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Heathrow luxury coach company told to pay more than £30k after dumping sewage and chemicals in river

Ealing Magistrates' Court ordered Symphony Chauffeurs Limited to pay more than £30,000 in fines and costs

A Heathrow luxury coach firm which dumped toilet waste into the River Crane has been ordered to pay more than £30,000 in fines and costs.

Symphony Chauffeurs poured the sewage from its coaches into public drains at the Eastern Business Park in Heathrow instead of taking the waste to authorised disposal sites, the Environment Agency (EA) said.

The pollution in the river, which included chemicals and dirty water from staff washing coaches on the premises, was traced back to Symphony's base by EA officers.

Both the EA and the landlords of the site had warned Symphony that doing so was against the terms of its lease.

The company was charged with allowing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into the River Crane between May 2015 and February 2016, and failing to provide the EA with documents relating to its activities.

Ealing Magistrates fined the Heathrow firm £18,000 and ordered them to pay £12,113.62 in costs, as well as a victim surcharge of £170 at the sentencing on Monday (December 4).

Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd's lone shareholder, Allen Jeyakumar, of Lee Road in Greenford, was fined an additional £3,134 by the court for allowing Symphony to commit the offences.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge £142.

Sewage from Heathrow was discharged into the River Crane. The heavily polluted water can be seen meeting a a clearer channel at the end of the nature reserve. (Image: TMS)

Both the company and its owner had pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing.

Mathew Reed, who led the investigation for the EA, said: "Incidents like this have the potential to have a serious and long-term impact on the health of the river.

"Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd was given repeated warnings about its activities.

"People might think we will find it too difficult to trace the cause of pollution, but this case proves that some detective work leads to a conviction.

"Identifying pollution through a complex network of drains can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done.

"We have the skills and technology to do it."

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