A rat-infested restaurant dubbed a “shop of horrors” has been fined thousands of pounds.

Azizullah Rasuli, owner of Lahore Restaurant in Station Road, ignored five months of Harrow Council notices to clean up the filthy curry house.

Willesden Crown Court heard last month how the restaurateur left the kitchen door open to an area where there was an on-going rat infestation, used dirty and damaged equipment, stored raw meat with cooked chicken, left bins overflowing, and used inadequate cleaning and disinfecting processes. The investigation was taken by Harrow Council's environmental team.

The magistrate told Mr Rasuli he had “risked people’s lives” before slapping him with a £6,000 fine.

In 2010, he was also fined a total of £6,190 for a similar offence. Last month, the restaurant was given a ranking of 1 in a a new ratings system that scores companies on food hygiene.

Customers say they were "revolted" about the news and vowed never to eat there again.

Kevin Cottreau, who lives in Harrow Weald, says he visits the restaurant regularly during his lunch breaks.

The 32-year-old nurse said: “How disgusting – it feels quite nauseating knowing I’ve eaten something that’s been near rats and mice.

“But it was always a very nice restaurant. Never a five star establishment, but their food was pretty tasty, so I am quite surprised. I certainly won’t ever be going back there.”

Councillor Phillip O'Dell, portfolio holder for environment and community safety, said: "The safety of our residents is a priority for us and our environmental health team work hard to keep the borough free of health hazards like this one. This is a little shop of horrors when it comes food hygiene.”

“This restaurant was visited by Harrow Council staff on a number of occasions and given the chance to improve, but our warnings were ignored. We owe it to our residents to bring premises like this one to book and we will continue to do this.”

The restaurant could not be reached for comment.