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Cannabis 'Gardener' Jailed For Two Years

Herb Fellow

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A cannabis "gardener" who plunged his family into debt trying to help them live a better life has been jailed. Vu Pham (27) was arrested by police in an early morning raid on a drugs factory in Peterborough during the Making A Difference week in Millfield on January 29.

He had arrived in Peterborough from Vietnam in November last year as an illegal immigrant, after being promised a job and a better life in the city. He said he had planned to send the money he earnt back to his wife in Vietnam. But after spending all their money travelling to Britain, when he arrived he found he had been misled, and there was no job waiting for him.

Instead, he became caught up in the cannabis factory in Millfield, working as a "gardener" so he had a roof over his head and enough food for him to live on. When police raided the semi-detached house in Clarence Road, they found Pham sleeping on a thin mattress on the kitchen floor. He told police he had moved in just a couple of weeks before, and spent all day looking after hundreds of plants, spread between five rooms — the bathroom had even had the fittings removed to make room for smaller seedlings to be grown.

Peterborough Crown Court heard that the plants had not yet reached maturity when they were discovered, but after harvest Pham would have been paid £3,000 for his work. The plants ranged from being just two weeks old, to nearly two months, and if they had been harvested would have had an estimated £120,000 street value. Cheryl Williams, prosecuting, said that to convert the house into the factory, with high powered lights and growing systems in the bathroom, would have cost more than £16,000.

Pham, who pleaded guilty to being concerned in producing a class C drug at a previous hearing was sentenced to two years in prison by Recorder Sean Enright.

Source: Peterborough Today
Copyright: 2008, Peterborough Today
Contact: Stephen Briggs
Website: Cannabis 'gardener' jailed for two years - Peterborough Today
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