Man ‘seduced’ into running cannabis farm at house in Leeds

Joshua Manton has been sentenced to 28 months in custody
Joshua Manton has been sentenced to 28 months in custody

A MAN who was arrested in a house in Leeds in which over 240 cannabis plants were growing told police he had been “seduced” by gangsters into looking after them, a court heard.

Police were called to the house on Aston View, Bramley, by neighbours concerned at the strong smell coming from the property on August 11 this year.

Syam Soni, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that the officers arrived at the property and saw Hung Nguyen stood at the back door of the house.

Nguyen then locked himself in the house and hid. Officers forced entry and found him under a bed.

Mr Soni said three out of four bedrooms were being used to grow cannabis.

Rooms were fitted with heating and lighting equipment and the electricity supply had been bypassed.

Nguyen then told the officers: “It’s not because I wanted to. They forced me to do it.”

He also claimed he had borrowed £20,000 from loan sharks to pay for his transportation into the UK from Vietnam.

Nguyen, 34, then said he had been “seduced” into growing the plants in order to clear his debt. Nguyen pleaded guilty to producing cannabis. Marcus Waite, mitigating, said Nguyen had entered the UK in a lorry via France three years ago and had been working in a textile factory in London..

Mr Waite said his client was then told he could earn more money by looking after the plants and he was driven to Leeds.

The lawyer said Nguyen accepted that he must be jailed and would be deported after completing his sentence.

Nguyen was jailed for two years.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “Quite deliberately, you got involved in the illegal production of drugs. You did so for money.”

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