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Fare Evasion Summons -Question?
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Fare Evasion Summons -Question?

I have received a summons for a court appearance for failure to pay fare on a London bus. However, once I looked over the paperwork I had received, I noticed that the written statement by the inspector was inconsistent with what actually took place. I have a discounted photocard that goes in accordance with my Oyster card, that I had left at home by accident that day, however there was the available and sufficient amount on my Oyster card to cover my journey. Realising this, I went to the door to get off at the next stop but an inspector got on when the bus had stopped and he prevented me from leaving. Upon inspection, the inspector realised that I had the sufficient amount on my Oyster card and told me that he will simply inform his dept that I just did not have my photocard with me at that time. Since then, I had received a letter from TFL, requesting a copy of my photocard for their verification, of which I had sent back to them promptly. They also confirmed receipt. Once I read this statement that I had received with the summons though, the inspector stated that I had insufficient fare when he approached me. In addition, he did not sign his statement at all. I am considering a pursuance of an out of court settlement option but I am unsure that I will be granted a fine due to a previous £20 penalty fare I had paid before (even after submitting a written appeal to overturn it at that time) however this unsigned inconsistent statement leaves me wondering what I should do next. Should I pursue the out of court settlement option (which maybe considered as an admission of guilt?) or go to the magistrates court to plead my case? Thanks in advance for your answers.







Sir Chopper
Rating
Do check the consequences of an out of court settlement thoroughly. My wife was found to have insufficient money on her Oyster card (even though the bus driver had waved her on and told her it went through just fine) and was summoned to court. If found guilty she would have been given a criminal record aparently - so make sure this won't be the case for you if you do make an out of court settlement. Speak to Citizens advice on this, or find legal advice to at least let you know what the implications would be either way. If it turns out you will need to fight this one in court to keep a clean record: In our case, my wife was not entitled to legal aid, but submitted a full account of her version of events to the court along with 7 or 8 character references to back up that she was an honest, reliable person from those of good standing who knew her in the community (Pastor, Teacher/friends, etc). In the end the inspector didn't show up, and there was no case to answer - no fine, no charge (although other inspectors were there for other cases). There are your obvious types looking for a free ride on public transport, and there are genuine mistakes made by people - make sure the Magistrate can see you're not just any oik whose been pulled up before him/her. Also, TFL must have some proof that you had insufficient fare on your card, surely? Do you still have confirmation of receipt for your photo card, and the original letter you sent them with the photo card proof? That would presumably show they had a different issue with you at the time. I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation. I hope it won't come to you having to fight your corner in court. Best of luck.







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