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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am being sent to court for travelling on the railway without

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I am being sent to court for travelling on the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof.
I admit to not paying the fare but there are mitigating circumstances which have been explained to the company and I have offered to pay the fare and other fares if necessary. They have not answered any of my comments.
My partner (who works for the company) and their daughter (who has a nominee pass) went with me for a night out. I have a normal oytster card. I had all passes in my handbag when we returned home, the daughter left hers in the bag as she rarely uses it.
Without really thinking about it, I was using whatever card came out first from my hand bag when using the tube. I know this is silly but I never really thought about it, and did not give a thought to the fact that the card is not mine - I thought of it as an oyster card like mine... Obviously this was really stupid.
I was stopped and questioned at a busy station where the ticket inspector did not speak the best of English and everything took place in a crowded noisy ticket area. I was embarrassed and late for work so agreed not to check the notes of the 'interview' and just left. His statement in the pack is simply not true. I did have alternative travel methods with me - I showed it to him. I did explain that I used the card because it was the first to come out of the bag. The record they provide shows the use as inconsistent (Approx 5 days in 2 weeks).
I completely accept I should not have used the card. I just cannot believe that nobody has responded to my comments or offer to settle the usage of the card.
I work in the financial sector and a criminal record like this will affect my future. I have no criminal record, am 28 and am educated to Maths degree level. Is there anything I can do to attempt to settle this out of court or will I at least get a chance to explain all of this in court as I expect this is low level and with a guilty plea will it just be a routine raised eyebrow and fine? I am in a real emotional mess with this as it has taken so long to get this far - they keep writing to an old address despite me writing and informing them of a new address twice - the offence was in October.
Amy guidance you can give would be appreciated. I am thinking of talking to a solicitor but the cost looks to be prohibitive even though I have no idea of a fine or if it is recorded as a criminal record.

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

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Whilst I acknowledge guilt of using a non appropriate travel pass, I would like to settle this out of court as explained above as I do not want a criminal record particularly as I work professionally in the financial sector.

Compensation requested is £4.50. Costs are £130. I am happy to pay TfL much more as a way to avoid going to court over this.

I have written to them, offered to settle out of court, and now have a pack from a court which has a statement in it which is untrue and riddled with errors. Nobody seems to want to listen to me and I feel that I am caught up in a big wheel which wont stop and listen to reason.


So what would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Your advice on how to proceed.

Is it best to go to court, plead guilty and try to explain what happened, or get representation in court from a solicitor to do this for me, or is there some one who can work for me in discussion with the company.

What is the best way to try and avoid getting a criminal record?

What is the likey sentence?


Are you summonsed under Reg 18 of the Railway Bye Laws?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Contrary to S.5(3)(a) of the regulation of Railways Act 1889 as amended by section 84 (2) of the Transport Act 1952 and Section 18 18 of the British Railways Act 1970

When are you due in court roughly?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



It depend whether you want to avoid a criminal record or not. This is a breach of the railway bye law which is a criminal offence. Its not a very serious offence but its an offence nonetheless.

If you do want to avoid that then you can always call them and offer an out of court settlement on a no admissions basis. I have to say that I have no idea on what basis they think they can do that. This is a criminal offence and we don't have out of court settlements of criminal matters in legal theory. However I know they are accepting them and I suppose its a case of not looking a gift horse in the mouth! You would probably need to offer £300 or thereabouts but it may succeed,

Failing that, you will have to plead on these facts and mitigate. This will only lead to a fine anyway.

It is always possible to put them to proof. The truth is that I used to prosecute these things all the time and while some people do succeed many do not and face the risk of costs.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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