Being prosecuted for an expired Railcard?

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MrNC
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Four weeks ago, I brought a ticket to see my parents for a Thameslink train using my railcard, without having realised that it had expired three weeks prior. The full fare would have been £9.85 and instead I paid £6.51.

When the ticket inspector came to check my ticket, I gave him both my railcard and ticket and it wasn't until he pointed it out that I knew it was out of date. I had enough money to pay the full fare again and offered to do so. I repeatedly apologised for my mistake, and even offered to pay a penalty fare if necessary. I was completely compliant and did not get aggressive or argumentative in the slightest. However the inspector refused to let me pay a penalty fine, and instead he insisted I wrote down all of my details. He told me that I was lucky he did not call the police there and then and that I would receive a letter in the post.

Yesterday I received a letter saying that the company intends to prosecute me for rail fare evasion! The letter says that the inspector reported that "entered a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling me to travel"- in fact, he took the ticket that I did have and he also took my rail card from me too.

I don't understand why this whole thing has been escalated to this level. It was an honest mistake, and I offered to rectify the situation. I am a final year law student and I would never have purposely used an expired rail card.

I am really scared of getting a criminal record because of this and I don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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cheesecakelove
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I don't think you would be penalised harshly (hopefully). You offered to buy a new ticket and it was a honest mistake. If they do decide to fine you, you could write a letter explaining the situation.

My friend travelled with a ticket she bought with a railcard, but she lost the railcard and only noticed when she got on the train. The train conductor allowed her to purchase an adult price ticket, and she never got any details taken down.
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drbluebox
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Short answer, they are bullies even if they are in the "right" happened to me 7 years ago when I got on train with like a hours sleep and it was packed to point people were standing. the ticket office was closed and when inspector came round I mentioned that and gave my railcard and asked to buy ticket and was accused of lying and had this big guy literally inches from my face then humiliate me by asking me to stand and saying loudly "this person has got on without buying a ticket, they will be fined, they should feel ashamed of themselves for stealing from the rail company"

Utter scumbag he was, and he demanded id he wasn't legally entitled to have.
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999tigger
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(Original post by MrNC)
Four weeks ago, I brought a ticket to see my parents for a Thameslink train using my railcard, without having realised that it had expired three weeks prior. The full fare would have been £9.85 and instead I paid £6.51.

When the ticket inspector came to check my ticket, I gave him both my railcard and ticket and it wasn't until he pointed it out that I knew it was out of date. I had enough money to pay the full fare again and offered to do so. I repeatedly apologised for my mistake, and even offered to pay a penalty fare if necessary. I was completely compliant and did not get aggressive or argumentative in the slightest. However the inspector refused to let me pay a penalty fine, and instead he insisted I wrote down all of my details. He told me that I was lucky he did not call the police there and then and that I would receive a letter in the post.

Yesterday I received a letter saying that the company intends to prosecute me for rail fare evasion! The letter says that the inspector reported that "entered a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling me to travel"- in fact, he took the ticket that I did have and he also took my rail card from me too.

I don't understand why this whole thing has been escalated to this level. It was an honest mistake, and I offered to rectify the situation. I am a final year law student and I would never have purposely used an expired rail card.

I am really scared of getting a criminal record because of this and I don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
You are a law student? How come you dont know what to do?

If they give you an opportunity to pay a penalty fine, then I would have paid that otherwise I would go and see a solicitor and get representation.

Do not admit anything or agree to a caution until you have taken legal advice.

You have in your favour:
1. Small nonsensical amount.
2. Handing your rail card over at the same time, which is inconsistent.
3. Being a Law student with a career to lose.

Not sure of its strict liability or not. You should research the law on fare evasion.

I imagine if it got to magistrates, then they would say something, but you need a solicitor to advise you on that. They can also liaise with the train company as to whether the prosecution was really going ahead. I'd have though a fine would be more appropriate.
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Napp
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I remember getting one of those years ago from FGW. Ring up their 'helpline' and you might be able to find a more amenable person who will reverse the decision or let you pay the fine and be done with it.
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LTEcactus
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They are within their rights to seek a prosecution. Since your ticket was invalid.
However you should write a letter, apologising for your mistake and ask to pay for the costs incurred etc. Keep the letter concise and don't blame them, and hopefully you'll get an out of court settlement.
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Huw M Thomas
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(Original post by MrNC)
Four weeks ago, I brought a ticket to see my parents for a Thameslink train using my railcard, without having realised that it had expired three weeks prior. The full fare would have been £9.85 and instead I paid £6.51.

When the ticket inspector came to check my ticket, I gave him both my railcard and ticket and it wasn't until he pointed it out that I knew it was out of date. I had enough money to pay the full fare again and offered to do so. I repeatedly apologised for my mistake, and even offered to pay a penalty fare if necessary. I was completely compliant and did not get aggressive or argumentative in the slightest. However the inspector refused to let me pay a penalty fine, and instead he insisted I wrote down all of my details. He told me that I was lucky he did not call the police there and then and that I would receive a letter in the post.

Yesterday I received a letter saying that the company intends to prosecute me for rail fare evasion! The letter says that the inspector reported that "entered a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling me to travel"- in fact, he took the ticket that I did have and he also took my rail card from me too.

I don't understand why this whole thing has been escalated to this level. It was an honest mistake, and I offered to rectify the situation. I am a final year law student and I would never have purposely used an expired rail card.

I am really scared of getting a criminal record because of this and I don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately for you nobody is prepared to admit when they are wrong. People will say anything and everything to avoid holding up their hands.
The rail companies are faced with "genuine" cases each and every day. Every time someone gets away with fare avoidance it goes against everyone who comes after them.
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Underscore__
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It’s somewhat strange that as a final year law student you wouldn’t have at least an idea of how to handle a situation like this. I would suggest you should have been more argumentative when confronted rather than merely apologising. A quick look at Thameslink’s website will tell you the company policy on how this should be resolved
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MrNC
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Fortunately the matter has been resolved now; I called the prosecutions office/wrote to them/went into the office and met someone in person, and we talked it out . The member of the office was sympathetic to the effect it could have on my career and thankfully really reasonable so they decided to drop the prosecution as long as I paid the difference.
Will definitely remember to always check my railcard from now on. Thank you all very much for your replies!!
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The RAR
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This is ridiculous, hopefully the judge in charge of this case can call out those ****s who are just being annoying
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Tierney99
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(Original post by MrNC)
Fortunately the matter has been resolved now; I called the prosecutions office/wrote to them/went into the office and met someone in person, and we talked it out . The member of the office was sympathetic to the effect it could have on my career and thankfully really reasonable so they decided to drop the prosecution as long as I paid the difference.
Will definitely remember to always check my railcard from now on. Thank you all very much for your replies!!
Hi, I am in a similar position, did you turn up at their office in kings cross without an arranged meeting? I am thinking of doing the same to resolve my situation.
Thanks!
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Cat476
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(Original post by MrNC)
Four weeks ago, I brought a ticket to see my parents for a Thameslink train using my railcard, without having realised that it had expired three weeks prior. The full fare would have been £9.85 and instead I paid £6.51.

When the ticket inspector came to check my ticket, I gave him both my railcard and ticket and it wasn't until he pointed it out that I knew it was out of date. I had enough money to pay the full fare again and offered to do so. I repeatedly apologised for my mistake, and even offered to pay a penalty fare if necessary. I was completely compliant and did not get aggressive or argumentative in the slightest. However the inspector refused to let me pay a penalty fine, and instead he insisted I wrote down all of my details. He told me that I was lucky he did not call the police there and then and that I would receive a letter in the post.

Yesterday I received a letter saying that the company intends to prosecute me for rail fare evasion! The letter says that the inspector reported that "entered a train for the purpose of travelling without a ticket entitling me to travel"- in fact, he took the ticket that I did have and he also took my rail card from me too.

I don't understand why this whole thing has been escalated to this level. It was an honest mistake, and I offered to rectify the situation. I am a final year law student and I would never have purposely used an expired rail card.

I am really scared of getting a criminal record because of this and I don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Wow that's harsh, I think it mostly depends on how strict the individual is/ how ridiculously seriously they take their job.

I once travelled to Birmingham and realised I'd forgotten my railcard while on the train there. I told the ticket lady this when she asked to see my card and she let me off and just advised me to buy another single ticket for my journey back or another conductor be so accepting. Would hate to think what would've happened if it had been your conductor instead- maybe it's because I was a 16 year old girl and my first long distance journey on my own or that woman was in a good mood but I count myself lucky for it.
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K.webster
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What was the outcome of this
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K.webster
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Hi, what was the outcome of this?
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Hope5677
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Lol they are just after profit. Similar happened to me. In my case i had a railcard but left it at home. I wrote them a long letter back with my railcard 😎😎😎 and i threatened them back with persecution as i said i felt harassed by them. It felt good knowing they got threatened back gave them a taste of their own medicine for what they do to people
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scholar1997
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hey do you know which number to call for the concerned department?
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Hope5677
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(Original post by scholar1997)
hey do you know which number to call for the concerned department?
I don't think there's a number. They just write you and say reply to their persecution department with an address attached . I don't know but don't think there's a phone number
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