UK
30/09/2015 05:19 BST | Updated 30/09/2015 05:59 BST

Court To Determine If Man Committed Biggest Ever Train Fare Dodge In UK History

A man could be about to be convicted of the biggest train fare dodge in UK history.

Peter Barnett, a barrister from Oxford, is said to be the biggest fare-dodger ever after spending more than two years avoiding paying his full ticket price.

The Press Association reported that Barnett regularly travelled from his Oxford home to London Marylebone but pretended to have only travelled from Wembley, north-west London.

The 44-year-old argues that he only dodged up to £9,714.40, submitting that the amount should be based on the cost of a weekly ticket and take into account annual leave.

peter barnett

Peter Barnett claims he only dodged up to £9,714.40

But prosecutors claim he has caused a loss of £23,000 to Chiltern Railways.

Malachy Pakenham told Westminster Magistrates' Court in April: "If it is accepted that the loss was £23,000, this defendant would be convicted of the biggest rail evasion case that has come to the court in the United Kingdom."

He said the sum had been reached by calculating the cost of a full return ticket for each day Barnett travelled without paying, and not of the basis of a weekly ticket.

Barnett admits six counts of fraud by false representation between April 2012 and November last year.

He was caught when he was stopped by a ticket inspector at Marylebone and claimed to have travelled from Wembley instead of Haddenham and Thame Parkway in Oxford.

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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.

He is thought to have been boarding trains at Haddenham and Thame Parkway without a ticket, and then getting off at Marylebone by simply tapping out with an Oyster card, automatically being charged the maximum Transport for London fare.