Train fare evasion. Prosecuted for stepping in 1st class. Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
Is train fare evasion treat with undue harshness?

I have no sympathy for people who delibritely refuse to pay for their train ticket but fare evasion doesn't just include failure to buy a ticket.

I know someone who got on a busy train after college it was standing room only. They walked into first class for a few seconds as there was little space to stand.
A ticket inspector caught this person just after they returned to second class. Asked to see his season ticket and started to interrogate him after seeing it was a second class ticket, demanding his name and address. He offered to pay the difference for an upgrade to first class but the inspector refused almost accusing him of bribing a rail official.
Inspector then claimed he would not have paid for an upgrade if he had not been caught.
A few months later he was summoned to court pleaded guilty and fined £465 plus costs. He now has a criminal record, which means he is barred from a career in teaching which he had considered for several years and even a holiday in Florida because with a record he can't apply for and Esta Visa and Fare evasion is classed as a crime of 'Moral Terpittude' in the USA which means he will not be allowed to visit the US even after 5 years when his conviction is spent as British criminal convictions are never considered spent in US law.

Train fare evasion is an offence by failing to pay for a service which is requires a fee, but if you fail to pay to park your car it's treat as a civil matter and many people say that demand letters can simply be ignored. But like train fare evasion it's failing to pay for a service but is dealt with far more leniently.
Why is train fare evasion treat as a criminal offence with such undue harshness?
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ed98
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Why didn't he just pay the original penalty fare?
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Chichaldo
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#3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Is train fare evasion treat with undue harshness?

I have no sympathy for people who delibritely refuse to pay for their train ticket but fare evasion doesn't just include failure to buy a ticket.

I know someone who got on a busy train after college it was standing room only. They walked into first class for a few seconds as there was little space to stand.
A ticket inspector caught this person just after they returned to second class. Asked to see his season ticket and started to interrogate him after seeing it was a second class ticket, demanding his name and address. He offered to pay the difference for an upgrade to first class but the inspector refused almost accusing him of bribing a rail official.
Inspector then claimed he would not have paid for an upgrade if he had not been caught.
A few months later he was summoned to court pleaded guilty and fined £465 plus costs. He now has a criminal record, which means he is barred from a career in teaching which he had considered for several years and even a holiday in Florida because with a record he can't apply for and Esta Visa and Fare evasion is classed as a crime of 'Moral Terpittude' in the USA which means he will not be allowed to visit the US even after 5 years when his conviction is spent as British criminal convictions are never considered spent in US law.

Train fare evasion is an offence by failing to pay for a service which is requires a fee, but if you fail to pay to park your car it's treat as a civil matter and many people say that demand letters can simply be ignored. But like train fare evasion it's failing to pay for a service but is dealt with far more leniently.
Why is train fare evasion treat as a criminal offence with such undue harshness?
Well that punishment seemed extreme, I suppose since the railways are private they can take it as far in court as they wish too.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ed98)
Why didn't he just pay the original fare?
He did, he had an monthly season ticket and had offered to pay for an upgrade to first class after being caught. He had never intended to travel 1st class, he only had a look in first because the train was so busy. He never even sat down in first.

He offered to pay for the upgrade to avoid any trouble, he's the timid kind of person who would have paid for the upgrade had he been allowed but not used it.
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ed98
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(Original post by Anonymous)
He did, he had an monthly season ticket and had offered to pay for an upgrade to first class after being caught. He had never intended to travel 1st class, he only had a look in first because the train was so busy. He never even sat down in first.

He offered to pay for the upgrade to avoid any trouble, he's the timid kind of person who would have paid for the upgrade had he been allowed but not used it.
Surely he would have been given lots of notice before he had to go to court? You usually only have to go to court if you've refused to pay the penalty fare, which would have been sent in the post. Plus there would have been an appeals process etc.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Chichaldo)
Well that punishment seemed extreme, I suppose since the railways are private they can take it as far in court as they wish too.
True but if a person gets fined for not buying a parking permit then private parking firms and even councils have very little power to persue the person other than bailiffs to ensure a fine is paid, certainly they can't treat a failing to pay parking issue as a criminal offence.

But how and why do railway firms get the support from the criminal justice system? Both fare dodging and parking offences are failing to pay for a payable service, but the latter isn't a criminal matter. But it's more or less the same thing.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ed98)
Why didn't he just pay the original penalty fare?
I think only certain train companies and regions offer a penalty fare as an alternative to prosecution.
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Chichaldo
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(Original post by Anonymous)
True but if a person gets fined for not buying a parking permit then private parking firms and even councils have very little power to persue the person other than bailiffs to ensure a fine is paid, certainly they can't treat a failing to pay parking issue as a criminal offence.

But how and why do railway firms get the support from the criminal justice system? Both fare dodging and parking offences are failing to pay for a payable service, but the latter isn't a criminal matter. But it's more or less the same thing.
Big companies these private train firms, money money money. What springs to mind but there may be other potential reasons
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ed98
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I think only certain train companies and regions offer a penalty fare as an alternative to prosecution.
What company was it then? I feel very dubious as to whether this is the full story.
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jkls92
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I hate it when people without the proper ticket come into first class, but this case sounds ridiculous. I'm sure it wouldn't have happened with a good lawyer. He should be able to appeal somehow.
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shadowdweller
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This does seem to be an extreme case where the penalty was unwarranted, but I don't see an issue with the penalty where people have genuinely tried to fare dodge.

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luis_guarez
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It is not worth getting a criminal record over things which are so petty, the train companies will do their best to make an example out of you to deter others. Getting a good lawyer would have helped, as if you don't contest your position, they will lay down the full force of the law on you.
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King Leonidas
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
This does seem to be an extreme case where the penalty was unwarranted, but I don't see an issue with the penalty where people have genuinely tried to fare dodge.

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(Original post by usualsuspects)
I hate it when people without the proper ticket come into first class, but this case sounds ridiculous. I'm sure it wouldn't have happened with a good lawyer. He should be able to appeal somehow.
Just out of curiosity, what would've happened if the customer offered to buy/upgrade a ticket, but refused to provide the conductor with their address details? I'm assuming if the conductor doesn't allow you to pay the cost of a ticket, then you could just ignore them unless they ask you to leave the train at the next station. I've seldom heard of British Transport Police being called to a situation where an individual is willing to purchase a ticket but is denied by the conductor. Also, here in the Midlands, most conductors are happy to sell you a ticket unless it's evident you've come off a connecting line, then they ask to see your other ticket first.
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luis_guarez
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(Original post by King Leonidas)
Just out of curiosity, what would've happened if the customer offered to buy/upgrade a ticket, but refused to provide the conductor with their address details? I'm assuming if the conductor doesn't allow you to pay the cost of a ticket, then you could just ignore them unless they ask you to leave the train at the next station. I've seldom heard of British Transport Police being called to a situation where an individual is willing to purchase a ticket but is denied by the conductor. Also, here in the Midlands, most conductors are happy to sell you a ticket unless it's evident you've come off a connecting line, then they ask to see your other ticket first.
A lot of times it comes down to the "discretion" of the conductor, you can be a pretty young girl and he may let you off but if you are bald fat old man, you may feel the full force of the law.

It is always best to appeal in these cases, taking pictures of how crowded a train was and how you always have paid for a season ticket can do you well in a court of law. Personally 1st class should be removed as our trains are packed as it is at rush hour.
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Dot.Cotton
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No sympathy. If you're not paying for first class, don't step foot in first class.
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teenhorrorstory
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Proletariats need to know their place
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Fruli
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Which train company is this?

That's just ridiculous.

I walk through first class all the time and find train companies to be reasonable, apart from Virgin, so I wouldn't be surprised of it is Virgin.
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King Leonidas
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(Original post by Dot.Cotton)
No sympathy. If you're not paying for first class, don't step foot in first class.
'ard aint ya.
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by Dot.Cotton)
No sympathy. If you're not paying for first class, don't step foot in first class.
I've walked through first class with a standard ticket plenty of times to get to a working toilet or food car or even another standard cabin I don't think he should have been prosecuted for what essentially sounds like just passing through as I do all the time.
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JammieDodger27
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I don't think you're telling us the full story
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