The maker of Cathedral City cheese has been fined £1.5m for allowing 'foul' stinking waste to pour into a nearby river causing terrible environmental damage.

Dairy Crest, which was visited by Boris Johnson last year, was fined by judge Simon Carr at Truro Crown Court this afternoon. The company has already had to pay over £72,400 in costs.

Dairy Crest based at Camelford, where it is a large local employer, had pleaded guilty to 21 counts relating to pollution charges as well as breaches of environmental permits.

The pollution offences took place at the Dairy Crest-owned Davidstow Creamery where waste was discharged into the River Inny and caused the death of a large number of fish.

The company also pleaded guilty to environmental permit breaches by waiting over a month to inform the Environment Agency about the waste discharges as well as breaching odour permits, with residents in the area being subjected to pungent smells from its waste water treatment plant.

In his summing up His honour Judge Carr said the discharge into the river had "blighted the lives" of those who lived nearby and killed thousands of fish.

He said the odour was "so bad" that sometimes people were unable to leave their houses. "Those living nearby knew they were smelling foul discharge," he said.

He blamed a "poor management culture" and intimidation and bullying by the line manager meant employees didn't feel they could report their concerns.

READ NEXT: Councillor ran illegal puppy farm in Gloucester

One employee was so concerned by what he saw he filmed one of the effluent tanks which should have been monitored for quality. The monitor was taken out of the effluent screen and placed in a bucket of clean water.

This meant that there was no accurate monitoring of the discharge which purported to show no discharge at all.

He said it was an issue that should have been addressed by senior management but any remedial work would have had a severe financial impact on the company.

Previously, the court heard from the defence how Dairy Crest "was a company with no previous convictions" and had "never been convicted of any environmental offences."

The defence also spoke about how the company had taken over its waste treatment plant in 2016 from another company and had also gone "out of its way to secure a contract to ensure the waste water plant was working properly."

The company's defence said that they were told that the equipment they were using would do it.

The court also heard how the company was deeply remorseful about the offences and that there was "no doubt this aspect of the business had been a complete disaster for the company in what is a chaotic market."