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Author Topic: Barrister Peter Barnett 'may have cost Chiltern Railways ^23k in unpaid fares'  (Read 19857 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: April 11, 2015, 01:09:31 am »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

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


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 (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) 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.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 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 (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) 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.
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JayMac
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« Reply #2 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.
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#NotMyKing
ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 03:19:02 pm »

See NRCoC (National Rail Conditions of Carriage) 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)
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John R
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« Reply #4 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 (Train Operating Company). 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.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2015, 03:27:35 pm »

He has pleaded guilty to *six* specimen charges, which sorts of backs that view up
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Cynthia
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« Reply #6 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.......?  Angry

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.



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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #7 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.
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trainbuff
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« Reply #8 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?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #9 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....
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BerkshireBugsy
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« Reply #10 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
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ChrisB
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2015, 03:10:17 pm »

He'll be banned by the Head of the Judiciary
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JayMac
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« Reply #12 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.
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#NotMyKing
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« Reply #13 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.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 08:51:52 pm »

An update, from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

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Barrister Peter Barnett sentenced for two-year fare dodge


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 (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) 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.
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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