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Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by dabaus1, 9 Oct 2017.
All they have to do is look her up on their database and they will see it.
Once again - honesty is the best policy.
I know it sounds as if I am banging on about the same thing, but your wife really doesn't have a leg to stand on here, having travelled on someone else's season ticket. So all you can do is co-operate as much as possible with the railway company. That means emphasising that your wife has learnt her lesson and will not do the same thing again (yes, I know this sounds like I'm talking to a naughty school child: unfortunately if this ends up going to court that is the approach that will be taken) but also not concealing anything. If you don't tell the railway company about the new photocard and they find out, then a natural question for them to ask would be 'why has this information been concealed from us?' Your wife really shouldn't do anything that - even in the smallest way - raises suspicion that she is now being anything other than being open and honest with the railway company.
If you've looked at a few of the threads in this forum, you'll see that a frequent recommendation is to write a brief, courteous letter to the railway company
- explaining all the facts (including that your wife promptly bought a season ticket, and so got a new photocard)
- emphasising that
- this is a one-off mistake
- your wife has learnt that it is wrong not to pay the fare that is due, and- offering to pay the outstanding fare, plus any costs that the company has incurred.
I think this is what you should do (although the letter will read most naturally if it comes from your wife rather than you - 'I will not do this again' is a much more powerful statement than 'my wife will not do this again'). There are experienced contributors on this forum who will read over a letter for you (either put an anonymised version up in this thread, or hopefully someone will be along shortly who you may be able to private message) and so hopefully you give your wife the best possible chance of bringing this matter to a close sooner rather than later.
I completely concur with Fawkes Cat. It was Will Rogers who once said "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". I don't work for any company affiliated with the railways but do work in Law and there's nothing more we like than "check mating" somebody who's strung together a web of deceit which they end up tangling themselves in.
We need to be careful with this advice here because an offence was committed right away by not being able to produce a valid ticket when required to do so, and that's a strict liability offence and I cant recall anything in the legislation that says you can buy one after you have been stopped once you have passed an open ticket office and other ticketing facilities at Brighton.
Plus, if they did look up her brand new ticket bought they would simply find out that it was bought in London and not brighton and would alert any decent investigator to something fishy going on.
Be honest, take it on the chin and hope for an out of court settlement.
I presume it is supposed to be evidence that this isn't a regular occurrence.
This is getting into technicalities, but I don't think I realistically see a byelaw or RORA offence at the point of inspection - the main byelaw offence 18(1), if proven, would have been complete at the earlier time of entering the train to travel irrespective of a subsequent ticket inspection (which merely leads to the discovery of evidence of an already-committed offence). But season ticket offences often demonstrate an indisputable element of planning and might first be treated as fraud or failing that under RORA 5(3). The quote speaks to what compensation might be due - you wouldn't necessarily get the same answer from a criminal court after conviction (likely to seek merely to put the company back into the same position as it would have been in had the crime not occurred and there been no prosecution) as from a civil court (considering what is due contractually, which could turn out to be a higher figure).
I think you're all over the place here and its very far from getting into technicalities - lets face it from the moment the entered the barriers using the husbands ticket till the time they got stopped then they have committed several offences and to try and state otherwise as you tried to earlier is just fantasy
Hi Forum, thanks for all the useful insights, we are in the process of writing a letter and take advantage of the 14 days 'grace' period before this gets official and costly. Try to cooperate as much as possible and hope for a settlement, I will post the letter here for feedback.
Hi Forum, here's the first draft of our letter :
To whom it may concern,
I am writing regarding an incident which occurred on Friday 05/10/2017.
On this date, I have travelled from Hassocks to Victoria with my husband's season pass. Upon arriving to Victoria I was asked by inspectors to show the photo-card which I did not have.
I was then asked to provide personal details which I agreed to and I was told that I had 14 days to provide the necessary information to resolve the dispute.
As Recently, I am a full-time student at Brighton University and work part-time in London to support my studies. This is the first time I have been involved in an incident like this, and I realise it was a grave error of judgement. I have immediately purchased a Season Pass for my trip back home with the intention to remedy the situation.
I thoroughly apologise to GTR and staff at Victoria for this. I am aware of the seriousness of my actions and I will be absolutely committed to ensure this, or any similar incident does not occur again.
I would like to know if it would be possible to come to a settlement before this matter is continued and be more than willing to pay any penalty fares, admin fees, and any other associated damages as soon as possible.
Please find attached to this email images of my new Season Pass and Photo-card as well as my University course attendance.
I hope that a settlement can be reached quickly and I once again sincerely apologise for all damages and inconvenience caused to all affected.
I'm not sure the inclusion of university attendance records, or even the mention of being a student is necessary. It isn't any mitigation at all.
The TOC's prosecution clerk is not going to think "Ahhhh, she's a student! Well that makes avoiding the correct fare alright then!"
I think this is good.
The one point that occurs to me is that
might get the railway company asking how your wife travelled to London on other occasions when she is working part-time.
I assume that, as stated, this is the only time that your wife has not paid her fare. So it may be worth explaining how she previously got to and from London for her part-time work. It's even better if you have evidence of this (old train tickets, details on a credit card / bank statement - whatever). That will help to reassure the railway company that this really was a one-off incident, and they don't need to ask your wife to compensate them for other missed fares.
Thanks, Fawkes Cat,
She did work in London and has a trail of this expenses between 20014 to 2016 (season passes and monthly tickets) but not for last year as she was not working. do you think this is worth to mention?
I think so. If I've understood what you are saying properly, make it clear that
- from 2014 to 2016 your wife was working in London. You can show that she paid her fare for those journeys, and you are happy to share that information with the train company
- after 2016 until this occurrence, your wife had no reason to travel to London.
I'm not quite clear if the journey that caused the problem was to do with your wife's new job: if it was, then say so.
So how many times previously has she travelled on your ticket without being caught? Don't answer that question, but on the basis of that letter, it's what I'd certainly be trying to find out.
If there's a gap in the pattern, you'll need to explain that pretty convincingly and if you can't, you might prefer not to suggest the question.