A £250,000 fine imposed on Thames Water after raw sewage was pumped into a brook flowing through a Woolton Hill beauty spot was lenient, a top judge ruled today (Wed), whilst throwing out the company's appeal.
The company's environmental crime came to light after a walker spotted pollution in Chase Brook, on Berkshire/Hampshire border, in September 2012.
The brook flows through the National Trust owned nature reserve, part of the North Wessex Downs area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
The leak, which continued for a week, was caused by two clogged up pumps at the Broadlayings Sewage Pumping Station, London's Appeal Court heard.
The judge, Mr Justice Mitting, sitting with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, and Mr Justice Lewis, said that, since 1991, the company had been convicted of 162 environmental offences.
And he concluded: "We would have had no hesitation in upholding a very substantially higher fine. This appeal is dismissed".
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