The trainline app crashed, meaning the woman had to rely on her banking app (Picture: SWNS)
A woman was detained by police and fined for dodging a train fare, even though she paid for a ticket.
‘Humiliated’ Stephanie Mortimore, 28, was left feeling ‘like a criminal’ after several officers surrounded her at Worcester Foregate Station last Wednesday.
The supermarket worker paid £6.70 for the eight-minute journey on the trainline app.
When the app crashed, she claims a train conductor assured her a receipt on her banking app could serve as proof of purchase.
She said: ‘I arrived at Worcester Foregate and there were 10 to 15 ticket inspectors and British Transport police officers.
‘I thought to myself, “this is going to be fine, I was told my ticket was all good on the train”.
‘I was told that in the absence of being able to present a ticket, they were going to issue me with a penalty, but I told them I was going to walk away respectfully as I hadn’t committed a crime.’
However, police stopped her from going anywhere and detained her at the station whilst ‘crying and shaking’, and handed her a £20 fine.
Stephanie Mortimore said she was left ‘crying and shaking’ after being detained at the station (Picture: SWNS)
‘After loading up my banking app to prove I had purchased a ticket, I told them I wasn’t going to accept the fare,’ she said.
‘I explained this was causing me distress, but they didn’t change their demeanor towards me and kept saying my ticket wasn’t valid.
‘I left the station feeling incredibly distressed, embarrassed and vulnerable, having been humiliated in public and treated like a criminal.’
After being released, Stephanie suffered a panic attack on the street, and had to be helped by another police officer.
She said: ‘Outside the busy station, I was sobbing, physically shaking, and felt too embarrassed to walk through town in the state I was in.
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‘I started having a panic attack and hyperventilating. I became incredibly light-headed and was unable to control my breathing, and a police officer walking through town helped me to the ground.’
Stephanie now wonders how she would have been treated if she was a man.
‘I’m a woman, and I’m only five foot tall, and I look significantly younger than my age.
‘I wonder how the situation would have been handled if I was a male.
‘I’m the most boring person you’ll meet, I never even had a detention at school and will always try to do everything right.’
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