A 22-YEAR-OLD man escaped with a measly fine after being caught with a banned type of dog.

Ben Williams, of Cherrydown Road, Sidcup, was fined just £36 for owning a pit bull terrier and, incredibly, the beast was handed back to him following the brief hearing.

Bexley Magistrates’ Court heard police found drugs and five dogs during a drugs raid on April 27 at the house where Williams lives with his parents.

One of the dogs, called Lady Cash, was examined by experts and found to be a pit bull terrier which is banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Williams, who volunteers at a construction site, was described as a "dog lover" by his solicitor Surinder Gohlan who urged the magistrates not to ban his client from owning dogs or to destroy Lady Cash.

Mr Gohlan said: "When he purchased the dog, he purchased it in good faith that it was not a pit bull.

"There is nothing in this case which demonstrates the dog is dangerous."

"There is no suggestion the dog was being kept as anything other than as a pet."

Passing sentence, chairman of the magistrates Angela Hamill said: "We have taken into account that the dog has not been a problem so far but we recommend you ought to keep it on a lead and muzzle it as a minimum when you go out."

Williams was also fined £73 for possession of class B drug cannabis and £110 for possession of cocaine on Thursday (July 12). He was also ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

He had admitted all three charges at an earlier hearing.

Is owning a dangerous dog equivalent to these finable offences?

Lady Cash was held for 77 days and Williams was fined a pathetic £36.

Three books six weeks overdue from a Bexley library (at 30p) a day - £37.80

Driving at 34mph in a 30mph zone - £60.

Selling alcohol to a drunk person - £80 (£50 if paid within seven days).

Littering - £80 (£50).

Breaching a fireworks’ curfew - £80 (£50).

Not buying a train, tube or bus ticket - £80 (TfL penalty fare. £40 if paid within 21 days.)