Police caught man growing cannabis

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A MAN has admitted to growing more than 350 cannabis plants at a house in Red Lodge.

Xhan-Tien Do, 24, of Laurel Close, Red Lodge, pleaded guilty at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court last Friday to producing 367 cannabis plants.

Do, an illegal immigrant from Vietnam, was arrested during a police raid on April 8.

Prosecuting, Anita Addison said: “Mr Do had a lesser role but it was a commercial-scale production given what he said in interview.

“There were so many plants found that electricity had been taken from the mains to provide heat for the cultivation.

“Police were called to an address after information was received that there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the address.

“The landlord could not open the property as the locks had been changed so the doors to the house were forced.

“Officers discovered Mr Do hiding in the house holding a mobile phone.

“The plants were in all the various stages of growth. Two of the rooms had been designed for the specific purpose of growing these plants.”

In mitigation, Michael Whatley said that Mr Do had come to the country illegally on the promise of good fortune but had naively been persuaded to help grow the plants.

He said: “Mr Do is what is described as a ‘gardener’.

“It is the usual story of a young man of very limited education and money. He is a farmer from Vietnam, sold the story of Dick Whittington that the streets of London are paved with gold.

Mr Whatley said Do had been smuggled out of Vietnam by his family and that he had made his way through France to reach the UK.

He said: “His involvement was through naivety and exploitation and he had little understanding of the scale of the operation.”

Presiding magistrate Jane Heard committed Do to Crown Court to be sentenced at a later date.