Cannabis factory gardener jailed - Bedford

27/02/2017

An illegal immigrant, who came to the UK for a better life, was jailed for 2 years today, Monday, 27 February 2017, for acting as the gardener at a Bedford cannabis factory.

Hien Vu, aged 38, from Vietnam, was smuggled into the country from France in the back of a lorry container. He ended up homeless and was offered a job in the cannabis factory at an industrial unit in Sergeants Way, where he was going to be paid £200 to £300 a month, Luton Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Alison Ginn said that at ten to six in the evening on 2 December last year police raided the unit. "At the top of stairs there were compost bags and a strong smell of cannabis. The police could heard the humming of fans. They found a large number of cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment. In one room, Vu was found wearing latex gloves with a dust mask covering his nose and mouth," said Ms Ginn.

In all, seven rooms contained cannabis at various stages of growth. Another room was being used to crop the plants. Two others served at Vu's living quarters. The estimated yield of the 114 mature plants was put at between £19,000 and £58,000.

Vu, of no fixed address, appeared for sentence via a video link from Bedford jail, having earlier pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis. He was aided by a Vietnamese interpreter.

Defending, Stefan Weidmann said Vu had left northern Vietnam in desperate financial circumstances.

Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster, the Honorary Recorder of Luton, said: "You got involved with a serious criminal enterprise. Cannabis is an illegal substance that can cause havoc to people's lives. This was cannabis production on a massive scale." The Judge said Vu will be automatically deported once he has served his sentence.

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