Southern Water has been fined a record £90m for deliberately dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea. It is the largest sentence issued by a court after an Environment Agency investigation, exceeding a £20 million fine received by Thames Water in 2017.
Southern Water admitted 6,971 illegal spills from 17 sites in Hampshire, Kent and West Sussex between 2010 and 2015.
The offences were discovered as part of the Environment Agency’s largest ever criminal investigation, which began after shellfish were found to be contaminated with E.coli.
Raw sewage had been diverted away from treatment works and into the environment, allowing the company to avoid financial penalties and the costs of upkeep and upgrades.
The offences had been aggravated by Southern Water’s “persistent pollution of the environment” which had led to 168 previous convictions and cautions.
It is the largest sentence issued by a court after an Environment Agency investigation.
Andrew Marshall was instructed by the Environment Agency at the commencement of the investigation and guided the investigation and prosecution over six years.
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