Jail for illegal immigrant found in cannabis factory
An illegal immigrant caught living in a cannabis factory has been jailed for a year.
Toan Viet Nguyen (41) claimed he had only been working as a gardener at the house in Rowan Street, Newfoundpool, Leicester, for three days before police raided it.
He pleaded guilty to producing cannabis on July 12 this year.
Jonathan Eley, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court that when police forced open the door, they found the defendant lying on a mattress in a downstairs room.
Officers found 160 young cannabis plants and growing apparatus on the first floor.
In interview Nguyen, a Vietnamese national, said he paid 5,000 euros to enter the country illegally in the back of a lorry in March. He came to England hoping to earn money to fund his children's education.
Within days of his arrival, he was arrested while working at a cannabis factory in Liverpool, but released when the prosecution was discontinued.
He claims to have slept rough on the streets of Birmingham before meeting two Vietnamese men who offered to buy him a flight back home if he went to work in a cannabis factory in Leicester.
Sentencing, Recorder Richard Swain said: "This was a burgeoning cannabis factory of a potentially substantial scale. You were caught red-handed. Having been caught in Liverpool it should have been a warning shot across your bow.
"I'm told you welcome deportation as you wish to return to your family in Vietnam."
Carl Gaskell, mitigating, said that if Nguyen was jailed for 12 months or more he would automatically be deported at the end of the sentence.
He said: "His father has died while he's been in custody and he's desperate to get home as soon as possible."