Buxton train fare dodger threatened with jail after clocking-up over £8,000 in fines and costs

A Northern Rail train
A Northern Rail train

A train fare dodger who clocked-up over £8,000 in outstanding fines and costs to the court has been warned to pay off his newly-drafted debt or face prison.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Kevin McTribouy, 26, of Thornsett Avenue, Buxton, accumulated more than £8,000 in outstanding fines and costs relating to an account dating back to June, 2015.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

The court confirmed McTribouy had failed to pay an £11.20 train fare on eight occasions and had a number of accumulating fines varying from £150 to £400 along with costs, victim surcharges and a further fine, costs and a victim surcharge relating to cannabis possession.

McTribouy’s account showed he had reduced the owed balance to £8,237.43 but all other attempts to obtain payments including a reduction from benefits and earnings by the court had been unsuccessful.

The defendant told the court he had been in difficult financial circumstances and he had been forced to move to Manchester to be with family.

He added that he had to take the train to get to college but he could not afford to pay for the journey.

McTribouy said: “It was a case of desperate measures and I didn’t have a choice and I took the train and tram to get to college and I didn’t have any choice at the time.”

He added: “I accept that I was caught but at the time I had no income whatsoever and was staying with a family member who had her responsibilities.”

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The court heard how McTribouy had received a letter in 2016 stating that he owed £4,000 in outstanding fines at that time but he had only received demands while living at a hostel and he did not have the means to follow them up.

He added: “I knew it stemmed from railway tickets and I didn’t know how to go about the situation and I didn’t believe it was justified to owe so much money.”

McTribouy added: “The amount was quite intimidating to me really.”

The defendant stated that he is now working part-time at a McColl’s supermarket.

Magistrates agreed to remit £5,660 of the outstanding £,8,237.43 which leaves McTribouy with a new, reduced outstanding balance of £2,577.43.

They ordered the defendant to pay £10 a week with the first payment due in 14 days.

But they warned McTribouy that if he fails to pay the money back there is every possibility that custodial sentence will be imposed.