Mash firm head fined £3k for polluting river
The managing director of Mash Direct has been fined £3,000 plus costs after polluting a river with sludge.
Robert Martin Hamilton, of Ballyrainey Road, Comber, admitted two charges at Newtownards Magistrates Court yesterday after polluting more than 2.5km of waterway.
On two occasions in February 2015, water quality inspectors found the Enler River was grossly polluted where it met the Ballystockart River. The source of the sludge, believed to be vegetable processing waste water, was traced back to premises owned by Hamilton.
Mash Direct was launched by Hamilton in 2004 at his farm near Strangford Lough. It produces dishes such as mashed potato, champ and microwave ready-meals.
Hamilton has been fined thousands of pounds for multiple pollution incidents in the same river in the past, including one in which 5,000 fish died.