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Friends son Done for Train fare evasion?

(5 Posts)
Ambitious1996 Sun 13-Nov-16 18:57:03

A friend who we meet in library has a son in his early 20s with slight to moderate learning difficulties who has been threatened with prison for train fare evasion.
It happened last Autumn. He was on a busy commuter train and decided to stretch his legs. He walked from one end of the train to the other and just as he was leaving first class a revenue protection inspector asked to see his ticket which was valid 2nd class ticket. He was issued with a penalty fare for not having a 1st class ticket even though he had never even sat in first class he just walked to the end and back again, must have been there less than a minute! He never knew you needed a 1st class ticket just to enter first class.
He had no money so gave his details and address to inspector as requested and that was that.

A week later he was sent a fine in the post. Foolishly he went on various forums to discuss the matter and was told by many people that penalty fares are like parking fines and just to ignore and bin it. Several letters came including a court summons which he stupidly ignored. Then nothing was heard for nearly 8 months.

A few weeks ago he was stopped by police who were doing a blitz on motorists. He had a dirty number plate but was let off with a warning. They took his personal details, licence etc and found there was a warrant out for his arrest for having missed court. He was arrested put in the back of a police van and put in the cells of the police station. He was bailed to appear in court, over the fare evasion issue. He got a solicitor who said that he could be facing prison for failing to attend court. He has since gone to pieces. He is a timid lad and will not cope with prison life, the gangs and bullying. He knows all about the prison gangs and violence from TV and being forced to get gang tattoos hazing etc.
Will he face prison?

Last1nL1n3 Mon 14-Nov-16 00:04:10

I suggest posting this in Legal matters or AIBU for more traffic

If the police are involved it sounds serious

I think the key is "several letters were ignored"

He drives a car, so surely must take some responsibility

DramaQueenofHighCs Mon 14-Nov-16 00:27:57

You don't need a first class ticket to walk through the first class bit of a train! What if he was just going to the nearest toilet or whatever? Lots of trains have CCTV on nowadays so it would be easy to prove he had done nothing wrong on that count.

As for ignored court orders - don't know how to help with that but really, what a jobsworth train conductor!

HirplesWithHaggis Mon 14-Nov-16 00:30:29

It wasn't a smart move to ignore the letters, and particularly the court date, and he absolutely must attend the next court date, for which he has been bailed. But no, of course he won't face jail time for this incredibly minor offence - it would cost the state a ridiculous amount to lock him up, and no-one benefits in the slightest.

He's also watching far too much American telly if he thinks jails are all about gang culture etc, it's just not like that here in the UK.

I have no idea why his lawyer span him this story* but a chat with CAB/local legal centre (if you have one) should set his mind at ease.

*OK I do, it's potentially contempt of court, which is very serious and potentially jailable, but no magistrate in her/his right mind would do this to a vulnerable young man like this.

user1478778023 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:09:07

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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