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Journey by Journey => Chiltern Railways services => Topic started by: Chris from Nailsea on April 11, 2015, 01:09:31 am



Title: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 11, 2015, 01:09:31 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-32251271):

Quote
Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/media/images/82236000/jpg/_82236341_82231108.jpg)
Peter Barnett admits fraud, but says he did not con Chiltern Railways out of ^23,000

A barrister who avoided paying train tickets could have cost a rail company ^23,000 a court has heard.

It is claimed Peter Barnett, 43, boarded trains at Haddenham and Thame Parkway without a ticket and used an Oyster card to "tap out" at Marylebone.

Chiltern Railways claims it lost ^23,000. Barnett, who admits fraud, said it was ^10,000 once leave was taken into consideration.

The case at Westminster Magistrates' Court was adjourned until 27 July.

Chiltern Railways has been urged to calculate the exact loss to the company before the case can proceed.

The court was told Barnett, from Oxford, was stopped by a ticket inspector at Marylebone station and asked where he travelled from.

When he claimed to have travelled from Wembley, instead of Haddenham and Thame Parkway in Oxford, the inspector became suspicious and Barnett ran off.

He handed himself in later that day.

Barnett admits six counts of fraud by false representation between April 2012 and November last year.

He has been released on unconditional bail.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on April 11, 2015, 11:20:54 am
He will have dodged weekly (or longer) seasons, so that is the calculation they need to do - with a fine on top. That current calculation is based on the daily dodge, which of course he is unlikely to have purchased in paying his way.

However, I regularly see pax using Oysters to pass through the barriers either alighting from or boarding trains whose last/first stop is way beyond West Ruislip (the last Oyster0-enabled station on Chiltern's Mainline) & hence this is the tip of the iceberg.....and they know it as I've repeatedly drawn management's attention to it. At times, even on the barrier line & they've not stopped the passenger concerned.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: JayMac on April 11, 2015, 03:00:33 pm
He will have dodged weekly (or longer) seasons, so that is the calculation they need to do - with a fine on top.

Chiltern should only calculate the lost revenue. Fine will be for the court to decide. May not be any fine if he receives a custodial sentence.

Recovering the revenue and prosecution costs may be down to bargaining between defence and prosecution, or, if he receives a custodial sentence, by way of a civil claim.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on April 11, 2015, 03:19:02 pm
See NRCoC para 2.

Seasons only available in advance of travel. Does cover what's chargeable if travelling without - a SDS Single (or return if pax requests)


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: John R on April 11, 2015, 03:22:05 pm
He will have dodged weekly (or longer) seasons, so that is the calculation they need to do - with a fine on top. That current calculation is based on the daily dodge, which of course he is unlikely to have purchased in paying his way.


The prosecution's view is that an offence is committed each time and that the cost of a ticket each day is the loss to the TOC. That seems reasonable to me. The fact is he chose not to purchase a season ticket offering a discount over the daily rate, so on each day he travelled the TOC's loss was the difference between the fare paid and the full fare payable.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on April 11, 2015, 03:27:35 pm
He has pleaded guilty to *six* specimen charges, which sorts of backs that view up


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: Cynthia on April 12, 2015, 09:25:35 am
The Barrister claims it was only ^10,000 when leave was taken into account.

Oh, well that's alright then.......?  >:(

For goodness' sake, it's not as though, on his salary, he couldn't afford to pay his rail fares.  Maybe I'm a bit of an idealist, but  I tend to feel those in a position of responsibility in society should be setting a good example to others.





Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 12, 2015, 09:30:32 am
I hope they throw the book at the greedy so and so - the question of why he wasn't caught earlier of course is moot - I am sure there are many others on many lines working similar fiddles - the fact that someone getting caught is so newsworthy is an indication of how rarely it happens.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: trainbuff on April 12, 2015, 02:02:21 pm
And surely as a Barrister how can he continue working when he has committed fraud? Or is it just me that thinks that?


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on April 12, 2015, 02:04:49 pm
Indeed, his career is already dead.

However, he could work in-house for a large corporate as a legal exec....


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on April 12, 2015, 02:59:18 pm
And surely as a Barrister how can he continue working when he has committed fraud? Or is it just me that thinks that?

You are not alone in your thoughts trainbuff - when I read that I was curious and started googling...but didn't come up with a definitive answer. However, common sense makes me think that keeping such a role whilst having admitted a fraudulent action is a little bit un-ethical


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on April 12, 2015, 03:10:17 pm
He'll be banned by the Head of the Judiciary


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: JayMac on April 12, 2015, 03:49:32 pm
Isn't it the Bar Standards Board that would decide whether he can remain a barrister?

I'm not sure the Lord Chief Justice would have any role in disbarring him.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: Cynthia on April 12, 2015, 03:53:56 pm
The cynic in me wants to suggest that it depends whether they're in the same branch of the freemasons...........

Oooh, nasty.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 30, 2015, 08:51:52 pm
An update, from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-34403023):

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Barrister Peter Barnett sentenced for two-year fare dodge

(http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/BAD9/production/_85833874_hi029369952.jpg)
Peter Barnett ran off when a member of station staff became suspicious about his story

A barrister who commuted by train for two years without paying has been given a suspended 16-week prison sentence.

Peter Barnett, 44, travelled from Haddenham and Thame Parkway to London Marylebone, but dodged the full fare by claiming his journey began at Wembley in north-west London.

Chiltern Railways had argued he should pay back nearly ^20,000 but the defence said the true value was ^6,000.

Barnett, from Oxford, admitted fraud by false representation.

Deputy District Judge Olalekan Omotosho said: "There is a need not just to punish you for the offences but also deter others from committing offences."

She added: "It remains unclear why you acted so badly. You let yourself down and your family down, particularly in light of your profession as a lawyer."

Barnett admitted six counts of fraud by false representation between April 2012 and November 2014 and was ordered to pay back nearly ^6,000.

City of London Magistrates' Court heard that Barnett - a former Oxford graduate and Rhodes scholar who also worked in the financial services sector - failed to pay for journeys on Chiltern Railways on 655 days between April 2012 and November 2014.

He was thought to have simply "tapped out" with an Oyster card, automatically being charged the maximum Transport for London fare.

Prosecutors had argued he should pay back ^19,689, the full value of the cost of daily returns for the trips he made.

However, the defence claimed the value was a penalty imposed by the railway company rather than the true value, because if Barnett had bought a ticket it would have been a weekly one - rather than paying a daily fare.

The court heard that Barnett ran off when a member of station staff became suspicious about his story and called a supervisor, but had a change of heart and later handed himself in.

During an interview with British Transport Police, he confessed that he had been carrying out the scam since April 2012.

Barnett was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and be supervised for 12 months.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: JayMac on October 01, 2015, 12:16:41 am
I'd like to know what action, if any, the Bar Standards Board have taken.

His punishment in court seems about right taking into account what appears to be excellent advocacy in defence. That's my assessment based on the legal process, not what I think he should have got by way of sentence.

The greater long term punishment though should be meted out by the Bar Standards Board. A barrister with a criminal conviction...?


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on October 01, 2015, 08:09:52 am
Now sentence has been passed, I'm sure they will now call him for a hearing


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: ChrisB on October 01, 2015, 08:35:10 am
More in the Telegraph....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/11901663/Britains-biggest-fare-dodger-asks-to-pay-back-a-third-of-penalty.html

Seems as though the judge/Recorder has struck out the NRCoC rule of the way the daily penalty is the single fare for each day you scive the fare. Season costs are considered to be the actual loss going forward


Title: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: Tim on October 01, 2015, 09:17:47 am
He will have dodged weekly (or longer) seasons, so that is the calculation they need to do - with a fine on top. That current calculation is based on the daily dodge, which of course he is unlikely to have purchased in paying his way.


The prosecution's view is that an offence is committed each time and that the cost of a ticket each day is the loss to the TOC. That seems reasonable to me. The fact is he chose not to purchase a season ticket offering a discount over the daily rate, so on each day he travelled the TOC's loss was the difference between the fare paid and the full fare payable.

He was ordered to pay back the lower ^6000 amount (ie the cost of weekly seasons) because the Judge held that that was most likely the real loss to the railway.  That to me seems perfectly reasonable.  The order to pay compensation is not intended to be punishment (that is what his sentence addressed.  The ^6000 was not a fine but an order for compensation)  but to put the parties back on the footing that they would have been on had the offences not been committed.



Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: John R on October 01, 2015, 01:31:58 pm
Yes, I noticed that, and it's in contrast to the previous well documented case, although that of course didn't go to court.


Title: Re: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 01, 2015, 02:19:08 pm
Now sentence has been passed, I'm sure they will now call him for a hearing

......do you think he will travel to it by train?  ;)



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