A businessman who pumped hundreds of gallons of raw human sewage into a river's tributary has been ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community.

Derek Davidson admitted polluting the Middleton Burn, which leads into the Tay, in the village of Dalguise, Perthshire.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it hoped the case would demonstrate the gravity of damaging Scotland's water environment.

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It called the pollution deliberate dumping and said Davidson, 43, of Blairgowrie, made no steps to clear it up.

The Crown had been seeking around £2000 compensation under Proceeds of Crime legislation but dropped the motion yesterday. Davidson's firm 1st Loo had pleaded guilty to discharging a quantity of sewage on May 4, 2011. He also admitted failing to provide a waste transfer note to Scottish Water.

The court heard neighbours became aware of an overwhelming stench and saw a trail of sewage which was clearly visible in the stream.

Sepa officer Callum McGregor told the court that Davidson confessed to being responsible for the pollution in the burn.

Helen Trevallion, Sepa investigating officer, said: "If equipment on the tanker used to collect sewage is used correctly it is not possible to accidentally lose such a volume of sludge.

"Following the incident, no attempt was made to remedy the situation. This sort of situation simply cannot go unpunished. Sepa hopes the sentence given to Derek Davidson demonstrates the seriousness of polluting our water environment."