Train fare dodgers in court after crackdown
MORE than a dozen fare dodgers have landed in court, following a crackdown by rail authorities.
Swansea magistrates heard a series of cases, which had landed people travelling without valid tickets with three figure financial penalties. In most cases the tickets they should have bought cost just a few pounds.
A spokesman for Arriva Trains Wales said: "These prosecutions today demonstrate how seriously Arriva Trains Wales takes fare evasion.
"We would like to remind passengers that it is their responsibility to buy the correct ticket for their journey and that the failure to buy the right ticket can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000."
Amongst those summonsed to court was Julianna Palazzotto, of Pentre Fedwan, Neath.
The court was told the 24-year-old had been stopped without a ticket for her journey between Neath and Cardiff on January 25.
Her ticket would have cost her £9.70, but instead she now has to pay a fine, court costs and victim surcharge totalling £154.70.
Palazzotto was the only person summonsed to appear in court in person, but others were fined in their absence.
They included Glenn Barnes, of Cae Glas, Cwmavon, who now has to pay more than £200, after avoiding a fare between Port Talbot and Cardiff in February. In a statement read to the court, the 20-year-old said: "I do not normally act in such a foolish manner, I extremely regret my actions and it will not happen again."
Other offenders were; Stacey Evans, 20, of Edgemoor Close in Upper Killay, who has to pay £255 for travelling without a £2.60 ticket between Swansea and Neath; Ahad Omar Ghazzawi, 23, of Ferrara Square, who has to pay £345 for travelling without a £9.90 ticket between Cardiff and Swansea; Swansea University student Conor Hughes, 22, of Norfolk Street, who had to pay £345 for travelling without a valid £7.60 ticket between Rhoose Cardiff International Airport and Swansea; care assistant Jodie Jervis, 29, of Alexandra Street, Aberafan, and Stuart Webster of the same address, whose journeys between Port Talbot and Neath without a £2.60 ticket has left them each facing a pay out of £345; and Serena Morgan, of Rectory Road, Neath, who made the same journey between Neath and Port Talbot twice in a matter of days without a valid ticket — and now faces a £295 bill.