Barrister avoids prison for dodging £20k in rail fares

A barrister who dodged paying almost £20,000 (€27,000) in rail fares for more than two and a half years has been spared a trip to prison.

Peter Barnett made hundreds of journeys from his home in Oxford to London’s Marylebone station without buying tickets.

Instead he pretended to have only travelled from Wembley, north west London, paying just for the short trips in the capital.

The 44-year-old was caught when he was stopped by a ticket inspector at Marylebone, claiming to have travelled from Wembley.

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard Barnett had received a caution in 2010 for a similar offence.

But the father of three dodged a trip to jail yesterday when a judge gave him a prison sentence of 16 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

Deputy District Judge Olalekan Omotosho told him his serial fare skipping was a “serious offence”, saying: “There is a need not just to punish you for the offences but also deter others from committing offences.”

She added: “It is a shame, really, because you had it all. It remains unclear why you acted so badly. You let yourself down and your family down, particularly in light of your profession as a lawyer.”

The court was told that Barnett, a former Oxford graduate and Rhodes scholar who also worked in the financial services sector, failed to pay for journeys on Chiltern Railways on 655 days between April 2012 and November 2014.


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