Court of Appeal rejects Thames Water challenge to £2m fine

Thames Water’s legal challenge to one of the largest fines ever imposed for an environmental offence has been quashed by the Court of Appeal, describing the company’s track record as “little short of lamentable”.

The water company had sought to overturn a £2m fine imposed in December 2018 for a “reckless” discharge of sewage from its Milton-under-Wychwood pumping station into a nearby brook. 

The fine was later reduced to £1.8 million after Thames Water agreed to make £200,000 in contributions to local wildlife and environmental charities. 

In its challenge to the fine, the company argued that Judge Peter Ross at Oxford Crown Court had not stated his reasons for deciding on the £2m figure in his ruling and had not set out in a step-by-step manner how he had followed the sentencing guidelines

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