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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have just been given a British Transport Police penalty notice

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I have just been given a British Transport Police penalty notice for disorder charged with behavior likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress contrary to act 5 public order act 1986. I intend to fight this in court as I believe I have done nothing wrong. The basic facts of the matter are that I needed to use a toilet and a person behind the ticket desk would not let me use the station toilets as I did not have a ticket I walked away saying "I've a good mind to piss on the tracks" To which she replied "go on then you dirty old man" I then turned around quite angry at this response and said" What did you say?". She then informed me that if I carried on she would call the police, so I replied "go on then". I waited for said Police to turn up but didn't think she had really called them as it was taking a long time for them to come so I wrote my mobile telephone number and name on a piece of paper and left it with her and at this point said" you really are the most obnoxious cow I've ever met" and left. These are the basics of the matter as it's a little more detailed and I have given these details to the police in my statement. How will I stand legally in court? Also on the penalty notice it is very contradictory. "This notice does not form part of a criminal record but a crime record will be created" What is the difference!!! Then "The notice may be recorded on the Police National Computer and/or disclosed as part of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. It may be also cited as evidence of bad character, taken into consideration in any subsequent criminal proceedings and relied upon as evidence at court in civil proceedings" then later it states" If you choose to pay, no further action will be taken in respect of the offence detailed in part 2: payment of the penalty involves no admission of guilt and will not (underlined) result in a record of criminal conviction being made against you" This is so contradictory
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I intend to represent myself in court and cannot afford a solicitor. I would like to know how I stand on this legally as I was in no way using "words or behavior likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress" if anything it was the other way around and if I have it was because of her behavior towards me!

I am really sorry but you are over estimating your position.
S5 public order is very easily committed. It is the most minor offence on the statute books. On your own account you are guilty of this offence and will be convicted at court if indeed they remember to summons. Calling a person an 'obnoxious cow' is sufficient to make out S5 and that is even without combining the remaining facts and the fact that the witness will over egg the pudding in the witness box.
It does only carry a fine at court. The risk though is costs and a criminal record although only a very minor one.
If you don't pay the fixed penalty then maybe they will summons, maybe not. If you are happy to run the above risk then just refuse to pay the fine and wait to see if they do remember to summons. They do often forget so you might be lucky.
Be aware though that you do not have a positive defence.
I am very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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