Lawyers for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), bringing a prosecution against the park for not properly ensuring the safety of its guests, said the theme park’s operators oversaw “systemic failures of safety” on the river rapids ride.
Drayton Manor had admitted breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Sentencing Drayton Manor Theme Parks Ltd at Stafford Crown Court on Thursday, Mr Justice Spencer said: “This was an utterly tragic waste of a young life.”
The judge said there was “no prospect of the fine being paid” given that the company operating the park at the time had since gone into administration.
But he added: “In my judgment it would be wholly inappropriate to do other than impose the fine which the offence merited.
“The public and Evha’s family must not be led to think that this serious offence, which resulted in the death of a child, can properly be met by only a nominal (financial) penalty.”
He added: “I bear in mind there are other similar rides in the United Kingdom, I bear in mind that this theme park has been sold to another operator and the staff transferred over.
“It is important that lessons are learned and the seriousness of the defendant company’s failing in this case is marked by an appropriate punishment.”
The sentencing comes after a major blaze erupted at Drayton Manor last December.
The flames are thought to have broken out in a toilet block at the Tamworth attraction, with several fire crews from surrounding areas attending.
Emergency workers were able to bring the fire under control – and none of the park’s animals were harmed.