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Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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I am being prosecuted by a rail firm for not having a £6 train

Customer Question

I am being prosecuted by a rail firm for not having a £6 train ticket. I have been trying to settle the matter out of court, as a prosecution could have a likely affect of me not getting future work. If I cannot get a settlement, could I sue the train operator if I am turned down for work because I had a conviction for what is essentially quite a small amount (ie punishment far exceeds the crime).
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

On what basis do you hope to sue? Sorry if I'm missing the point.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Did you commit the offence?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I commited the offence, sorry in terms of sueuing, I am still trying to negotiate with the rail firm to settle out of court, if they won't, I wanted to use this as a potential point that if it was legally possible, and I was getting turned down for work, I might persue this at a late date.


Sorry I have very little knowledge of the law


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No, its no problem! I can understand a wish to examine all avenues in this circumstance.

I am sorry but its bad news though. Its not legally possible. Ultimately they are a prosecution authority and free to prosecute any offence if they choose. The fact that the punishment is disproportionate to the crime does not mean they are liable for prosecutions.

They are under a duty, as with any other public prosecutor, to apply the public interest test and if they default upon that then there is an argument that negligence arises. However, I'm afraid refusing your out of court settlement does not offend against public interest.

Also, I am sorry to have to tell you this but you need to be careful about the point you are making. You are not at risk of prosecution because of the sum of the fare but because of the dishonesty of fare evasion. Thefts of very small sums of money are prosecuted all the time because of the issue of dishonesty rather than value of the sum. If you want my entirely honest opinion, quite a lot of common assaults are too trivial to justify police attention but they regularly do.

I am very sorry but thats your position and I have to give you truthful information. This is not to say that they won't accept an out of court settlement but just that a threat to sue them is not going to succeed.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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