"Part of my brain was telling me this was only making my current situation worse, but out of panic I could only think I needed to stick to the same story, which is why I gave a made-up address when asked – I felt I had to protect my identity. Again, this was out of sheer embarrassment and momentary incapacity to think logically. My expenses are paid, so I have no reason to deliberately ask for the wrong fare. I had not slept all night, was tired, stressed and suffering from anxiety."It's a strikingly familiar story. I know that anyway, from experience, but I was reminded of it during last week's jury service!
Following correspondence between her and Transport Investigations Ltd, a private firm that deals with penalties on behalf of several train companies, she was told she would be prosecuted. Her case was heard by Sheffield magistrates on 28 March.
Dixon did not attend but pleaded guilty "because I thought this was the right thing to do, as I had admitted asking for the wrong fare; also, I don't think I would have coped well with the experience". She was fined £400, and now has a criminal record. "I didn't think it through, I guess. I probably should have contacted a solicitor," she says.You know, I don't think it's the criminal record that's making you unemployable...even for the public sector!
Following the incident, she quit her job because, she says, "train travel has become intolerable and causes me massive stress".This woman is an idiot. And rather than keep that fact to herself, she's chosen to share it with an audience.
"My actions were wrong, and I admitted that, but no one from the railways or even the magistrate seems to have asked 'if there was no financial gain, and so much for them to lose, why would they do this?'" They might then have concluded, she says, "it was a moment of insanity – a bad day like we all have – and have a more humane approach".Oh, I think they have been pretty humane. Far more so than I would have been, in the circumstances!
H/T: JohnB via Twitter