SLUM landlords are a loathsome, parasitic species, and whenever one is rooted out they must be punished severely.

That is why every decent person should be delighted to hear about the five-figure fine meted out to Javaid Lone of County Road.

The horrors he inflicted on his tenants are unforgivable. They were not only obliged to live in unlawfully overcrowded conditions but also in disgusting squalor.

Swindon Borough Council inspectors uncovered a catalogue of outrages including a large number of tenants obliged to share a dirty kitchen, rat excrement found in that kitchen and a tenant living in a converted bathroom.

There was even an illegal structure in the living room so Lone could cram in yet more misery.

As if this were not disgusting enough, an unpaid £9,000 electricity bill led to his property’s supply being cut.

As is often the case with slum landlords, Lone’s tenants were largely vulnerable. They were drawn from many nationalities, making it likely that they were unaware of their rights, or the fact that laws are in place to protect people like them from people like Lone.

If Lone fails to pay so much as a penny of his £16,650 fine and £1,500 in court costs, it is to be hoped the law comes down on him like the proverbial ton of bricks.