No Ticket? Fine/Court/Criminal Record? Help?

Status
Not open for further replies.

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Hello all,
I'm new to this forum so bear with me if this is posted in the wrong place!

Basically i travelled to work on a train this morning, in Liverpool, and I jumped on the train without a ticket with the intention to buy one at the station.

I arrived at Liverpool Lime Street (only 2/3 stops down the line from where I got on) and ended up in the wrong queue, and to my horror saw inspectors, at which point in a state of panic searched through my pockets to find my ticket from yesterday evening, and showed them that. I know this was wrong and they pulled me aside and I explained that I only did it in a state of panic.

I was honest and explained the situation that I couldnt purchase a ticket in my station, and that I only did what I did out of a state of panic.

My ticket is roughly £1.80 single and is 3 stops from my intended station.

The guard/inspector was really good to me and understood and could see I was a genuine, regular, honest customer, and have messed up this once, he took all my details and told me I'd be receiving a letter, and if it happened again I'd be in trouble.

I was late for work and I was in a state of panic and I'm really worried as to what will happen next. I really don't want a criminal record, but I'm worried I now may have one? If i receive a fine through the post I will explain my situation, co-operate and pay the fine without fail. But I really do not want a criminal record or to go to court if this can be avoided?

If anyone has any wise words on the matter I will gladly appreciate it.

Thanks
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
The inspector/guard did say I'd be receiving a letter though.

In any case I know I was wrong and owned up to the fact that because I'm an honest, trustworthy character I just panicked. Its so easy for me to sit here and think I should have just asked where to buy a ticket instead of trying to get away with it. But whats done is done now, and I just want to honestly own up to this horrible situation in the best way I can and never get into this situation again.

Thanks for getting back to me so soon, if anyone else has any other thoughts or experiences of what might happen then please let me know, as I can't even concentrate in work over this whole situation!:(
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
and if I do receive a letter with a fine to pay, does that then mean I have a criminal record?
 

Brucey

Member
Joined
7 Jan 2010
Messages
670
You cannot receive a fine from a train company. Only a court can impose a fine.

You may be asked to pay an "administrative penalty", which is effectively an out of court settlement.

What company did the inspector work for? A number of companies serve Lime Street, so any of them could have provided the inspectors.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,183
Location
0036
Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place.

Until the letter comes and we know what it says, we probably can't do a lot to help you on this. Merseytravel could do anything between give you a warning, ask for an administrative penalty of perhaps £100 (they can't issue fines, only a court can do that), and prosecute you for avoiding payment of a fare under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889. Only the latter, and a conviction, would lead to a criminal record. If you get a letter in the post saying "the matter will be taken no further if you pay £x", and you pay, then that is not a fine and you do not get a criminal record.

I am sure you will allow sufficient time to buy your ticket in future, but do remember that the inspector has never met you before and going on about how you're an honest, trustworthy person will cut little ice. When you get the letter, come back and tell us what it says and we'll help you from there.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Right OK. I'm just really anxious to hear about what might happen and when. Is it the type of thing also that they might send a letter out in a few weeks/months? or is it something that I'll be hearing about in the next week?

I realise I did wrong and I'd accept the fine just out of pure stupidity and to show my willingness to co-operate
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,516
Location
Central Belt
One thing from your first post to clarify, you paid the fare upon arrival at Liverpool? I assume you did but it doesn't explicitly say so. (unless I have missed it)
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
12,124
Location
No longer here
Merseytravel could do anything between give you a warning, ask for an administrative penalty of perhaps £100 (they can't issue fines, only a court can do that), and prosecute you for avoiding payment of a fare under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889.
Are we sure it's Merseyrail/Merseytravel here?

To the OP - where were you travelling from? Did you arrive at the High Level (main) station? If so, I believe it is Northern that conduct revenue checks here.

Arriving via Merseyrail at the Low Level (underground) station it would be Merseyrail/Merseytravel.
 

DaveNewcastle

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
21 Dec 2007
Messages
7,397
Location
Newcastle (unless I'm out)
The letter that you are expecting (or dreading) may take up to a few weeks to be prepared and sent; so you may just have to be patient.

That letter may be asking you for your own written statement of the events which they will then consider alongside the report produced by the Inspector.
If this is the first time that you have been detected travelling without a valid ticket (and there are no other relevant factors) then it would be unusual for the Company to continue towards a prosecution if you were agreeable to making the administrative settlement which others have referred to.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
@ Failed Unit, No the guard didn't let me, he took my details and I walked away. This is what I'm worried about, although it felt like a slap on the wrists I don't know whether they'll want to pursue a case against me or just ask me to pay the fee (however much it is)

@ AlterEgo, Yes it was the main Lime Street ground level station/entrance
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Thanks DaveNewcastle, well i guess I'll have to sit tight for a couple of weeks. He did say I'd have to reply with my own statement, to match his, and the inspector (apologies if this is the wrong terminology!) said that he's been fair to me in his report. I just want a chance to sort of formally explain the mess of a situation and to pay whatever needs to be done and put this thing to bed!
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,516
Location
Central Belt
I suspect from what you have stated the outcome will be as per "Island" post 5, we will await for the letter, but as long as you take any out of court offer on the chin, you can put it down to experience and forget about it.

For interest what should you do at Liverpool, in Scotland you have an unpaid fares window, if you go to that everything is OK but if you try and pass the barriers you will have problems. I know you said you were in the wrong queue, so was the other one the unpaid fares queue?
 
Last edited:

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Brucey, No I don't have any idea sorry, literally don't have any recollection of it at all

Failed Unit, I really don't want to go to court over a mistake, but if the letter comes through and I have to then I guess I'll just have to deal with it, is it possible to do a prison sentence for this kind of situation?

Its really concerning me now all these outcomes of having a criminal record and going to court, but I don't want any sympathy of people, I just want to know how it usually pans out or what the possible outcomes are so I can deal with it.

Thanks a lot for all the help on this situation so far guys.
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,516
Location
Central Belt
Brucey, No I don't have any idea sorry, literally don't have any recollection of it at all

Failed Unit, I really don't want to go to court over a mistake, but if the letter comes through and I have to then I guess I'll just have to deal with it, is it possible to do a prison sentence for this kind of situation?

Its really concerning me now all these outcomes of having a criminal record and going to court, but I don't want any sympathy of people, I just want to know how it usually pans out or what the possible outcomes are so I can deal with it.

Thanks a lot for all the help on this situation so far guys.
If an offer is for an out of court settlement, you just pay whoever is stated on the letter. No need to go to court. Court will normally only be used if you are challenging the events for whatever reason. A TOC won't want to take a 1st time offender to court, they will just want to settle the matter. To be honest with your version of events it will be a waste of time because it will be something like "did you not pay the fare" - "no - I didn't pay" - you are not suggesting that the TOC was a fault in anyway etc.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Ah I see, so going to court to settle something which has already sort of been settled would be a waste of time? And yeah you're right, I just wish to pay whatever the fine is and close it, and put it down as an experience of how generally good the rail system here can be!
 

ralphchadkirk

Established Member
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Messages
5,764
Location
Essex
I meant that it in law which company picks up the offence won't matter - do if you used an EC service but got caught by an FCC inspector then the prosecution could still succeed.


Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Well I have no idea which company it was, i presume theres only one or two it can be in Liverpool, and every case will be different anyway won't it?

Any thoughts on whether I'd get a criminal record and go to court? again, thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, really appreciarte your knowledge and experience of the system.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,183
Location
0036
You cannot get a prison sentence for a first offence of not having a ticket (except possibly if you didn't pay a fine).

Again, until we know what the letter says, it's difficult to speculate as to whether you would go to court or get a criminal record. In the majority of the cases we have seen on this forum, however, where a person who commits a ticketless travel offence having no prior record of doing so fully engages with the Train Operating Company and offers an early payment towards their administrative costs and avoided fare, the offer is accepted and the case does not proceed to court.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Thanks island, I'll have to post what the letter says when it eventually arrives.

And i'll note what you've said to include in my reply, hopefully I'll be able to sort this whole mess out by complying and co-operating.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,183
Location
0036
We would be pleased to proof-read your reply before you send it, not least because it is very easy to incriminate yourself unintentionally in a reply.

In the meantime, calm down :) It's unlikely to be the end of the world.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
haha wise words, will do. I'll have to cancel that flight to mexico and change my name back from the alter ego I had planned...
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,480
Location
Yorkshire
... I just wish to pay whatever the fine is and close it...
If they decide to prosecute, you could plead guilty and simply pay the fine. If they are prosecuting you under the Regulation of Railways Act 5.3, then you will get a criminal record. I'm not sure this is what you really want, and it's not what I'd recommend.

It is better to avoid a situation where a court imposes a fine on you. Therefore, if the company is inclined to prosecute you, then you would be advised to consider an out of court settlement with the relevant Train Company. Someone with no previous record has a reasonable chance of reaching a settlement.

You'll need to wait for them to write to you, and see what the letter says before deciding how to proceed.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
Thanks Yorkie, Id like to avoid a court imposed fine and criminal record at all costs.

What do you believe to be a good line of attack on this? Write to them when I hear from them offering to pay the compensation to the train company out of court?

I don't want to argue or to take it to court and try and get around it that way, I'd rather just pay up and accept it was a mistake and that I'll compensate for that.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
and by fine I didn't mean I'd like to go to court and pay the fine, I meant pay the out of court compensation fee, I just wasn't aware it wasn't called a fine as this is all totally new and foreign to me! apologies for the confusion!
 

Chapeltom

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2010
Messages
1,316
Location
Tainan, Taiwan.
Where did you travel from say West Allerton, Mossley Hill, Edge Hill etc, one of the City Line services (blue trains) or Aigburth, Brunswick etc, Northern Line services (grey/yellow trains).
 

exile

Established Member
Joined
16 Jul 2011
Messages
1,337
Normally at Lime St the barrier staff do a cursory check but a couple of times a month there is a more thorough check by RPIs. Not sure who they work for, the station is owned by Network Rail. There is an excess fare kiosk most days but not sure it was there today. Bizarrely, there are only barriers at (a) platforms 1 to 6 (b) platform 7 (Virgin trains) (c) underground at top of escalators. The lift down to the underground platform has no barrier and neither does platform 8/9.
 

DPC_1989

Member
Joined
16 May 2012
Messages
23
I was travelling from Broad Green, so the trains on the manchester victoria line/preston/wigan i think?

And yes its platform 1 usually, so it was through those barriers
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top