Jail for Ipswich estate cannbis farmer

An illegal immigrant who felt compelled by debt to work for a crime gang growing cannabis is behind bars today.

IPSWICH: An illegal immigrant who felt compelled by debt to work for a crime gang growing cannabis is behind bars today.

Hieu Nguyen, 22, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court to 21 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty to cultivating the Class B drug.

Prosecuting, Naomi Turner told the court police officers raided a three-bedroom end-terrace house in Robeck Road on October 2.

They discovered 129 medium-sized plants in the bedrooms and 263 smaller ones located in the loft.

A police drugs expert estimated that the maximum value of a mature yield would be �300,000.

While officers were at the Robeck Road address Nguyen arrived in his Honda car and went to the front door.

Most Read

He was arrested and when police searched the vehicle they found �850 cash and a 100 amp fuse that was used in the house's hydroponic equipment. The items were found hidden in a light fitting in the boot.

Dino Baricella , mitigating, said his client had come to England from Vietnam at the age of 18 to build a better life for himself.

He said his family had paid an agent to bring him over and was still in the agent's debt.

The court heard that Nguyen, who had no previous convictions, had been naive and wrongly believed accommodation and a job would be lined up for him.

He slept rough for a while and held various jobs including a packer, warehouseman and a nail bar technician.

However, when Nguyen lost his job in the nail bar he still owed money to the agent who brought him over.

Mr Baricella said his client “effectively was caught between a rock and a hard place”.

Recorder Christopher Makey told Nguyen he would almost certainly be deported once he had finished the jail term. A destruction order was made for the plants and equipment and Nguyen's car and cash were confiscated, their value was said to be �1,859.51.

Have drugs affected you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter