Judge says pair growing cannabis were ‘like slaves’

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Cheltenham Road. Picture: Google Maps

Man, 27, arrested after house burglary investigation

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TWO people caught growing hundreds of cannabis plants in a Portsmouth house were ‘virtually slaves,’ a court heard.

Sen Dang, 34, and Nhi Nguy, 33, were arrested after police who were called to a home in Penhale Road in Fratton found 200 plants of the class B drug there.

Fingerprints later linked the pair to cannabis factories found in other parts of the country.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Nguy and Dang had travelled from Vietnam under false pretences, had their passports taken off them in France and then been put to work growing cannabis in England.

Now they have each been jailed for a year after admitting being concerned in the production of a class B drug.

Dang and Nguy are to be deported when they have served their sentences.

The court heard police were called to the Penhale Road house in November.

They knocked on the door and got no response, but then a passer-by pointed out that the residents were looking out of a top window.

Police went to the back of the terraced house and Nguy and Dang fled through the front door. But they were stopped a short while later and arrested.

Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, said: ‘There were over 200 cannabis plants in that property.

‘Fingerprints have linked both of these defendants to other cannabis factories in other parts of the country.’

Nguy’s fingerprints linked her to a cannabis factory in Leeds where potent skunk plants worth about £30,000 were found on the top floor.

Dang was linked to a factory in Birmingham where 353 cannabis plants had been found in August 2012.

His fingerprints were found on used lightbulbs at the Birmingham address.

Addressing Nguy and Dang, both of no fixed abode, judge Richard Price, sentencing, said of their actions: ‘You both knew that it was against the law but you are not entirely responsible for some of what has happened to you.

‘I have no doubt you were brought here under false pretences.

‘I have no doubt you were led into this slavery, for it is a form of slavery, to produce a controlled drug of class B, and I take all those matters into account, very much into account, as I do your desire to return to Vietnam as soon as possible.’

The drugs and associated paraphernalia are to be forfeited and destroyed.