A Vietnamese man was jailed for three-and-a-half years last week for growing £100,00 worth of cannabis in Saltcoats, Scotland, last year. Quyet Nguyen, 38, was charged with producing cannabis – a class B drug – at a Sidney Street address from September 21 to December 7 in 2017.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at the previous court session, the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald reported.
Last month Douglas Mcphee, Nguyen’s defence lawyer, told the judge and jury that Nguyen had been trafficked into the country from Wales and Vietnam before that. He said Nguyen would like to wait for a decision by the Home Office.
However, the Home Office rejected Nguyen’s claim as a human trafficking victim and said he had entered the country on his own accord.
Nguyen’s solicitor Graeme Cunningham said last week that his client was not a complete victim of trafficking, but had his passport taken away by someone after he arrived Wales. Cunningham said the defendant could not fully understand the outcome of his harvests.
Sheriff Iona MacDonald agreed that the defendant was only a gardener at the lower end of culpability. But she still sent him to jail due to his immigration status. Last month she said whether Nguyen was trafficked or not was irrelevant to his sentencing.