Reused carnet

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B4rney

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Hi, I made a stupid stupid error/mistake, which I wholeheartedly regret ...I reused a carnet, which had been given to me by a friend who reuses his often.
I am a masters student who commutes to London and I thought I could save a bit of money. I am sure people are going to come down on me, but I travel a few times a week and usually pay my way honestly. I don't know why I thought I was being so clever, I am now seriously living with regrets. I was caught at Liverpool St at the barriers and questioned under caution. I cooperated with the inspector, except I panicked and said I had never used the Carnet before. She ended the interview saying she believed I had never used it before and that my friend had given me it used. She said in 4-6 weeks I would receive a letter in the post. (She scared me into naming my friend, who has said he will say he gave me a clean one, obviously to save his own back).

I have a job lined up after uni, which I worked extremely hard to get to, I have spent the last 7 years working my socks off to get to this point and I feel like it's all about to be thrown away. I suffer with anxiety and spent the following day being violently ill through worry (I probably deserve it), I hardly sleep at night, it happened 6 days ago and just plays on my mind. Having read a similar post, I guess I am expecting court summons, I have never been in trouble with the law, most people who I have confided in are shocked at the situation because usually I am a very honest person. Do I write to the company and try and apologise and settle this before court? I've had a rough month with regards to home life, I know that's no excuse but my partner was involved in a severe car accident and I've got my mind on 5000 things trying to keep it all together. It's Abellio Greater Anglia. I called a solicitor at Alletashaw, they seemed to have the best reviews and I have started saving what little money I have ready to fund whatever costs are coming my way. Do you think it is likely that I can settle out of court? Or am I heading for a criminal record? I doubt I can keep my job if I get a record. I look back and can't believe what I did, I feel a total idiot. I'm really hoping someone can shed some light on what is going to happen next, it looks like it will also coincide with my final exams, nothing like causing added stress?
 
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yorkie

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For a first offence, yes they may well settle out of court.
 

B4rney

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Hi,
Thanks for the reply. I'm in bed sobbing myself to sleep. I want to know whether I should just write to them and ask to solve the matter or do I just wait. It's getting to the point where I am thinking bad thoughts.
 

bb21

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What good will sobbing yourself to sleep do? Life still needs to move on whatever comes.

If this were a first offence, as long as you show the right attitude, the chance of having the matter settled out of court is good, albeit that it will burn a hole in your pocket. There is no guarantee which way it would go down but usually for a first offence to go to court and end up with a criminal record, one has to do something stupid, such as burying one's head in the sand and hoping that the matter would go away.

If it took place six days ago, sit tight and wait. It's going to be difficult but there is not a lot else you can do until the dreaded letter arrives, which can take anything between a few weeks and a few months. Right now chances are the RPI's report isn't even processed yet.
 

B4rney

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It doesn't make anything better no. But I just can't believe I've been so stupid, I'm angry and embarrassed at myself. I am ready to pay the fine, I just want it out the way. So you advise that I sit and wait? A friend once travelled from Sheffield to Meadowhall without a ticket and they wrote to the train company and apologised and were asked to pay a £100, this sounds like a dream at the moment compared to what I could be up against.

Could someone clarify worst case scenario, how long does the criminal record last before it is considered spent?
 

najaB

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Hi. I'm not going to lecture you as I can tell you realise that this was a poor decision on your part.
Hi, I made a stupid stupid error/mistake, which I wholeheartedly regret ...I reused a carnet, which had been given to me by a friend who reuses his often.
I'm going to come back to this in a little bit as it does raise an ethical dilemma.
I was caught at Liverpool St at the barriers and questioned under caution. I cooperated with the inspector, except I panicked and said I had never used the Carnet before. She ended the interview saying she believed I had never used it before and that my friend had given me it used. She said in 4-6 weeks I would receive a letter in the post.
Yes, more than likely you will be asked to provide more information and any mitigating factors that should be taken into consideration before they decide if to prosecute or not. This will be your opportunity to try and convince AGA's prosecutors that it's not worth taking you to court. Your objective is to put forward a few key points:
  1. That you understand now that your actions were wrong - it's not worth writing pages of excuses as they've likely heard them all before. Simply take responsibility for your actions.
  2. That you understand that by your actions in reusing a carnet ticket they are out of pocket, and that fare evasion means that other people have to pay more.
  3. That this process has reinforced in your mind just how important it is to pay for your travel and that you will never, ever do this again.
  4. That there is no need to waste more time and resources dealing with the consequences of your actions.
(She scared me into naming my friend, who has said he will say he gave me a clean one, obviously to save his own back).
Back to that ethical dilemma I mentioned earlier: how prepared are you to stick with the story to protect your friend? Don't be surprised if the prosecutors ask you for more information about his misuse of carnets. They may even offer you a 'deal' where they will settle your case out of court in return for a statement about his actions.

This is by no means guaranteed to happen, but don't be surprised if it does - it's up to you and only you to decide what you would do in that eventuality.
I have a job lined up after uni, which I worked extremely hard to get to, I have spent the last 7 years working my socks off to get to this point and I feel like it's all about to be thrown away. I suffer with anxiety and spent the following day being violently ill through worry (I probably deserve it), I hardly sleep at night, it happened 6 days ago and just plays on my mind.
You'll likely have a few more sleepless nights as these things typically take a couple of weeks to be processed. I know it's easier said than done, but you'd be best placed not to obsess about it as worrying won't make it go away any sooner.
Having read a similar post, I guess I am expecting court summons, I have never been in trouble with the law, most people who I have confided in are shocked at the situation because usually I am a very honest person. Do I write to the company and try and apologise and settle this before court?
I'd be surprised if you receive a courts summons straight away, you're much more likely to be invited to provide AGA with more information - either about your own case or your friend's. At the very least they would want to get an idea of the size of any losses.
I've had a rough month with regards to home life, I know that's no excuse but my partner was involved in a severe car accident and I've got my mind on 5000 things trying to keep it all together.
Sorry to hear it, on a personal level, but you are correct that it won't really factor in to AGA's decision-making. They have to approach each case in a dispassionate and non-emotional manner, based solely on the facts.
I called a solicitor at Alletashaw, they seemed to have the best reviews and I have started saving what little money I have ready to fund whatever costs are coming my way.
This is a good idea, though I would hold off on paying for legal advice until you know what AGA's intention is.
Do you think it is likely that I can settle out of court? Or am I heading for a criminal record? I doubt I can keep my job if I get a record. I look back and can't believe what I did, I feel a total idiot. I'm really hoping someone can shed some light on what is going to happen next, it looks like it will also coincide with my final exams, nothing like causing added stress?
It is very had to put percentages on things like this - as I said above each case is dealt with on its own merit - but I'm quietly confident that you can manage to reach an arrangement with AGA's prosecutors, but bear in mind that may mean providing them information about your friend's actions.
 

bb21

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It doesn't make anything better no. But I just can't believe I've been so stupid, I'm angry and embarrassed at myself. I am ready to pay the fine, I just want it out the way. So you advise that I sit and wait? A friend once travelled from Sheffield to Meadowhall without a ticket and they wrote to the train company and apologised and were asked to pay a £100, this sounds like a dream at the moment compared to what I could be up against.

Could someone clarify worst case scenario, how long does the criminal record last before it is considered spent?

Yes, waiting is normally the recommended course of action as there is always a chance that they may forget about it or that it does not get processed in time.

We normally advise against ringing them up in person as one can very easily incriminate oneself unnecessarily when on the phone. At least with written replies you have the option of thinking your replies through and getting it checked before sending it off.

If you are desperate to ring them to get it out of the way, I would say ring after 3-4 weeks, which would give them plenty of time to have processed the report.

A criminal record stemming from conviction under the Regulation of Railways Act becomes spent after 12 months, iirc but I am open to corrections.
 

najaB

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A criminal record stemming from conviction under the Regulation of Railways Act becomes spent after 12 months, iirc but I am open to corrections.
That is my understanding as well.
 

B4rney

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Firstly najaB thanks for taking time to reply.
I am willing to pay a fine and put the whole debarcle behind me. I know they could care less how my home life is, I was just putting some perspective on the situation, but in the grander scheme of things they will look at this objecively.

This is the issue, at first I refused to name him, she then said "Do you know how serious this is? You are heading for court!" For someone who has never been in a situation like this in their life I immediately told her his name, she went on to say "We can work it out from the serial code anyway". I immediately spoke to him after the incident as we had uni together. We aren't best friends and he said at the end of the day he is going to tell the truth that he gave me a carnet that hadn't been used. He said you reused it. He gave me the carnet for free. How much trouble is he in for this then?

I do try to not think about it but late at night I worry that I've thrown all my hard work away trying to save a bit of money.

Interestingly, the solicitor said come to me when the letter comes through £450 for a consultation and letter to AGA, he seems to have a good success rate, not that that saves me. I wouldn't be fretting as much if I thought this could all be solved by a fine.
 

B4rney

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Does anyone know what employers are like? In my contract which is signed it says "Your employment may be terminated if: you are convicted of any criminal offence other than road traffic offences for which a fine or non-custodial sentence is given"

This is one of the country's largest real estate firms. Would they get told or would I have to tell them, I'm trying to work out my worst case scenario, which will help my anxiety if I know that the worst can happen is that.
 

DaveNewcastle

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Does anyone know what employers are like? In my contract which is signed it says "Your employment may be terminated if: you are convicted of any criminal offence other than road traffic offences for which a fine or non-custodial sentence is given"

This is one of the country's largest real estate firms. Would they get told or would I have to tell them, I'm trying to work out my worst case scenario, which will help my anxiety if I know that the worst can happen is that.

Your employer would not 'get told' of a conviction against you.
If you are asked, you should be honest. In all probability you would be obliged under principles of good practice and honesty to tell your employer of a conviction. And if the Company had grounds to seek a Criminal Records disclosure about you during the year that it was still 'current', then they would find the conviction.

A negotiated settlement with the Company is going to be your preferred option, but do consider that most Investigators are going to assume that someone 'caught' once doing something fraudulent may have done it before, perhaps regularly, and perhaps for a long time. They are going to want to satisfy themselves that they have correctly assessed the extent of their Company's losses, so anything you can do to assist that investigation will be a positive for you.
 

B4rney

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Yeah I would tell them, it's just not a great start to my career, oh hi, I have got myself a criminal record between signing my contract and starting. Luckily it is not a job where a DBS is necessary, or at least I don't think it is.

When you say assist what else can I do? I would do anything to get this episode behind me. I'm not a prolific offender. It was the second carnet I was given, the first I only used the one time.

Thanks for your advice.
 

najaB

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We aren't best friends and he said at the end of the day he is going to tell the truth that he gave me a carnet that hadn't been used. He said you reused it. He gave me the carnet for free. How much trouble is he in for this then?
He wouldn't be in trouble for giving you an unused carnet ticket - they are one of the few ticket types that can freely be transferred. If you told the inspector that he reuses carnets then they are going to be very interested in finding out if that is the case.
I do try to not think about it but late at night I worry that I've thrown all my hard work away trying to save a bit of money.
All is not lost. Even in the worst case - a Regulation of Railways Act conviction - the conviction will only be on your record for 12 months, after which it won't blight your future career prospects.
 

B4rney

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I did not tell the inspector anything about him but his name. I'm waiting for him to hear from them, I assume they will contact him.
I don't think I will tell them anyway that he does.

I know that it would only last a year but at the same time I'd be jobless. Hoping that would work in my favour.
 

broadgage

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As others post, a conviction for a relatively minor offence is indeed "spent" after a fairly short time and should not therefore have much of an effect on your career.
If you are convicted I would however strongly advise staying in the same job until after the conviction is spent. Your present employer is most unlikely to make enquiries about any potential convictions of an existing employee.
A new employer might make such enquiries.

Also a spent conviction remains on record somewhere forever and is relevant even decades later in certain situations.
If applying to become a police officer for example, or a prison officer, or to join the armed forces, or if applying for a firearms licence.
In normal life a spent conviction will have zero effect.
 

najaB

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I know that it would only last a year but at the same time I'd be jobless. Hoping that would work in my favour.
Again, speaking absolute worst possible case, you wouldn't have to be jobless. Even if you were to lose your current job (which is by no means certain!) there are many, many jobs on which a minor railway ticketing infraction would have no impact. After 12 months it would be forgotten and you can continue with your career.

But we are nowhere near that stage yet. As I said, I'm quietly confident that you will be able to settle this without it going to Court.
 

B4rney

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NajaB thank you for your advice. I am hoping that also. Just awaiting the dreaded letter.

Whilst I could work as something else, the job I got is tricky to get and the competition is high and I went through months of assessments to get it.

Hoping that I can just keep my job and let the record become spent.
 

CheesyChips

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Just awaiting the dreaded letter.

When it arrives, at first glance it will look quite terrifying if you're not familiar with the process, but just remember to come back to this thread and let us know the details. The letters are written in such a way to create an impact.

There are some established members on here who will gladly advise on how best to reply and do so very well.
 

B4rney

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Thanks Cheesychips. I am very glad I found this forum, I'll definitely get more sleep tonight.
 

Zeitgeist

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Hi

Speaking as someone who has gone through this exact same scenario.
I would wait for the letter (mine arrived in 4 weeks) before doing anything!
I got great advice from people on my thread like is happening with this thread.
I was fortunately provided the opportunity to explain myself.
What I wrote in the letter was from the heart and dead honest demonstrating remorse for what I stupidly did.
I was hard up in January and wasn't getting paid until early Feb so I thought (stupidly) to cut a corner and reuse my carnet.
Honesty is definitely the best policy.
After reading my letter they wanted me to call them and they stated they would like me to think about what would be reasonable recompense to them, that wasn't easy and according to many on here an unusual approach for a TOC to take. They accepted my offer as well. I feel so relieved now, so, so relieved! I tell you I will be their model passenger from now on and this was the first time I committed a train offence and boy is it the last time!

The waiting and worry I will admit will be around, but by being honest with the TOC, it was appreciated.
 
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Chrisgr31

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This is one of the country's largest real estate firms. Would they get told or would I have to tell them, I'm trying to work out my worst case scenario, which will help my anxiety if I know that the worst can happen is that.

How interested your employer will be will depend on who they are, what you are doing for them etc. However if you are going to have to go to court (which from the thread appears unlikely) I do recommend you tell them in advance.

Also a criminal record may affect any application to join or membership of a professional organisation in the real estate field.
 

B4rney

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Hi All,
The letter has come through, they want more information. Now is my time to state my case. I would really be grateful for any sort of help here!
 

DaveNewcastle

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I have re-read the thread, and believe that all the appropriate pointers as to how to reply have already been outlined - specifically by najaB in post No 6. It's very comprehensive.

All that I can think of adding is:

1) to identify in your response any relevant 'learning outcomes' that you have acquired - outcomes relevant to the free exchange of carnet tickets.

2) to re-consider your selection of 'friends', so that you can contrast their ability to influence you in ways that seem to conflict with your aspirations for your future, for which you have 'worked your socks off', and then so readily allowed that friendship to make you 'throw it all away'. You've got some work to do there on your values and/or your friends and/or how readily you are influenced to commit crime.

3) Think long and hard about whether or not to admit now to having previously abused a carnet taken from the same 'friend' before this incident - and on how many journeys you have defrauded the Company. Be very sure about what you say.
 
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B4rney

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Hi thanks again for the info. The previous carnet I didn't abuse/reuse. I used it the once. But the friend thing is a great pointer which I will add. Thanks.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Hi,
I just thought I would let you all know I have just had an hours meeting with my solicitor and he said 50/50 about whether it goes to court. All that I can say is that he said the fact it is a business carnet that my friend gave me and not a generic one isn't great.

Obviously Zeitgeist had a great outcome and I actually told him about him settling without a solicitor, he asked what the train company was and I told him, he said they are the kindest of the lot pretty much.

So I'm now going to fork out £1100 to get this sorted, I am more worried now about not being able to work because I won't be able to join my professional organisation, which is essential for my career development, so he is going to find out for me anonymously.

He said I should write a letter of apology to accompany his and send two good character refs.
 

B4rney

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Hi,
Just I thought I would update everyone. My solicitor is submitting his letter today, along with my letter and two good character references. I hope that this will result in the TOC offering out of court, but my solicitor is being realistic and saying it is 50:50.

My solicitor has settled previous cases with the prosecutor dealing with my case, which is my only positive at the moment. So I will wait....
 

B4rney

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Hi All,
I feel I need to update you on my situation. Firstly, hiring a top fare evasion solicitor was the best thing I ever did. Two weeks I have been waiting for an answer from Abellio Greater Anglia to answer him. They just have, I am escaping a £1000 and conviction and court and prosecution. I have to pay a £94.10 fine. Yes I paid £1100 for a solicitor but I still have my career.

Thank you everyone for your help.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And on another note- I will never do anything like this again. Ever.
 

DaveNewcastle

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Thanks for posting the 'final episode'.

I know that the result is exactly what you were looking for, and that with it must come a great sense of relief. I guess you are content that you received value for money from your strategy.

Thanks again.
 

gray1404

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I wonder what actions the lawyer the OP used as a railway specialist was able to take which a normal high street lawyer or the OP in their own right couldn't?
 

B4rney

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NajaB and DaveNewcastle thanks so much for all your help.

Gray1404 I was advised and read up that lawyers that who specialise in fare evasion, rather than a generic lawyer who can only give adequate advice. As for what I could have done in his place, if you had read the thread I was right in the middle and now at the end of my masters degree and was highly emotional about the situation, thus the lawyer took the worry partially away. This came true as my Uncle suddenly passed away last week and I have had to come abroad to help out thus could not have continued at AGA. Also, it is apparently very easy to say too much and self incriminate. A lawyer knows what to say. It's saved my job and thus I am grateful.
 
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