A TANKER firm has been ordered to pay a record fine for illegally tapping into Swindon's water network.

Bristol-based PMG Services was seen using unauthorised equipment to fill tankers in the Tadpole Farm development, spilling gallons of drinking water in the process.

The company admitted a total of 14 offences under the Water Industry Act 1991 at Swindon Magistrates’ Court, a number of which occurred in Wantage, Oxfordshire.

JPs ordered PMG pay an £8,000 fine, the biggest penalty ever imposed in the Thames Water area.

Thames Water said its officers had spoken to PMG in November after catching them taking water from the network without the relevant licence. However, the company continued to take water.

Stephen Johnston, a Thames Water investigator, said: “The amount PMG has been ordered to pay should send out a powerful message that illegally connecting to our network is not acceptable."

PMG was ordered to pay £3,912 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.