Cruel pet owner Akim Adelaja, convicted of animal cruelty for keeping 11 illegal fighting dogs in a cramped basement flat, has been spared jail.
Adelaja appeared at Brent Magistrates Court yesterday, and was ordered to serve 280 hours of unpaid work.
He was also banned from keeping dogs for four years, given a deprivation order relating to all dogs in his possession and told one of his pets would be put down.
The 22-year-old trained the banned animals at his home in Elms Lane, Wembley, forcing them to run up and down his back garden tied to heavy tyres and chains.
He also let the dangerous dogs roam freely around the streets, intimidating and attacking petrified residents.
Adelaja was arrested during an early morning raid that police described as "the biggest and most successful the borough has ever seen."
More than 20 officers from Northwick Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team and the police dog unit swooped on his flat in September last year following complaints from neighbours.
An American Bulldog bitch and six puppies were found in a cage in the kitchen, an injured Mastiff-type dog was found in the bathroom and a further two American Bulldogs and a pregnant Pitbull-type bitch were discovered roaming in a bedroom.
The squalid three-room flat stank of urine and was covered in dog faeces.
Books on dog training, writing pads containing notes on breeding plans and dog strengthening equipment, that included chains and weight-pulling harnesses were also found inside the flat, along with tyres used in strengthening exercises.
Sergeant Andy Lester, from Northwick Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "To keep that many dogs in a small, one-bedroom, basement flat was excessive.
"Adelaja's disrespect for the safety of others, by breeding fighting dogs which are banned by law, has led to his conviction.
"His care of these dogs was clearly insufficient, despite the store of reading material he had built up on the subject."
JP's at Brent Magistrates Court convicted Adelaja of nine offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act and Animal Welfare Act, on November 26.
They included possessing, breeding and selling fighting dogs, causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and training dogs for animal fights.
PC Simon Underwood, who heads up Brent Action for Responsible K9s, said: "It is very sad that some people see their dogs simply as status symbols but we are extremely pleased with the result.
"A number of officers and experts put together a very complex case, we believe it is the first, or one the first cases of this size in London to take place involving both the Dangerous Dogs Act and the new Animal Welfare Act."