Possible Court Summons

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Flatteraxe, 4 Aug 2018.

  1. Flatteraxe

    Flatteraxe New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2018
    Hello all,

    I'm new here but would like some information regarding my son if possible. He has received a letter stating that he dodged a fair from Leicester to Loughborough a few weeks ago. The later stated that he had 21 days to dispute the charge but he has failed to do so. The thing is, this is the first letter he has received.

    It seems that somebody has not paid their fare and has given his name and address. I know it wasn't my son as I work from home and he was helping me that day. He also has a car so has no need to use the train for a 10 minute journey.

    He has contacted the company and told them that it wasn't him but they have had little sympathy and have told him to pay the fine or go to court.

    Does he now have to wait for a court date to turn up and plead his innocence? Is there anything he can do in the meantime? He has no idea who would do such a thing to him.

    Is it common practice for the rail companies just to accept any name they are given, obviously in this case without identification being shown? It seems a little strange to me.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. island

    island Established Member

    Messages:
    9,717
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2010
    Location:
    0036
    As we don’t have laws requiring people to carry ID like they do in most of continental Europe, it does occasionally happen that someone can successfully give another person’s name and address in an attempt to get away with a crime.

    Whilst it is of course the prosecution’s role to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt in any ensuing criminal case, you may find that taking some preventative action such as supplying independent evidence that your son was in a different place at the material time will make this matter go away more readily. This might include a third party (i.e. not you) stating they had seen him at such and such a place and time, or logs from his phone if it retains detail of his location.
     
  4. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    If you have our incontrovertible proof that it wasn't him write to the TOC stating clearly that you have such and will present it in court if required. Ask that, on that basis, they set aside any prosecution.
     
  5. Flatteraxe

    Flatteraxe New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2018
    Thanks for the replies. The question is, why should he have to provide incontrovertible proof? What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Surely the onus is on them to take relevant identification or to keep CCTV stills?
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    "Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." If the only supporting evidence is the testimony of a family member then there's reason to doubt the veracity of that evidence.
     
  7. chrisncal54

    chrisncal54 Member

    Messages:
    528
    Joined:
    9 Mar 2016
    Location:
    Garsdale Head
    I really wish I could disagree with you, but can't! Seems worth having a partner with a different surname?
     
  8. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2018
    It is not up to defendant to prove their innocence, but on the prosecution to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the person named on the indictment is the individual who was travelling without a valid ticket.

    Beyond verifying that the address they were given is consistent with the name, what has the prosecution done to establish that the person they apprehended gave their own name and address rather than completely false, but consistent, details?

    In principle, the court should be requiring the prosecution to prove that the person they apprehended is the one they are prosecuting and throwing the case out if they haven't done so, but we all know that isn't the way these things are done.
     
  9. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

    Messages:
    4,249
    Joined:
    1 May 2012
    He is innocent unless proven guilty. If the case goes to Court then the magistrates will reach a view based on the evidence provided. If the railway company says "our evidence is that somebody provided this name and address" and your son's evidence is that "I didn't travel that day, and here's somebody who can confirm that" then I think it's unlikely that they would convict.

    But equally, if the railway company accepted every claim that "it wasn't me; somebody else must have given my name and address" they'd really struggle with fare evasion wouldn't they.

    Put together as much evidence as you can that it wasn't your son, submit it to the railway company and they are likely to drop the case if it's convincing. They don't want to waste time and money on a dodgy case.
     
  10. silverfoxcc

    silverfoxcc Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    17 Apr 2012
    P'erhaps it is a film cliche, but why not get the official who took the details to court and do the

    is the man who gave you the details in this court?' routine
    For all we know, the 'offender' may well be of a different ethenticity ( hopefully spelt correctly) Had a beard/diffeeent hair colour or no hair etc etc
     
  11. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

    Messages:
    2,843
    Joined:
    18 Nov 2009
    6Gman's post is spot on. There's no need to 'prove' innocence, but you do need to take this seriously and realise that the comapny need at least a little more than an assertion that 'it wasn't me'.

    When is the court date? If there's time, get your son to write to the company. They're likely to pay much more attention to a letter than a phone call. His letter should:
    1. State that the correspondence recieved on date was the first time he heard from the train company
    2. State that it was not him who travelled that day and that he will plead not guilty in court
    3. List the evidence, without going into detail (Eg satement from Mr Flatteraxe that I was at address at that time).
    4. Ask them to drop the matter.

    Don't elaborate or do more than that; keep it simple, keep it clear, keep it objective.

    If the only evidence is your own testimony, then so be it; equally if there is anything else you can think of in addition to add to that list then that'd be better. If there's no other evidence you could boost your own in the event of going to court - for example, testimony from clients/bosses that your son regularly helps you at home perhaps? Your letter could also list potential character witnesses.

    If there's not time to do that or if they say no, your son should show up at the court early on the day and try to speak to the lawyers of the train company - there's a strong chance that if you're there and they see that you're serious, they'll drop the case there and then.

    You could consider getting a lawyer to write the letter - it would carry more heft. Equally, that would of course come at a cost and at this stage I think that cost is better avoided, presuming there is time before a court date.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
  12. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    2,637
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    No, but there is a need to contest evidence that would otherwise prove guilt. Court cases are based on evidence and an uncontested prosecution is not likely to fail.
     
  13. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    There is no need for the OP's son to take time off work and go through the stress of appearing in court. As I posted above, simply writing back to the TOC stating that he wasn't the person stopped and outlining the evidence to prove that it couldn't have been him should be enough to bring the matter to a close.
     
  14. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2018
    Even better, if the person they apprehend can't or won't provide photo ID, why doesn't the rail company take a photo, before they let them run along, having given a name and address?

    That should be sufficient for the rail company to drop the case in this instance, but it's of little use in a situation where the person named doesn't happen to have an alibi and was "at home all evening, on my own, watching TV".
     
  15. mallard

    mallard Established Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    12 Apr 2009
    Many revenue protection staff wear bodycams these days, which should achieve that aim. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the footage "went missing" in cases like this.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    How is that different to any other criminal proceeding?
     
  17. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    2,637
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    "Sitting at home, on my own, watching TV" is an alibi.It may be difficult to prove, but that is another matter.
     
  18. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    That's a can of worms I have no intention of opening. Sufficeth to say that the law specifically gives the railway the power to ask for name and address, it doesn't give them the power to take a photo.
     
  19. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    2,637
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    I believe that it is generally the case that the bodycams are only switched on if someone becomes hostile and there is a risk of assault.
     
  20. Stigy

    Stigy Member

    Messages:
    947
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    You don't need a power to take a photo, however I appreciate it could open a can of worms trying to use said photo as evidence.

    In this case though, unless a poor description was taken down of the person suspected of committing the offence, that should be enough for the Prosecutions team to withdraw the matter. Unless of course the defendant and the 'defendant' look similar...
     
  21. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    Quite. I didn't word that correctly.

    What I should have said is that the law gives the right to compel the passenger to give their name and address it is an offence for the passenger to refuse, where it doesn't give the right to compel that they allow their photo to be taken nor is there any penalty for refusing.
     
  22. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2018
    The difference is that if the police apprehend a suspect, they will verify the suspect's identity. i.e. that the name, d.o.b. and address given do belong to the suspect. It would be very slapdash of the CPS to proceed to prosecute the named person without completing this step. What absolves a private prosecutor from having to do the same?
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    The Police have the power to detain someone while checks are conducted to verify their identity. The railway doesn't.
     
  24. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2017
    I think it is reasonable that the railway company involved be expected to make notes on the appearance of the person who gives a name and address. The only cases of mistaken/false identity would then be in the unlucky event that the wrongly accused looks similar or identical to the person apprehended.
     
  25. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    17,552
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    I;m lead to believe that, generally speaking, they do.
     
  26. Stigy

    Stigy Member

    Messages:
    947
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    The only way the police will prove a person’s name and address is either a) They’re known on PNC and supply suitable ID or B) They arrest the suspect and verify their identity at the police station. Most of the time there’s no necessity to arrest for such offences as Fare evasion unless the suspect refuses details or they have reason to doubt the details are correct.

    If a person isn’t known on PNC, and the police are reporting them, it’s exactly the same way the railway will do it. Chances are the CPS would never prosecute for fare evasion as they much prefer to quash it before it gets that far and won’t prosecute even with evidence....
     
  27. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

    Messages:
    7,136
    Joined:
    29 Oct 2009
    This is horrifying and it could happen to anyone. Therefore we need to think of ways of generating continuous 24/7 evidence of location. Maybe there's a mobile app that could help?
     
  28. SMR

    SMR Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    10 Aug 2018
    Probably is an app out there.
     
  29. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

    Messages:
    4,249
    Joined:
    1 May 2012
    No thanks.

    Just write back - couldn't be me, I was elsewhere.

    Onus is on them to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that it was you.
     
  30. 87 027

    87 027 Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2010
    Location:
    London
    When I did jury service for a (fairly serious) criminal case, the judge was clear in his summing up that the burden of proof was on the prosecution to disprove an alibi, not on the defendant to substantiate it
     
  31. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

    Messages:
    9,235
    Joined:
    28 Jun 2010
    Horrifying is stretching it a bit - it happens often on the railway.

    Google maps should do that for you if you want a big company tracking where youre goig all the time.

    It's not for me though thanks i prefer not to share where I'm going with a faceless monolith of a company and or anyone else
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Aug 2018

Share This Page