Paid Penalty, Possible Prosecution? Please Help Me

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New Member
15 Apr 2016
New to this forum so hello to everyone.

I was hoping to get some help and advice from the forum on my situation.

So, yesterday on my travels to work (I get on at city thameslink and off at streatham) I stupidly decided to tap out of my oyster card at city thameslink coming from finsbury park.
Reducing my total travel cost from travelling to streatham. Therefore, only paying for my travels from finsbury park to city thameslink.

Provided an inspector, my excuse is that I can simply just tap out again at streatham and therefore paying for my travel from city thameslink.

To my surprise, an inspector came on, I was caught and he wasn't buying my story.

After minutes of explanations, he said he'll issue me a penalty fare charge of £20. Stubbornness kicked in and I said no.
He took my details - I provided a fake name and address. This didn't check out so I ended up having to provide my real name and address.

We got off the train and talked more. He write my details down, I was very vague with all my answers, but I did say I've been making this journey since the beginning of the week, although taking an alternative route.

After talking more, I then convinced the guy to let me pay the £20 penalty,to which took a lot of convincing.
In the end he let me pay, whilst telling me I'm a smart guy for ending up taking this option after minutes of dispute, as I would've been prosecuted.

My question is, Can I still be prosecuted even though I've paid up. He has all my details and knows the situation.
Will this come back to haunt me? If so when will I expect to hear from them? Will he scrap the original notice he write?

Thank you in advance to everyone that replies. I'm a nervous ball of wreck right now I cant stop thinking about it.
Please put me out of my misery :(
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RailUK Forums


Veteran Member
28 Aug 2011
My question is, Can I still be prosecuted even though I've paid up. He has all my details and knows the situation.
Yes, you can. They can refund the PF and proceed with a prosecution.

Edit: Neil, you got there first. :)


Established Member
18 Nov 2009
Wow. All I can say is that you were very very lucky to get away with a £20 PF. In response to your question - while it's possible, it's extremely unusual (near unheard of) for a Penalty Fare to be cancelled and prosecution to start.

I'd like to press home the seriousness of your situation though. Many RPIs would have not given you another chance, and we have stories on these pages of people taken to court having made much more innocent mistakes and not having given false details.

From your (slightly garbled) post it seems that you have been doing this with some regularity, even if only for a week, knowing that this will save you money, and that you pretty much admitted this to the RPI. If that's the case, they would have probably held enough evidence to prosecute you under the either the Regulations of the Railways Act or potentially for more serious Fraud offences, both of which would bring a criminal record and the latter of which could bring a fine of several thousand pounds. Giving a false name is also in and of itself an offence, that would carry a fine.

I think you should consider yourself extremely lucky to have been given this chance to walk away from the situation only £20 down (and frankly, even if you've only been doing this for a week, I suspect you've saved a similar amount in unpaid fares) and that you've been stopped very early on. Your details are now recorded: if you're caught again, I suspect you will not be given this opportunity.

I don't want to 'tell you off', but I think it's important to realise the bullet that you've dodged here, and the severity of the situation you'd be in if you were caught doing this again.
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