graphic designer dodges train fares by making his own tickets

Designer Calvin Lever travelled for eight months between Colchester and London on tickets he had made himself.

A season ticket to cover the period would have cost more than £2,500.

Fiona Hardman, prosecuting, said Lever was caught after a ticket inspector became suspicious when checking his ticket.

She said: “It was found to be false and the inspector called police, who arrested Lever at Colchester station.

“Two further fake tickets were found on him.

“When his house was searched, a large number of fake and genuine tickets were found.”

When interviewed, Lever said he purchased season tickets for short journeys, which he scanned on to his computer and altered the details to cover travel to London.

He then printed the doctored images and stuck them on to genuine tickets with the magnetic strip to go through a ticket barrier.

Lever, of Turbine Road, Mile End, Colchester, told officers he could not afford to pay for tickets from his £25,500 salary.

Miss Hardman, who described Lever’s offending as “bearing professional hallmarks” said he had been charged on the basis the last season ticket he bought expired in August 2009 and it is believed he had faked tickets until he was arrested on March 31.

Lever, 25, admitted committing fraud by false representation and faking train tickets.

Laura Austin, representing Lever, said in mitigation he had “a great sense of shame, embarrassment and sorrow” at his actions. She said: “He had a great deal of naivety about how serious this would be taken by the Criminal Justice system.

“He has made full admissions to British Transport Police and I am not sure that their investigation would have been able to prove the full extent of his offending without his assistance.”

Magistrates sentenced him to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay £2,590.08 compensation to National Express East Anglia and £85 costs.


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