- The defendants left an unguarded tap on a large diesel tank next to a river
- An unknown vandal trespassed on the property of the defendants and opened the tap, allowing the diesel to discharge into the river
- It is a strict liability offence to cause the discharge of diesel into a river, under the Water Resources Act 1991, section 85
- Did the defendants cause the discharge?
- Having created the situation which allowed the discharge, the defendants would only escape liability if the intervening act was extraordinary
- It was not extraordinary, given the local opposition to the defendants, that the tap might be opened by a vandal