A TRAIN passenger who used forged first-class rail and parking tickets totalling more than £17,000 to travel round the UK has been told to pay back the cash or face jail.
Mark Mason used computers at his home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, to create the forgeries, which he used to travel for more than two years, British Transport Police (BTP) said.
Suspicions were first raised in autumn 2013 when staff at Doncaster railway station spotted discrepancies with parking tickets on the contract worker’s black Vauxhall Meriva in the executive car park.
Mason was arrested in December 2013 when he returned his car and 10 more tickets were found in the vehicle which were believed to be forged.
BTP said a search of the defendant’s home led to the discovery of forged travel and parking tickets, genuine tickets, glossy photographic paper, computers and printers, craft knives, scissors and a cutting board.
Forensic examination of the computer devices revealed that Mason had used the computers to produce forged travel and parking tickets.
Mason, 44, of Thorne Road, Hatfield, Doncaster, was convicted of fraud charges relating to 85 tickets, valued at £17,000, on September 16 2014 at Sheffield Crown Court, BTP said.
He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work and a 12-day restorative justice course.
The force confirmed that a judge at a proceeds of crime hearing last week ordered Mason to pay £17,884 over six months. Failure to pay will result in a default sentence of 12 months in prison.
Detective Constable David Williams said: “This sentence sends a clear message to anyone thinking of trying to evade payment.”