A TRAIN passenger who told a white lie about where he had travelled from found he had turned a £4.40 journey into an "outrageous" £600 fine.

Kieron Stokes, 27, of Tredegar Street, Cross Keys, said he knows he should have been punished for the fib but said the size of the fine is unfair considering the size of the crime.

Mr Stokes was travelling to see Stereophonics perform in November 2015 when he caught a train from Rogerstone to Cardiff Central Station.

A single ticket between Rogerstone and Cardiff Central Station costs around £4.40 and the music fan said he was planning to buy one upon arrival.

When he was stopped by inspectors at the station, he told them he had travelled from Cardiff Queen Street, “got his story mixed up” and station staff took his details.

The customer claims he wrote to Arriva Trains Wales apologising for his first offence and asking for information on the next steps.

But last month, he received a a court order demanding that he pay £613 within a seven day deadline.

The father-of two settled the debt on a credit card without appearing in court and although he admits he “deserved punishment” for his actions, he believes the fine is unfair considering the size of the offence.

“I found it to be outrageous, especially when you consider the fact that the society we live in fines drink drivers, burglars and people who commit GBH with considerably less penalties," he said.

“I just don't understand how ruining someone's life can compare to this. How can this possibly be in the same bracket.

“The penalty came nearly a year after the incident and they only gave me seven days to pay in full with no option to pay monthly or weekly as I work full time."

“I know I did wrong but I don’t think it was the crime of the century," he added.

An Arriva Trains Wales spokeswoman stated that the company “cannot comment on individual cases”.

“If a customer is travelling from a station that has ticket purchasing facilities available (a ticket booking office or a ticket vending machine), it is their responsibility to buy a valid ticket for the date and time of their journey before getting on the train,” she said.

“If not it could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. Tickets can also be bought in advance from our website and on our smart phone ticket app."

She added: “If caught travelling without a valid ticket, each case is reviewed in line with our revenue protection policy which can be found on our website.

“If taken to court, the fine is decided by the judge based on the circumstances surrounding each individual case. Arriva Trains Wales receives the ticket cost of the journey and administrative costs.”