On-the-run cannabis farmer given 21 month jail term

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AN illegal immigrant on the run from a detention centre ended up tending a cannabis farm in Doncaster after meeting ‘The Boss’, a court heard.

Police raided the house in Beckett Road, Wheatley, to find 289 plants with the potential to produce £40,000 worth of the drug.

The man cultivating the plants in the cellar and upstairs rooms with a hydroponic system was Vietnamese Cuong Tran, 25, who pleaded guilty to a charge of producing drugs.

Tran told police he had entered the UK illegally in 2009 and had been living rough since fleeing from a detention centre.

Without employment he had been put in touch with the man behind the drugs farm and was put in the house to feed and water the plants.

Cedric Hennis, defending, said he was one of six children whose mother had raised the money for him to come to the UK but was stopped at the border.

He added: “Because he could not legally work he was ripe for picking. He was paid no wage but just given food provided once a week.

“He was a prisoner of circumstances, speaking little English.”

Recorder Paul Watson QC jailed Tran for 21 months at Doncaster Crown Court.