to you, but have you read the posts I linked to earlier? You may find them helpful.
i plan on calling them tomorrow
You need to write to them.
rather than go through interogation with them, is it easier to just say ''i didnt have a ticket im sorry''
I would recommend an apology yes, but it really is up to you to decide the wording.
and i am willing to pay the penalty fare
A Penalty Fare is a charge made for genuine mistakes. In this case, it sounds like the RPI did not believe you made a genuine mistake (rightly or wrongly, I am not judging that) and therefore reported you for possible prosecution instead. It's not an option you can choose to be charged a Penalty Fare.
plus the pice of the single fare ticket again?
That and suitable compensation, if you wish to settle out of court. Please see earlier threads (I have hyperlinked to a few, as posted above) for a rough idea.

because i have a feeling me not remembering exact details will be detrimental to me, I honestly never fuss or worry about exact price details of tickets i just pay what ive got to pay
For a return journey from Hatfield (Herts) to Finsbury Park at the times you travelled, you have to pay £10.60. However, for some unknown reason, it appears you bought two single tickets totalling £9.00, but there is no evidence of the original ticket being purchased, and you were unable to produce it at the time, therefore a 'strict liability offence' has been committed.
 
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bignosemac

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I certainly wouldn't mention your cavalier attitude to the cost of tickets. You do know that you'd've save a fair bit by buying an Off Peak Day Return, rather than two singles? Two singles £18.00. One Day Return £10.60

And why if you were buying a single yourself for the return journey costing £9 did you not just stump up the £10.60 yourself on the day, or asked your friend to buy you the return ticket the day before?

Sorry this is all a bit academic for your current predicament, I'll let others attempt to offer some sage advice and bow out.
 

RailwayUser93

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okay.

So, you are telling me the following:-

A friend bought an Anytime Day Single ticket for £9.00 from Hatfield (Herts) to Finsbury Park in advance, for travel the next day, from a ticket vending machine, paid for in cash. You then lost the ticket prior to travel. You travelled without a ticket because you did not realise you had lost it, and were stopped by an RPI. A discussion then took place, the details of which we do not know. There remains no evidence that the fare was paid for this journey. On the return journey, you bought another Anytime Day Single ticket for £9.00 and travelled without incident.

In total, you spent £18.00 on 2 x Anytime Day Single tickets, for a return journey which costs only £10.60 when an Off Peak Day Return ticket is purchased.

It is not for me to judge whether or not FCCs prosecution department is likely to believe this story or not. If they do not believe it, then they may be able to prosecute you for a Regulation of Railways Act offence. But, even if they do believe it, you are still likely to be found guilty of the strict liability offence for which they are currently intending to prosecute you for.


Camden Road or Camden Town station? Presumably you used Oyster PAYG from Finsbury Park? Or did you buy another ticket?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

That is up to you, but have you read the posts I linked to earlier? You may find them helpful.

You need to write to them.

I would recommend an apology yes, but it really is up to you to decide the wording.

A Penalty Fare is a charge made for genuine mistakes. In this case, it sounds like the RPI did not believe you made a genuine mistake (rightly or wrongly, I am not judging that) and therefore reported you for possible prosecution instead. It's not an option you can choose to be charged a Penalty Fare.

That and suitable compensation, if you wish to settle out of court. Please see earlier threads (I have hyperlinked to a few, as posted above) for a rough idea.


For a return journey from Hatfield (Herts) to Finsbury Park at the times you travelled, you have to pay £10.60. However, for some unknown reason, it appears you bought two single tickets totalling £9.00, but there is no evidence of the original ticket being purchased, and you were unable to produce it at the time, therefore a 'strict liability offence' has been committed.
Yep youve summed it up perfectly,
I now realise that i couldve saved a whole load of money and feel pretty dumb.
Yes i bought two single tickets but there was a reason for that, i initially bought (paid for) just a single ticket and not a return ticket is because I thought i may catch bus back to Hatfield as when i researched the route i saw that i could catch underground train from camden to edgeware then theres a bus 614 that goes from edgeware straight to hatfield as this bus only costs 2.50 when i show my student ID. But then when my interview finished i wanted to quickly get back to campus so decided on just taking train (which worked out quite expensive in the end)

ive seen the links youve posted but the circumstances in those situations seem to differ greatly to mine

(by the way thank you to you and everyone else who is trying to help me out so far)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I certainly wouldn't mention your cavalier attitude to the cost of tickets. You do know that you'd've save a fair bit by buying an Off Peak Day Return, rather than two singles? Two singles £18.00. One Day Return £10.60

And why if you were buying a single yourself for the return journey costing £9 did you not just stump up the £10.60 yourself on the day, or asked your friend to buy you the return ticket the day before?

Sorry this is all a bit academic for your current predicament, I'll let others attempt to offer some sage advice and bow out.
I had no idea how much a return ticket costed, and to be honest i was more concerned with how i was gonna get there and not being late because this was my first time going to camden

i was considering using the option of taking bus back to hatfield as its relatively cheap

I saw somewhere someone asked me whether i paid to take underground to camden from finsbury park, yep i did

nope i understand the need fot this questioning its not too academic and i appreciate all advice
 

yorkie

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Yep youve summed it up perfectly,
I now realise that i couldve saved a whole load of money and feel pretty dumb.
Yes i bought two single tickets but there was a reason for that, i initially bought (paid for) just a single ticket and not a return ticket is because I thought i may catch bus back to Hatfield as when i researched the route i saw that i could catch underground train from camden to edgeware then theres a bus 614 that goes from edgeware straight to hatfield as this bus only costs 2.50 when i show my student ID. But then when my interview finished i wanted to quickly get back to campus so decided on just taking train (which worked out quite expensive in the end)
Hmm, but a single is only £1.60 less than the return, yet the additional tube fare and the £2.50 bus fare mean that a return from Hatfield would have still been significantly cheaper than your intended slow route back. Nevermind; you now know for future reference.
ive seen the links youve posted but the circumstances in those situations seem to differ greatly to mine

(by the way thank you to you and everyone else who is trying to help me out so far)
One of the links I provided, which was posted by one of our most experienced & knowledgeable members, contained this quote:-
... I would definitely expect the TOC's Prosecution's Manager to accept a sum under £100 for a first offence for a S18 Byelaw offence. Please make your apologies as soon as possible and ask if the Company will accept a settlement which spares them (and the Courts) the time and expense of a Hearing.
It appears that FCC are intending to prosecute you for a Section 18 (2) byelaw offence, therefore this advice does appear to apply to you, as far as I can determine.

Byelaw 18(2) "A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person."

Apologies, I probably didn't make this clear enough.
 

MarkyMarkD

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I think you need to cut out any extraneous and conflicting information, and simply tell the truth.

If the truth is that you lost your ticket, then say so. It is irrelevant who bought the ticket, or when. Simply state that you had purchased a ticket, but you lost it before boarding the train (but didn't realise that you had until you were asked for it by the RPI). State that you realise that travelling without a ticket is not permitted; explain that it is the first time that you have ever done so, and apologise for the inconvenience you have caused to FCC.

Offer to pay them a sensible amount, as well as the £9 fare which you could not prove having paid.
 

RailwayUser93

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Hmm, but a single is only £1.60 less than the return, yet the additional tube fare and the £2.50 bus fare mean that a return would have been significantly cheaper.

One of the links I provided, which was posted by one of our most experienced & knowledgeable members, contained this quote:-

It appears that FCC are intending to prosecute you for a Section 18 (2) byelaw offence, therefore this advice does appear to apply to you, as far as I can determine.

Byelaw 18(2) "A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person."

Apologies, I probably didn't make this clear enough.

I know realise i wasted a lot of money that day which was quite sillly of me but I had no idea the return would be so cheap, Im not even sure why a single fare is so high if its going to be almost the same price as the return.

Isnt it a section 17 (2) byelaw offence (i read this on one of the threads but i lack the appropriate knowledge so forgive me if im mistaken)

Would you be able to offer some quick advice as to some guidelines on what i should write in my reply back to them.
The reason i ask if this seems very serious and i dont want to end up saying a load of irrelevant rubbish.
I just want to apologise and offer to pay so i can get this stress of my mind and continue to study for my exams,
so as the quote above says shall i offer to pay a sum of less than £100 to them.

Also how likely are they to accept this out of court settlement.
I really dont have any kind of money for a solicitor or to be going to magistrates court i have enought struggle paying for my rent at uni each term so im looking for the easiest solution
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I think you need to cut out any extraneous and conflicting information, and simply tell the truth.

If the truth is that you lost your ticket, then say so. It is irrelevant who bought the ticket, or when. Simply state that you had purchased a ticket, but you lost it before boarding the train (but didn't realise that you had until you were asked for it by the RPI). State that you realise that travelling without a ticket is not permitted; explain that it is the first time that you have ever done so, and apologise for the inconvenience you have caused to FCC.

Offer to pay them a sensible amount, as well as the £9 fare which you could not prove having paid.
Would this approach suffice, I would prefer to say something like this or do they usually require great amount of details
 

yorkie

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I know realise i wasted a lot of money that day which was quite sillly of me but I had no idea the return would be so cheap, Im not even sure why a single fare is so high if its going to be almost the same price as the return.
There are some discussions on this issue, such as Saver Returns/Saver Singles - Why so little difference in cost? and single fare 90% of return fare - grrrr! which you (or anyone else wondering the same thing) may find interesting, however it's probably not worth thinking about right now!
Isnt it a section 17 (2) byelaw offence (i read this on one of the threads but i lack the appropriate knowledge so forgive me if im mistaken)
It's essentially the same thing, however 17(2) makes this an offence even if you have not actually boarded a train, in an area that is designated a Compulsory Ticket Area (CTA).
Would you be able to offer some quick advice as to some guidelines on what i should write in my reply back to them.
It's your letter, however I see MarkyMarkD has helpfully provided some advice. I would also concur with him that it is best not to mention the detail here about who bought the ticket and not knowing the cost of it, as I mentioned before they may not believe it and it could potentially get you into more bother.
The reason i ask if this seems very serious and i dont want to end up saying a load of irrelevant rubbish.
Agreed. I'd keep it very concise. I'd concur with MarkyMarkD.
I just want to apologise and offer to pay so i can get this stress of my mind and continue to study for my exams,
That sounds like the best course of action to me.
so as the quote above says shall i offer to pay a sum of less than £100 to them.
It's your offer to make.
Also how likely are they to accept this out of court settlement.
Sorry for repeating myself but I can only refer you, once again, to the quote I provided by DaveNewcastle and my own opinion that he is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced members here. I can also add that his post was, of course, intended for someone else, however based on the information you have provided, then as far as I can determine there's no reason why it should not apply to your case (providing there's nothing more serious unknown to us, such as previous history) but each case is of course unique, and we cannot provide legal advice.
I really dont have any kind of money for a solicitor or to be going to magistrates court i have enought struggle paying for my rent at uni each term so im looking for the easiest solution
Defending a case like this would not only be extremely expensive, but given that it is a 'strict liability' offence, and you do not deny the offence, I personally see no viable alternative other than to offer to settle out of court, but it really is your decision to make, and I cannot suggest exact wording or exact amounts, and if I did make any such suggestions they would not in any way be guaranteed to be successful!

Nothing you read here can be considered legal advice, however obtaining legal advice from experts in railway ticketing matters can be extremely expensive.
 

RailwayUser93

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There are some discussions on this issue, such as Saver Returns/Saver Singles - Why so little difference in cost? and single fare 90% of return fare - grrrr! which you (or anyone else wondering the same thing) may find interesting, however it's probably not worth thinking about right now!

It's essentially the same thing, however 17(2) makes this an offence even if you have not actually boarded a train, in an area that is designated a Compulsory Ticket Area (CTA).

It's your letter, however I see MarkyMarkD has helpfully provided some advice. I would also concur with him that it is best not to mention the detail here about who bought the ticket and not knowing the cost of it, as I mentioned before they may not believe it and it could potentially get you into more bother.

Agreed. I'd keep it very concise. I'd concur with MarkyMarkD.

That sounds like the best course of action to me.

It's your offer to make.

Sorry for repeating myself but I can only refer you, once again, to the quote I provided by DaveNewcastle and my own opinion that he is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced members here. I can also add that his post was, of course, intended for someone else, however based on the information you have provided, then as far as I can determine there's no reason why it should not apply to your case (providing there's nothing more serious unknown to us, such as previous history) but each case is of course unique, and we cannot provide legal advice.

Defending a case like this would not only be extremely expensive, but given that it is a 'strict liability' offence, and you do not deny the offence, I personally see no viable alternative other than to offer to settle out of court, but it really is your decision to make, and I cannot suggest exact wording or exact amounts, and if I did make any such suggestions they would not in any way be guaranteed to be successful!

Nothing you read here can be considered legal advice, however obtaining legal advice from experts in railway ticketing matters can be extremely expensive.
Thank you for your help, you and the other have been very helpful.
If anyone else has any extra comments or questions it woulod be good to hear them

but one question that has been confusing me is why didnt they just give me a penalty fine or whatever the terminology for it is, an 'intention to prosecute' letter as a first line of communication for someone who has never done this before seems overtly harsh to me and ive never heard of that happen to anyone i know, most people who actually delibrately dodged fares seem to have only paid penalty fines and then the matter is over and done.
 

yorkie

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but one question that has been confusing me is why didnt they just give me a penalty fine or whatever the terminology for it is
Well, in addition to what I said earlier...
...A Penalty Fare is a charge made for genuine mistakes. In this case, it sounds like the RPI did not believe you made a genuine mistake (rightly or wrongly, I am not judging that) and therefore reported you for possible prosecution instead. It's not an option you can choose to be charged a Penalty Fare....
...I will add that, without being a witness to the conversation between yourself and the RPI, I cannot really answer the question of 'why?' the inspector took this course.
an 'intention to prosecute' letter as a first line of communication for someone who has never done this before seems overtly harsh to me
If caught without a ticket, on board a Penalty Fares train when you boarded at a Penalty Fares station, then questions will be asked. Without knowing how the conversation went, it really is impossible to comment.
and ive never heard of that happen to anyone i know
But it does happen, as you are not by any means the first to ask us for assistance in this situation, and I can guarantee you will not be the last. Perhaps the next one will be tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe next month, but it won't be far away.
most people who actually delibrately dodged fares seem to have only paid penalty fines and then the matter is over and done.
If there is evidence that the fare was deliberately evaded, then it should be reported for prosecution, and for a far more serious offence than the offence that FCC are intending to prosecute you for.

I will provide a quote that I believe may provide some clarification, in case there is any doubt:-
15. Do Penalty Fares apply to ‘fare dodgers’?
A penalty fare is simply a charge that [the company] is allowed to make under the Penalty Fare Regulations and Rules. It is not a fine and anyone who is charged one is not being accused of avoiding, or attempting to avoid, paying his or her fare. ‘Fare dodging’ is a completely different matter. It is a criminal offence and we treat it as such by prosecuting offenders under criminal law
(Source)
 

jon0844

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As NONE of the TVMs (ticket machines) at Hatfield can sell advance tickets (besides from late afternoon the day before), I really have a problem believing you, or someone else, got a ticket the night before and you could forget exactly when you, or someone else, got that ticket.

It had to be the night before! How could you forget that? By being unsure, or saying you were unsure, it's no wonder the RPI thought you were lying. It doesn't sound believable at all!

And if you knew nothing about ticket prices, how could you have asked for that specific ticket? Did your friend not ask if you were coming back? Surely if they used the TVM then they would have seen the return (quite likely above the single on the list) and perhaps called you to say 'hey, it's only £xx more for a return - are you sure you don't want that?'.

My only logical conclusion, which is what I am sure FCC concluded, is that you arrived at the station on the day, saw the gates open and chanced it. If that's not the case, you'll have a job proving otherwise now - unless you can get them to check CCTV records. I sincerely doubt they'd do this, and probably only two of the four TVMs are likely to be covered anyway, and even then it wouldn't show what ticket was purchased, of if it was later given to you instead of being used by someone else. And you say you didn't buy the ticket...

I'd just seek a settlement and be a LOT more careful next time. FCC catch students all the time at Hatfield, for a range of offences. They've seen it all, believe me.
 

SussexMan

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i dont know the exact date it was bought i just know it was in advance, it mustve been the day before then because i asked my friend who lives on campus to get it for me, (as i dont know how to operate the ticket machines nor do i usually go to the station and theres usually queues at the counter) i just gave them money and was given back change and the ticket
I've got an idea. You could ask your friend what date and approx time they bought your ticket.

And I have to say that I don't really buy the "as i dont know how to operate the ticket machines". Unless you've tried to use them then presumably you don't know you can't operate them. I might believe that if you are an older person who hasn't been brought up with any technology - but a uni student? Do you have a lap top, mobile phone, smart phone? Do you manage to get them to work?
 

island

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Thank you for your help, you and the other have been very helpful.
If anyone else has any extra comments or questions it woulod be good to hear them
Here's an extra comment, and I don't mean it to be harsh. Before you make any further contact with FCC, get your story right! If you can't decide when the ticket was bought, say it was bought from a machine which doesn't sell it then, etc. etc., you are going to talk yourself into getting prosecuted under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, which is a far more serious matter than the Railway Byelaws as it is a recordable offence.
 

34D

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i was considering using the option of taking bus back to hatfield as its relatively cheap

I saw somewhere someone asked me whether i paid to take underground to camden from finsbury park, yep i did
How did you pay for the underground journey? Oyster or cash?

To be clear, did you meet the RPI on your southbound journey from Hatfield to Finsbury Park?

Assuming you've been taught to think like a lawyer, you must be able to imagine how this appears to the other side.

I'm also confused by your apparent inability to operate ticket machines, and also your apparent lack of familiarity with London and its transport network - surely everyone your age goes on nights out in central London?

I can only defer to the advice of others about what to do next. Once you've drafted a letter you might care to see if anyone here would read through your draft (by PM). Not me, as I don't have the right experience to be able to assist.
 

michael769

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One word of caution to the OP:

The version of events that you are supplying is coming across as evasive and contradictory with several places where you seem to change or embellish your story. To be quite blunt it has a bad smell about it and if you come across this way to an audience that is sympathetic to your case and willing to help - please consider how it might be taken by a more hostile audience.

I remain concerned that knowledgeable people are still picking holes in your account - bear in mind that FCC's prosecutions dept know just as much (and probably more) than the folks on this forum and these type of discrepancies will be immediately picked up by them and potentially used against you should it come to court. If FCC or a court doubt what you are saying it will only make matters worse for you.

I would suggest that when you get back in contact with FCC you set out the events clearly, truthfully and completely, along with an offer of an out of court settlement, as Yorkie says there are some prior threads that can help you work out what a suitable offer may be. This is by far the best way to avoid picking up a criminal conviction that, whilst not reportable, given the profession you have chosen still carries the potential that it may negatively impact your future.
 
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