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Notice to prosecute letter

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Jamie8989

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Just on these forums for a bit of advice really on what to do next.

I bought a ticket from St Albans station on 1st February from the outside machine at 7.10am or just after. While in the queue I realised that I had left my bank card at home, I didn't want to call the girlfriend as she had been up all night with our couple of month old baby

I had 12.00 in my wallet so I bought a single with 16-25 railcard which cost 11.60 from the outside machine ( cameras would prove it) 'm not sure if the machine was handing out receipts with cash so just took my ticket and went through the gates at St Albans.

As we approached St Pancras I realised I had lost my ticket so I approached the guy at the station and told him I had lost my ticket

He explained that he would have to penalty fare fine me in which I explained my girlfriend had my bank card and I had only 40p change.( what's app conversation to prove it).

I offered to give the guy my bank details but he advised to send a letter explaining the situation which I did and I would get a penalty fare or they would accept my letter
He then gave me a slip, I think this is called an mg11

I sent them a letter explaining the situation within 14 days, and a couple of weeks later they sent me a notice to intend to prosecute letter.

I called the prosecutions dept a few weeks who advised they didn't receive my letter so I emailed this to the lady on the phone in which a week or two later, they have sent me a letter advising they are going to continue with prosecution

I have bought a ticket every day whether it be travelcard or a return from St Albans to St Pancras ( bank statements to prove)

What is my best case moving forward??

Thanks in advance.
 
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Jamie8989

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I have a 16-25 railcard however I paid for the ticket in cash however the machine didn't print out a receipt so when I lost my ticket all I had was 40p change.

The offence says " failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection" no byelaws or regulation of railway act. I know one of them is more serious so what does that offence fall undeR?
 

najaB

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The offence says " failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection" no byelaws or regulation of railway act. I know one of them is more serious so what does that offence fall undeR?
As DaveNewcastle said, that wording comes from Railway Byelaw 18.2. This is a non-recordable offence so a conviction wouldn't leave you with a criminal record. As the TOC has decided not to accept your mitigating circumstances, you don't really have any good options.

  • You could write to them again making an offer. They might accept it, and it's never too late to try.
  • You can plead guilty. This will reduce the overall financial penalty due to a 'discount' for an early plea.
  • You can plead not guilty and attempt to defend the case in court. Nothing you've posted so far indicates that you would be successful in anything other than increasing the size of your fine.

And before the 'CCTV brigade' shows up: it's highly unlikely that CCTV images would be clear enough to show what ticket the OP purchased, and even if they can prove that they bought a ticket, they weren't able to present that ticket on request.

Hope this helps.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
From what I have written above, would you say I would win my case?
No.
 
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DaveNewcastle

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From what I have written above, would you say I would win my case? or is it best to settle out of court?

You certainly can attempt to settle Out-of-Court, and that would be your most productive choice of action; having had your written appeal rejected it will have to be very persuasive, but it might just succeed.

But I can see no basis for you to 'win your case'. The offence of failing to produce a valid ticket for inspection when requested by an authorised Inspector is a matter of fact. And the fact is that you failed. There is nothing to argue.

Having had a ticket earlier which you then lost is something that might have been argued with the Company successfully Out-of-Court, which is the proper place to have that debate, but it is an argument which would have no bearing on the Offence as charged when the Company brings it forward in Court.
 

Jamie8989

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So even if I approached him to tell him I had lost my ticket, why would I do this if I was genuinely trying to dodge a fare?

Would they settle an out of court settlement on the phone or is best to send them a letter?

Have you got any advice on how to send the letter or what to say?

Therefore if they rejected the appeal or any out of court settlement, you think I should say guilty as I would get a reduced fine and just be done with it.

Is there a reason they would skip straight to intend to prosecute without offering me the chance to pay the penalty fare for losing my ticket or accepting details at the time to take payment later on.

St Albans station, there is no way of skipping through without presenting my ticket so even past bank statements of tickets brought from that station wouldn't help my situation?

Thanks for all your help
 

DaveNewcastle

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So even if I approached him to tell him I had lost my ticket, why would I do this if I was genuinely trying to dodge a fare?
I don't need to come up with an explanation of why you would do something. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. The Railway Byelaw 18 Offence is a matter of fact. Your reasons or circumstances are irrelevant - the question of fact is just this : did you or did you not present a valid ticket for inspection when requested by an authorised inspector?
The only defences are also matters of fact: that you were not the person travelling when the ticket was requested; that you did present a valid ticket when requested; etc.

Would they settle an out of court settlement on the phone or is best to send them a letter?
Either.

Have you got any advice on how to send the letter or what to say?
The truth is the best start, what you have learned from the incident, and how your future behaviour has been modified by that learning, your understanding of the impact of fare evasion and how losing your ticket aggravates all efforts to manage it, and how you would like to resolve the incident to the Company's satisfaction.

Therefore if they rejected the appeal or any out of court settlement, you think I should say guilty as I would get a reduced fine and just be done with it.
It must be your decision, but you are not wrong.

Is there a reason they would skip straight to intend to prosecute without offering me the chance to pay the penalty fare for losing my ticket or accepting details at the time to take payment later on.
Perhaps because such a policy would allow thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of passengers every day to claim that they had 'lost their ticket', and that only the small percentage of them who were actually detected by ad hoc inspections would then pay up - after the event. And then carry on day after day without a ticket, only paying when found out.

St Albans station, there is no way of skipping through without presenting my ticket so even past bank statements of tickets brought from that station wouldn't help my situation?
As I have explained, the Offence is failing to present your ticket for inspection when requested by an authorised inspector. This line of thought about the station or your bank is irrelevant. But if you are interested, then there are very well-known scams involving groups of people, sometimes housemates and sometimes workmates, and if ever one of them is caught, then there is always a partner on a train (and sometimes even a ticket) to show that one of then had paid a fare; while the others, by probabilites in their favour, remain unchecked and ticketless.

But you really would be best advised to stick to the point and not to try to argue against something that you haven't been accused of.

It's a great shame that you lost your ticket. It must be galling.
One day, you might loose your wallet, or your phone, or your keys. All very regrettable, inconvenient and possibly with very expensive consequences. I guess we just all have to be careful all the time. You left your bank card at home, and your cash, and you lost your ticket. At least I just loose keys.
But not often.
 
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londonboi198o5

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I have just realised something

You say you travelled at 0710am on 1st February. This is a Monday morning. How were you able to purchase a 16-25 discount ticket???

Before 10am monday to Friday before 10am a minimum £12 fare is required to use a 16-25 railcard
http://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/help/faqs/8/

Did you press a button on the machine that allowed you to purchase a ticket that advsed you travel after 10am

Just a thought for others to mabey help you with this

Have you told Thameslink you purchased a ticket with a 16-25 discount yet.
 

father_jack

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I have a 16-25 railcard however I paid for the ticket in cash however the machine didn't print out a receipt so when I lost my ticket all I had was 40p change.

£12 minimum fare so how was a £11.60 ticket sold at 0710 hrs ?
 
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Jamie8989

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I may or may not have purchased a 16-25 railcard on this date as I usually get a return but on this date I could only afford a single due to leaving my bank card at home

Having spoke to them this morning and advised them off my situation and this being a one off offence, they have settled with an administration cost plus the fare of the ticket so the case is closed.

thanks for everyone's help and advice, much appreciated
 

talldave

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A Travelcard is £11.60 with 16-25 Railcard though?

However, discussion of the ticket that wasn't presented is perhaps academic?!!
 

ComUtoR

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A Travelcard is £11.60 with 16-25 Railcard though?

However, discussion of the ticket that wasn't presented is perhaps academic?!!

Calling the op out about the railcard or the ticket price isn't correct. The OP could have easily purchased a valid ticket at £11.60 without the need of the railcard. Neither did the op state they used a discounted ticket.

In my experience in this part of the forum, it is that all information is pertinent and accurate information is required.

Maybe the TOC believes that a discounted rail ticket was presented and that the "loss" of the ticket was used to cover this up so the passenger knowingly travelled with an invalid ticket. So the ticket type purchased becomes relevant if the OP states they purchased with a discounted ticket or not.

No ticket or Invalid ticket = penalty
 

Tetchytyke

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Some TVMs will allow you to input the railcard but just won't apply the discount if the cost is under the minimum spend. It could well be that the OP thinks he bought it with a discount but didn't.

I would be surprised if the barriers at St Albans City would let an off-peak ticket through at 0710, therefore it's more likely he bought the anytime day single at £11.60.

It'd be useful for the OP to confirm what type of ticket he was hoping to travel with that day.

As for advice for the OP, if you didn't have the ticket to present then you have breached the Byelaws. All you can do is set out what happened to Thameslink, and see what they say. If you paid by card, a copy of the bank statement showing the transaction may be helpful; certainly on my statement it shows the date and location of the transaction. It is likely that Thameslink will still want an out-of-court settlement, but it would be useful mitigation.

I wish you luck.

As an aside, what is it with RPIs not allowing part payment of a Penalty Fare? There's nothing to stop someone paying a PF later online- that's the whole point of the online service- but it seems to be something RPIs don't do anymore. I suppose they get more money this way. Very shameful of Thameslink to pursue a prosecution here, where the OP was honest to the RPI rather than trying to evade the fare.
 
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najaB

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Maybe the TOC believes that a discounted rail ticket was presented and that the "loss" of the ticket was used to cover this up so the passenger knowingly travelled with an invalid ticket. So the ticket type purchased becomes relevant if the OP states they purchased with a discounted ticket or not.
I agree that it would be relevant if the TOC was requesting additional information before deciding if to prosecute or not.

But in this particular case, the ticket type doesn't matter as the OP has stated they have already received an intention to prosecute for 'failing to hand over a rail ticket for inspection'. As talldave said, discussion of a ticket that wasn't presented is fairly pointless.
 

Clip

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Very shameful of Thameslink to pursue a prosecution here, where the OP was honest to the RPI rather than trying to evade the fare.

So honest that it appears that the OP bought a single with no other money or card on them? And just how was the OP going to get home in the evening then?

I think its good they are going for a prosecution, the OP had chances to go home get some money and get the right ticket and to even keep hold of their ticket that they did buy - they didnt and a PF is not a right either and im sure something must have been said to go from PF to an MG11 that we may not be being told here.
 

Clip

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"I don't have any money." would do it.

Well they did have 40pee on them in their change. However I was thinking more along the lines of

RPI: And what ticket did you purchase sir?
OP: A 16-25 railcard xxxxxx
RPI thinks to themself 'OH theres intent to evade the correct fare there' puts away the PF book and whips out the MG11 ;)
 

Tetchytyke

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So honest that it appears that the OP bought a single with no other money or card on them? And just how was the OP going to get home in the evening then?

That's something for the OP to explain. All we know is he says he bought an £11.60 single in his first post, which is the cost of an undiscounted anytime day single, so the railcard doesn't come into it.

im sure something must have been said to go from PF to an MG11 that we may not be being told here.

The OP says it was "I don't have any money", hence my comment about RPIs seemingly no longer issuing Penalty Fares for payment later.

However I would agree that if the OP mentioned a 16-25 railcard (and I notice the OP hasn't confirmed whether he holds the railcard and whether it was in his possession, rather than in his wallet at home, that morning) that would cause the RPI's ears to prick up. Even if, if the OP bought the single ticket he says he did, no railcard discount was actually applied.
 
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Clip

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That's something for the OP to explain. All we know is he says he bought an £11.60 single in his first post, which is the cost of an undiscounted anytime day single, so the railcard doesn't come into it.



The OP says it was "I don't have any money", hence my comment about RPIs seemingly no longer issuing Penalty Fares for payment later.

However I would agree that if the OP mentioned a 16-25 railcard (and I notice the OP hasn't confirmed whether he holds the railcard and whether it was in his possession, rather than in his wallet at home, that morning) that would cause the RPI's ears to prick up. Even if, if the OP bought the single ticket he says he did, no railcard discount was actually applied.

And its because of all these discrepancies in the OPs story that Im glad they didnt go for the PF after all.
 

ainsworth74

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As the OP has had their situation resolved (the post was waiting for approval and I'm quoting it below in case anyone has missed it now it's been approved) this thread is now locked.

I may or may not have purchased a 16-25 railcard on this date as I usually get a return but on this date I could only afford a single due to leaving my bank card at home

Having spoke to them this morning and advised them off my situation and this being a one off offence, they have settled with an administration cost plus the fare of the ticket so the case is closed.

thanks for everyone's help and advice, much appreciated
 
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