Silly silly me

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Ashlaarr, 12 Mar 2017.

  1. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Hello I'm seeking some advice, but please bare with me as this is my first post.

    I was travelling from pontypool to Cardiff central on Friday 10th evening, there is no tickets machine in pontypool so I thought I'd pay as I got off in Cardiff as the train was packed due to the rugby we were traveling down for.

    As we got off we were directed out of the station via tickets sellers, stupidly (after a few drinks) I told the person I had traveled from Newport, they told me the barriers were down in Newport and that I could of not got on in newport.

    I was taken aside by a revenue officer and was asked questions where I eventually told them I had traveled from pontypool, I was issued a paper saying I had traveled on the train without valid ticket bylaw 18.

    The man told me I'd have nothing to pay today but I'd have a letter in the post, what happens now?

    I really don't want to end up with a criminal record because of my job!

    Help please :(
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2017
  2. soil

    soil Established Member

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    nothing to do till the letter arrives
     
  3. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    If it's bye-law then - I think I'm right in saying - it will not result in a criminal conviction.
     
  4. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    However, short-faring is a breach of the RoRA so you don't know what (if any) tack they'll take with a prosecution. They could decide to proceed with the more serious offence.
     
  5. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Presumably there was more on the piece of paper, as the company would have known that byelaw 18 doesn't apply if "there were no facilities in working order for the issue or validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where, [you] began [your] journey".
     
  6. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    He had a piece of paper he was writing on which he kept by I had a piece explaining why this has happened.
     
  7. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    Wait for the letter. When it comes reply saying how sorry you were and you are willing to pay to settle this matter.

    If they refuse this and want to go to court then come back and some of the legal eagles on here will help you with what and how to prepare for your court date.
     
  8. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I doubt that piece of paper has any relevance at all to any potential prosecution. An offence has clearly been committed, and ATW have evidence - that is what counts.
     
  9. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    Amidst discussions of Bylaws and 'RoRA', it's worth focusing on Clip's post. This is the best advice for you as to what to do now, alongside trying not to worry - it can often be up to a couple of months before you hear from them.
     
  10. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Thank you all for the advice, I will keep you all posted of what the outcome is!
     
  11. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Im yet to hear anything guys! still waiting!
     
  12. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    They have up to six months to lay information before the court. Yes its taking longer than usual but I'm sure you'll receive your letter in due course. If you haven't received anything a bit beyond six months after the alleged offence took place only then can you say you got away with it.
     
  13. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

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    If nothing does come of it. Think yourself very lucky.

    The difference in return fare from Pontypool to Cardiff and Newport to Cardiff where you said is £3.50 was one pint basically worth a possible record and 3 figure fine.

    I have a friend that does the same sort of thing regularly and he will get caught one day. He just doesn't seem to see the seriousness of it.

    Nobody does until they get caught.
     
  14. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Morning guys, I had the letter on Monday, responded next day and had a reply off the TI this morning say they see no reason why they should not proceed with a summons. Could anyone tell me what happens next?
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I would contact the train company directly asking if they will agree to a substantial out of court settlement and asking them how much they want.

    If they will not settle out of court, then you need to wait and see what legislation they use. See our 'Fares Guide' for details regarding the options they have open to them. You may wish to seek legal advice. If it's a Byelaw Offence you may as well just plead guilty and pay the fine. If it's a Regulation of Railways Act offence then you may want to see a solicitor before deciding how to proceed.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    They will proceed to file charges in the local Magistrates Court, and you will receive a summons to attend court. When you receive the summons you have two options:
    • Plead guilty by return of post. This will mean that you don't have to attend court and any fine will be reduced by one third.
    • Plead not guilty. This means you will need to attend court and won't benefit from any reduction in fine for an early plea.
    Without knowing exactly what the summons is for (i.e. Railway Byelaw 18.1 v Regulation of Railways Act § 5.3) we cannot in good faith make any recommendation which would be the more prudent course of action.

    If you decide to plead not guilty, you will need to attend court on the date listed on the summons. When your case is called you will be asked to make a plea - it's still possible to plead guilty at this point - but presuming you intend to defend the case, then you (or your solicitor) and the TOC's solicitor will present your evidence to the Magistrate.

    If you plead not guilty to the original summons and then fail to attend court, then in all likelihood you'll be found guilty in your absence.

    Edit: As yorkie said, it is still possible to obtain a non-judicial settlement, even up until the day of the court hearing.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2017
  17. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    I plan on pleading guilty regardless, I don't really have a defence. I offered a settlement in my response letter but it seems TI have thrown that out of the window.
     
  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    TI are not the train company and are just doing whatever the brief they were given tells them to do.

    The train company may actually agree to settle, once the case is handed over to them.

    Different train companies have different policies in this area, with some much more willing to prosecute than others.

    A settlement will go to the company; a fine will not (they would only get costs).

    However some companies would rather set an example than have the money, and ultimately it's their choice to make.
     
  19. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Okay thanks guys, I think I might write to ATW this week then and see what they say if I offer to settle.

    TI have giving me 14 days to reply, do you think ATW will reply before the 14 days?

    Or does it not matter?
     
  20. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I do not know but I would contact them as soon as possible.

    It may be the case that ATW won't discuss it until TI hand the case back to them, though.
     
  21. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I think your chances of achieving a settlement are higher with ATW than they would be with some other TOCs. Good luck!
     
  22. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Il send them an email this afternoon. Can ATW settle up until the day of summons?
     
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Forum posters have achieved settlements minutes before the case is called in court. There is still time!
     
  24. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Yes. You, or your solicitor, can speak with their solicitor just minutes before the case is called and still reach an agreement, though the most sensible 'last minute' is before the parties go into the courtroom at, say, just before 10am if it is listed to be heard in the morning, or just before 2pm if it is listed for the afternoon.
     
  25. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    Thank you all for the advice, Iv now emailed ATW, saying I'd like to try and settle this before it's escalated. Il keep you all posted.
     
  26. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    This seems to be a standard response from TIL when someone responds to them trying to reach an out of court settlement. I have noticed they respond like this in ATW and XC cases.
     
  27. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    ATW will refer your correspondence to Transport Investigations (TI).

    I wonder if some clarification on process might be helpful here.
    It is true that different companies have different policies, but the process applicable to ATW is that :-
    • Each incident is investigated and assessed by Transport Investigations (TI);
    • TI is responsible for all correspondence;
    • TI is responsible for determining whether to recommend a prosecution or alternative resolution (prosecution is always chosen for giving false name or address, deliberate short faring, repeat offending, etc where the evidence is sufficient);
    • Where prosecution is recommended, a file is prepared and sent to ATW for approval;
    • A Director of ATW must confirm each recommendation for prosecution before TI will prepare for prosecution any further;
    • TI will apply to the Court for a Summons;
    • The Court will issue a Summons to the accused offender;
    • TI will prepare the papers for trial and instruct a Prosecutor;
    • TI will consider any suggestions of an administrative disposal on its own merits (an 'out-of-Court settlement'), though the circumstances which always lead to a prosecution as listed above will continue to apply;
    • TI will also consider any "last-minute" suggestions of an administrative disposal on its own merits (an 'out-of-Court settlement'), which the Prosecutor would refer back to them from the Court;
    • ATW would be informed if a decision not to prosecute a particular incident was taken by TI at any point after having given its approval to prosecute.

    This process was agreed with Transport Focus.

    Some Welsh Assembly members had been vocal in expressing concern at the policy of attempting to change the entrenched 'pay only if challenged' habits in south Wales, and the procedure above was developed in response, in consultation with, and was approved by, Transport Focus.

    This isn't quite the same as saying that 'a case is handed back to' ATW. Nor that ATW is the prosecutor.

    Cross Country (XC) have agreed the same procedure with TI as have ATW.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2017
  28. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Okay so as this is deliberate short faring what are the chances of an out of court settlement being reached? It appears this is a case where their policy would be to take it to court.
     
  29. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I don't think they are very high, but a well-written letter and suitably chastened attitude might result in some leniency being shown.
     
  30. Ashlaarr

    Ashlaarr Member

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    I will just have to see what happens in the next few days. Iv emailed ATW directly too.

    TI have given me 14 days to reply as they have no reason why they shouldn't take this further. I have no more to say to them, they have already dismissed a settlement.
     

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