Fare evasion barrister narrowly avoids jail
Barrister Dr Peter Barnett has received a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 200 hours of community service, and a compensation order of nearly £6,000 for evading rail fares on his commute from Haddenham and Thame Parkway to London Marylebone. It was alleged that this was achieved by Dr Barnett tapping his oyster card in and out at Wembley to avoid paying the charge for his whole journey. The evasion was said to have occurred on 655 days between April 2012 and November 2014 - the equivalent of £19,689 in unpaid fares. Dr Barnett pleaded guilty to the offence of fraud by misrepresentation contrary to section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.
Dr Barnett was ordered to pay compensation in the sum of £6,000 to Chiltern Railways (the price of a season ticket for the relevant period), in addition to an £80 victim surcharge and £85 in prosecution costs.
In determining the appropriate sentence, District Judge Omotosho took into account the effect that the conviction would have on Dr Barnett’s career. DJ Omotosho stressed that this was a ‘serious offence’ and that the purpose of imposing such a fine and sentence was not only to punish the defendant but also to ‘deter others from committing offences’.
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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.