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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good day, My sister in law took my 1st class travel card

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Good day,

My sister in law took my 1st class travel card which was expiring the next day and used it to travel to London. This she had done without my knowledge. She was apprehended by South West Trains and issued with a penalty. She has since gone back to her home country as she was a student here at the time. I got a letter asking me to attend an interview under caution, i called the prosecutor for Southwest trains to inquire what the issue was and why I was being summoned. They told me that she had told the inspector that I had agreed for her to use my ticket, hence my involvement. I however explained to the inspect that she had told me that she had taken the ticket by accident and was not aware that it was not hers. The prosecutor said that they will request for both of us to come to court. My question is what is my exposure on this, and secondly as she is not in the country, what does she need to do and does she stand the risk of a criminal record or is it just a fine?

Jo C. :

Hi. Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this. What country is she in?


Good day Jo, she is now back in Nigeria, she was here doing an MBA and left in Nov, the issue occured in October

Jo C. : I'm just going to convert this to Q and A if thats OK as I can't view everything in chat.


How did she come to use a railcard in your name?

Why weren't you using it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My railcard was expiring on the sunday, whenever my railcard is expiring I take it out of the wallet and put it on the desk in my study as a reminder, to get it renewed during the weekend before the rush in the morning (i only use my railcard on weekdays) she was staying with us and what she told me was that she took mine by accident, however what she told the inspector was that I had willfully let her use it.


Obviously she is facing a criminal offence. They could rely on fare evasion but they won't. They will rely on Regulation 18 of the Railway Bye Laws. That is an offence that only requires them to prove that she was travelling without a valid ticket.

In relation to you, unless they are going to raise some evidence that you agreed to this the case against you is going nowhere fast. Unless she is going to come to court and give that evidence they will struggle to do so. They could try to rely on admissible hearsay on the basis of what she said to the Revenue inspector but its very weak evidence that would easily be rebutted.

You may as well explain to them the position as you see it though. You have an innocent account to offer so generally speaking there are benefits in doing so early.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX my case there is no real case. However as she is my sister in law, even though I am quite cross she has put me in this position, I can't let her get a criminal record, she will not be able to attend as she is not in the country, if they are going to rely on Regulation 18, which does not require intent, what can i do to mitigate this from her perspective. Also Regulation 18 of the Railway by laws, is there an actual citation I can look up to get more clarity and see if there are any precedents i can rely on.

There's nothing you can do about that. Its for her to defence. There's no contribution you can make really.

Even if you did give her permission to use the card there's still not defence available to her.

They may or may not prosecute her if she is abroad anyway.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thank, so do you think it is worth getting her represented legally or to see what they do as a criminal record will impact her adversely

Unless she is in the Uk to defend the matter then there is no point at all.

A solicitor can do nothing without her instructions and indeed would not act without her agreement.

Its not for you to worry about. I understand she is family but ultimately we can only help family so far.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Jo

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, I keep getting emails on this topic, which should be closed, can you help stop the emails? Thanks
I think the site are sending you automated emails. You are not the first to mention this.

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