Used my sisters expired railcard ...

Joy777

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Hi, I’m in need of advice here ... have made a huge mistake which I have learnt from and will not do again.

I was was caught travelling with a ticket discounted using a railcard that was expired by over 3Months (which I had not realised). The railcard wasn’t mine but my sisters. I assumed that with expired railcards, they would just make you pay the difference. However, the inspector confiscated the rail card and then made me put down my details. As I had already given them her rail card, I had to put down her details and not mine. The inspector then took my phone and took pictures of my online Trainline ticket details on their phone which I’m sure is going to be used as evidence. I cooperated with them and even offered to pay the difference which the refused and said that they where instead going to further this issue and I will receive a letter from the prosecuting department for Greater Anglia, they made me sign and say that I will be willing to cooperate with them and they told me that when I receive a letter I should respond. At this point they did not know or at least mention that I was different to the person on the railcard.

it’s been 2weeks and I have just received a letter saying “ a person giving the name and address above was questioned by a member of rail staff about the payment of a rail fare... all the above evidence is being considered as to whether legal proceedings are appropriate” in a nutshell they are asking for my side of the story.
I’ve told my sister and she is upset of course, I don’t know whether I should confirm it is her and then apologise and ask for a settlement outside of court or just confess that it is me, will they be able to know from the ticket information that it is two different people.
Issue is I’ve already paid a penalty fare in the past ( I had bought a valid ticket, but it wasn’t downloaded properly as it was my first time having used the app and so I didn’t know that was what I had to do, I showed them receipts and was able to download and show them the ticket but they still sent me a penalty fare) I’ve read on some threads that past offences would make it impossible for an out of court settlement. I've also made trips with that same rail card since it has expired.

I’ve made a huge mistake and with the profession I’m going into I can’t have a criminal record. I’m genuinely so sorry and I won’t ever do it again, that same day I bought a new return ticket just so as not to make the same mistake despite already having a return with a railcard.

what should I do and how should I respond I am willing to pay a huge amount if I can settle this outside of court - I don’t know where I can get legal advice from either. Please help me out.
 
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WesternLancer

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Hi, I’m in need of advice here ... have made a huge mistake which I have learnt from and will not do again.

I was was caught travelling with a ticket discounted using a railcard that was expired by over 3Months (which I had not realised). The railcard wasn’t mine but my sisters. I assumed that with expired railcards, they would just make you pay the difference. However, the inspector confiscated the rail card and then made me put down my details. As I had already given them her rail card, I had to put down her details and not mine. The inspector then took my phone and took pictures of my online Trainline ticket details on their phone which I’m sure is going to be used as evidence. I cooperated with them and even offered to pay the difference which the refused and said that they where instead going to further this issue and I will receive a letter from the prosecuting department for Greater Anglia, they made me sign and say that I will be willing to cooperate with them and they told me that when I receive a letter I should respond. At this point they did not know or at least mention that I was different to the person on the railcard.

it’s been 2weeks and I have just received a letter saying “ a person giving the name and address above was questioned by a member of rail staff about the payment of a rail fare... all the above evidence is being considered as to whether legal proceedings are appropriate” in a nutshell they are asking for my side of the story.
I’ve told my sister and she is upset of course, I don’t know whether I should confirm it is her and then apologise and ask for a settlement outside of court or just confess that it is me, will they be able to know from the ticket information that it is two different people.
Issue is I’ve already paid a penalty fare in the past ( I had bought a valid ticket, but it wasn’t downloaded properly as it was my first time having used the app and so I didn’t know that was what I had to do, I showed them receipts and was able to download and show them the ticket but they still sent me a penalty fare) I’ve read on some threads that past offences would make it impossible for an out of court settlement. I've also made trips with that same rail card since it has expired.

I’ve made a huge mistake and with the profession I’m going into I can’t have a criminal record. I’m genuinely so sorry and I won’t ever do it again, that same day I bought a new return ticket just so as not to make the same mistake despite already having a return with a railcard.

what should I do and how should I respond I am willing to pay a huge amount if I can settle this outside of court - I don’t know where I can get legal advice from either. Please help me out.
You probably need to go down the profuse apology route, (examples on other threads here of suitable sorts of wordings), say that you want to settle the matter and understand that you will need to pay admin costs for all this and hope they offer you a sum to pay.

Hopefully others will offer more advice.

Some threads on here are examples of where people have used false info and then carried that deception through to pay the settlement, BUT that would depend on them offering one. If it went to court things would be made worse by such an action (ie pretending to be your sister and continuing to do so).

I am afraid you have messed up. Hard to know why you might have thought that it was ok to be deceptive and aim for a profession where that is a bad idea.
 

30907

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It's worth saying that there are also plenty of discussions on here about the effects of a conviction on future careers. There are very few careers where this dishonesty would automatically disqualify you.
 

Brissle Girl

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You also need to come clean and say it was you, not your sister. If this goes further and it transpires later on that you have continued to claim you are someone else then the implications are likely to be more severe. And any expressions of remorse that you state now would count for nothing if at the same time you are misleading them as to the identity of the offender.
 

Joy777

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You probably need to go down the profuse apology route, (examples on other threads here of suitable sorts of wordings), say that you want to settle the matter and understand that you will need to pay admin costs for all this and hope they offer you a sum to pay.

Hopefully others will offer more advice.

Some threads on here are examples of where people have used false info and then carried that deception through to pay the settlement, BUT that would depend on them offering one. If it went to court things would be made worse by such an action (ie pretending to be your sister and continuing to do so).

I am afraid you have messed up. Hard to know why you might have thought that it was ok to be deceptive and aim for a profession where that is a bad idea.
So basically I should confess and come clean?
How would I do it on this form where it’s essentially just asking for validation of my sisters details - I don’t know how I should word it.
 

Joy777

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It's worth saying that there are also plenty of discussions on here about the effects of a conviction on future careers. There are very few careers where this dishonesty would automatically disqualify you.
It's worth saying that there are also plenty of discussions on here about the effects of a conviction on future careers. There are very few careers where this dishonesty would automatically disqualify you.

I haven’t seen any relevant yet - which professions and what do you think the likely outcome would be if I where to come clean?
 

Joy777

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You also need to come clean and say it was you, not your sister. If this goes further and it transpires later on that you have continued to claim you are someone else then the implications are likely to be more severe. And any expressions of remorse that you state now would count for nothing if at the same time you are misleading them as to the identity of the offender.
You also need to come clean and say it was you, not your sister. If this goes further and it transpires later on that you have continued to claim you are someone else then the implications are likely to be more severe. And any expressions of remorse that you state now would count for nothing if at the same time you are misleading them as to the identity of the offender.
the form is asking for my sisters details, if I just fill out the form it would essentially just seem like she is lying as they confiscated her railcard. How do I introduce myself into the situation - do I just write at the back of the letter revealing my identity?

thanks.
 

Brissle Girl

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I would write a covering letter explaining the situation and sign it. Explain the letter was sent to your sister and why you are responding.
 

Any_Permitted

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I agree with others that you should clear up this mistaken identity issue as soon as possible. Continuing to lie will only mean that you get caught out at a later stage where the consequences are more severe.

Using a 3-month expired railcard that doesn’t belong to you doesn’t look great from the train company’s point of view, but I’m sure you appreciate that now. They will suspect you have used the railcard before in this 3 month period, which you say you have. Did you admit this to the inspector at the time?

Reaching a settlement is definitely the best option. I agree with WesternLancers advice on your reply: apologise profusely, show regret for your actions, appreciate that fare evasion costs millions per year, and ask to pay the fares due and costs. If you post a draft letter (with personal details redacted) we can check it for you. You could admit how many times you have used the railcard in the past and offer to pay the correct fare for each of these cases in your settlement - other people might be able to advise on whether this is a good idea or not.

If this reached court it is likely that Greater Anglia would seek to prosecute under Section 5 of the Regulation of Railway Act 1889 - if convicted you would get a criminal record which is spent after a year. This is the worst that can happen and we are still a long way from this stage.
 

WesternLancer

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the form is asking for my sisters details, if I just fill out the form it would essentially just seem like she is lying as they confiscated her railcard. How do I introduce myself into the situation - do I just write at the back of the letter revealing my identity?

thanks.
Yes, follow the clear and good advice Brissle Girl has has posted above and others have said. In the eyes of the rail company / prosecutor or ultimately court whilst what you have done vis a vis your sister's idea is bad - it reflects better on you that you came clean ASAP than tried to persist in the lie - which would cause them more aggro longer term and thus seek to obtain a greater penalty / higher cost against you.

Feel free to post your draught letter of apology / explanation here 1st if you like, people may be able to offer helpful comment - tho you need to act quickly on this one.
 

30907

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I haven’t seen any relevant yet - which professions and what do you think the likely outcome would be if I where to come clean?
A significant number of posters on here worry about careers or potential careers in financial services, teaching or medical professions, and are concerned about enhanced DBS checks and the like.
The only recent case I can recall of a reaction from an employer perspective was an applicant for medical school being asked to submit a written reflection on their conduct from an ethical viewpoint. I am not sure the thread as a whole will be very helpful but it's:
https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...got-rejected-from-medical-school-help.200063/
I don't think anyone here can advise you whether admitting to additional dishonesty will affect the charge they bring (if it gets that far). See 10.9 here if you haven't already looked:
https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...guide-section-10-disputes.71873/#post-1220798
Hope that helps.
 

6Gman

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I haven’t seen any relevant yet - which professions and what do you think the likely outcome would be if I where to come clean?
I think it would be easier to give advice on this if you were to identify the profession (broadly if necessary) you are entering.
 

some bloke

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It means you've committed two offences, and as you say you are prepared to spend a lot of money, you might like to consult a solicitor sooner rather than later.
 

Brissle Girl

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Finance or consulting
If you're a member of a professional body then they may well have rules, certainly around reporting any conviction. What they then do will depend on the severity of it. Financial services companies will also take a dim view of someone who's integrity is seen to be wanting, given the significant scope for internal fraud or breaches of other regulatory principles which rely on the integrity of all its staff. I've seen several people fired, including one for rail fare dodging, many years ago, where there was a clear lack of integrity demonstrated in one way or another. The problem is that the financial services regulators (FCA/PRA) are extremely hot on it, so companies have to be too.
 

Joy777

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If you're a member of a professional body then they may well have rules, certainly around reporting any conviction. What they then do will depend on the severity of it. Financial services companies will also take a dim view of someone who's integrity is seen to be wanting, given the significant scope for internal fraud or breaches of other regulatory principles which rely on the integrity of all its staff. I've seen several people fired, including one for rail fare dodging, many years ago, where there was a clear lack of integrity demonstrated in one way or another. The problem is that the financial services regulators (FCA/PRA) are extremely hot on it, so companies have to be too.
I see, now I’m conflicted as to what to do especially since the guy above has said I need to contact a solicitor.
 

WesternLancer

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I see, now I’m conflicted as to what to do especially since the guy above has said I need to contact a solicitor.
well, I think what is being said is that if you want to spend resources tackling this problem with the assistance of a qualified person who can help minimise the consequences then you can pay a solicitor - or at least get a quote from one so you can see what that might cost you. And if you envisage getting a £x,000 salary for years to come it might be money well spent if that career choice is denied you as a result of your actions. I suspect a solicitor in general is not going to eb an expert on rail ticket law, but they probably would be good at helping minimise the consequences of your actions. Of course they are not as yet saying they will prosecute you but given what you say about past fraudulent use of a railcard and also having had a previous penalty fare are factors that may make this a bit more likely than not.

But that is weighed up against trying to ask for a settlement in such a way that makes the issue go away - and the course of action suggested by Brizzle Girl is a good way to start that process.

But I suspect only you can judge that choice - which of course is a tricky one. I doubt it will hurt to contact a solicitor - it will just cost you - unless you belong to a trade union or possibly students union that offers some legal advice free as a perk of membership.
 

30907

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It means you've committed two offences, and as you say you are prepared to spend a lot of money, you might like to consult a solicitor sooner rather than later.
My guess - and it's only a guess - is that they will prosecute on the first offence, intentionally avoiding the fare, especially if they have only learnt about the false name from you.

You mentioned an esrlier Penalty Fare upthread - AFAIK they won't have kept any record of personal details, assuming you paid promptly.
 

Joy777

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My guess - and it's only a guess - is that they will prosecute on the first offence, intentionally avoiding the fare, especially if they have only learnt about the false name from you.

You mentioned an esrlier Penalty Fare upthread - AFAIK they won't have kept any record of personal details, assuming you paid promptly.
I paid that penalty fare ASAP after speaking it as I felt it was unfair due to the fact that I had actually purchased a valid ticket.
My question is, how much information can they get from the details of my ticket. It was an e-ticket on trainline that looks like the image I to attached. Can they trace it back to me? I’m sure they can definitely see how many times I’ve taken that journey. Which is something I’ve been told to admit.
 

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Haywain

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I paid that penalty fare ASAP after speaking it as I felt it was unfair due to the fact that I had actually purchased a valid ticket.
My question is, how much information can they get from the details of my ticket. It was an e-ticket on trainline that looks like the image I to attached. Can they trace it back to me? I’m sure they can definitely see how many times I’ve taken that journey. Which is something I’ve been told to admit.
Look at it this way: if you don’t tell them the truth about the name and they don’t offer a settlement it will be your sister who gets taken to court. Will she accept that? If not, you could end up with a charge of perjury and that’s much more serious than anything you could be facing now.
 

Joy777

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You probably need to go down the profuse apology route, (examples on other threads here of suitable sorts of wordings), say that you want to settle the matter and understand that you will need to pay admin costs for all this and hope they offer you a sum to pay.

Hopefully others will offer more advice.

Some threads on here are examples of where people have used false info and then carried that deception through to pay the settlement, BUT that would depend on them offering one. If it went to court things would be made worse by such an action (ie pretending to be your sister and continuing to do so).

I am afraid you have messed up. Hard to know why you might have thought that it was ok to be deceptive and aim for a profession where that is a bad idea.
I would write a covering letter explaining the situation and sign it. Explain the letter was sent to your sister and why you are responding.
I agree with others that you should clear up this mistaken identity issue as soon as possible. Continuing to lie will only mean that you get caught out at a later stage where the consequences are more severe.

Using a 3-month expired railcard that doesn’t belong to you doesn’t look great from the train company’s point of view, but I’m sure you appreciate that now. They will suspect you have used the railcard before in this 3 month period, which you say you have. Did you admit this to the inspector at the time?

Reaching a settlement is definitely the best option. I agree with WesternLancers advice on your reply: apologise profusely, show regret for your actions, appreciate that fare evasion costs millions per year, and ask to pay the fares due and costs. If you post a draft letter (with personal details redacted) we can check it for you. You could admit how many times you have used the railcard in the past and offer to pay the correct fare for each of these cases in your settlement - other people might be able to advise on whether this is a good idea or not.

If this reached court it is likely that Greater Anglia would seek to prosecute under Section 5 of the Regulation of Railway Act 1889 - if convicted you would get a criminal record which is spent after a year. This is the worst that can happen and we are still a long way from this stage.





Here is what I have written so far, please suggest some improvements:



Dear Prosecutors at Greater Anglia,





On [ ] I boarded a train from [ ] to [ ] during super off-peak hours with my train leaving the first station at around 10am. As it was a morning train, I was in a rush and did not have all the correct documentation with me to verify the ticket I had bought (16-24 rail card). When approached by an inspector during the journey, I was able to show a ticket but when asked for my railcard I completely panicked as I was looking in my purse (which is also my older sister's old purse) and gave them her old rail card which happened to be expired. Of course, I was fairly issued with an MG11 by the inspectors and details recorded. However, as my sisters railcard was confiscated, I assumed that it would be best to put her details down (at the time I was not thinking straight, I suffer from anxiety and this was affecting my ability to reason well especially since I was fearful of the magnitude of the whole situation and my foolishness at the point has made things a lot worse). I have filled out the form that was sent with the correct/MY details.


I accept all responsibility for my actions here, I am aware that such actions contribute to millions in loses to rail providers each year and I genuinely regret how negligent and irresponsible my actions where. That same day I bought a new ticket to return and I can most definitely say that this is not a mistake that I could EVER repeat again in my life.


If this matter could be settled out of court I am more than willing to pay all costs and fares that are linked to this mistake, including admin fees and all others associated with this. I am genuinely regretful and apologetic that it has come to this, but I hope this can be settled.



Yours Faithfully,




Signed:
*end*

I genuinely am so sorry, I hope they can settle out of court.
 

Joy777

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Look at it this way: if you don’t tell them the truth about the name and they don’t offer a settlement it will be your sister who gets taken to court. Will she accept that? If not, you could end up with a charge of perjury and that’s much more serious than anything you could be facing now.
Very true
 

some bloke

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Even if your sister were happy for you to pretend she was the passenger, it would still be a very bad idea.

You would risk your relationship as well as your career.

This was in different circumstances, but try searching for:

Chris Huhne Vicky Pryce speeding jail
 

Brissle Girl

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I’m not sure I would say that you were in a rush “as it was a morning train” for a train departing after 10am. The person reading that who starts work at 8.30 having left the house an hour earlier (or usually does, before the current situation) would regard that as a fairly lame excuse.

There’s also an inconsistency in that where you talk about costing millions you are implying you were deliberately trying to avoid the correct fare, whereas previously it was all a mistake. That will confuse them, but probably lead them to assume it was deliberate.

Finally, there seems to be a very high proportion of people in your situation who claim to suffer from anxiety. I’m not suggesting you don’t, but they will have read it all before, and I doubt it will influence their decision at all, other than to maybe take a jaundiced view of someone trotting out the usual excuses.
 

WesternLancer

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Here is what I have written so far, please suggest some improvements:



Dear Prosecutors at Greater Anglia,





On [ ] I boarded a train from [ ] to [ ] during super off-peak hours with my train leaving the first station at around 10am. As it was a morning train, I was in a rush and did not have all the correct documentation with me to verify the ticket I had bought (16-24 rail card). When approached by an inspector during the journey, I was able to show a ticket but when asked for my railcard I completely panicked as I was looking in my purse (which is also my older sister's old purse) and gave them her old rail card which happened to be expired. Of course, I was fairly issued with an MG11 by the inspectors and details recorded. However, as my sisters railcard was confiscated, I assumed that it would be best to put her details down (at the time I was not thinking straight, I suffer from anxiety and this was affecting my ability to reason well especially since I was fearful of the magnitude of the whole situation and my foolishness at the point has made things a lot worse). I have filled out the form that was sent with the correct/MY details.


I accept all responsibility for my actions here, I am aware that such actions contribute to millions in loses to rail providers each year and I genuinely regret how negligent and irresponsible my actions where. That same day I bought a new ticket to return and I can most definitely say that this is not a mistake that I could EVER repeat again in my life.


If this matter could be settled out of court I am more than willing to pay all costs and fares that are linked to this mistake, including admin fees and all others associated with this. I am genuinely regretful and apologetic that it has come to this, but I hope this can be settled.



Yours Faithfully,




Signed:
*end*

I genuinely am so sorry, I hope they can settle out of court.
I think your draft sets the right tone in general terms, and if you do not want to go down the solicitor route yet (which is still an option iof things get worse on receipt of your explanation) - but I would tweak this:

"I accept all responsibility for my actions here, I am aware that such actions contribute to millions in loses to rail providers each year and I genuinely regret how negligent and irresponsible my actions where. That same day I bought a new ticket to return and I can most definitely say that this is not a mistake that I could EVER repeat again in my life."

maybe to this:

I fully accept all responsibility for my actions here, I am now aware that such actions contribute to significant financial losses to rail providers each year, and that these also have an impact on other fare paying passengers. I genuinely regret how negligent and irresponsible my actions were. That same day I bought a new ticket to return and I can most definitely say that this is not a mistake that I will EVER knowingly repeat again as I have learned significantly from my actions and wish to apologise for them.

[I removed millions as it looks like you knew it costed them before you did this and that suggests you had intention to do that in my view - as Brissle Girl also says. I tweaked 'ever again' as although you do not intend to do anything it's not actually possible, in my view, to predict the future if you know what I mean]

Brissle Girl's points important too. Have a think about those sections if minor amends may help.

feel free to ignore of course as this is your letter, but good luck either way.
 

Joy777

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I’m not sure I would say that you were in a rush “as it was a morning train” for a train departing after 10am. The person reading that who starts work at 8.30 having left the house an hour earlier (or usually does, before the current situation) would regard that as a fairly lame excuse.

There’s also an inconsistency in that where you talk about costing millions you are implying you were deliberately trying to avoid the correct fare, whereas previously it was all a mistake. That will confuse them, but probably lead them to assume it was deliberate.

Finally, there seems to be a very high proportion of people in your situation who claim to suffer from anxiety. I’m not suggesting you don’t, but they will have read it all before, and I doubt it will influence their decision at all, other than to maybe take a jaundiced view of someone trotting out the usual excuses.

Although true, I will cut the part about the early train out.
The idea behind the part you said was a contradiction is the fact that people who are making genuine mistakes are still costing these rail providers money, although there was no deliberate intent behind their actions, it still bares a financial burden on the rail provider? Should I make this more clear.

I genuinely do suffer from anxiety, I was in propranolol and Sertraline for a period because I was struggling to manage anxiety and depression and actually had to leave uni for a period because I wasn’t coping well with it. Despite this aspect of the situation being very real, you definitely feel that including it would be to my disadvantage?

thanks for your input.
 

Haywain

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I would add to comments by @Brissle Girl that saying "I was fairly issued with an MG11" might suggest a familiarity with the process that might be read as making you a regular offender.
 

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