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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Pair facing jail over Cumbrian cannabis farm

A man and a woman from Vietnam have both admitted being involved in running a cannabis farm near Maryport.

Tan Van Hoang, 38, and Hien Thi Phan, 36, are now likely to be deported once they have finished what was described at Carlisle Crown Court as “inevitable” prison sentences.

The pair were arrested after police raided a house on the outskirts of Flimby, near Maryport, in July and discovered 700 cannabis plants, together with the heating and lighting equipment needed to cultivate the class B drug.

Hoang pleaded guilty last month to a charge of being concerned in the production of cannabis.

And yesterday Phan admitted her guilt too.

Her barrister Jonathan Clarke told the court she did so on the basis that she had helped her friend Hoang with his illegal activities while spending about a week on a “social visit” to west Cumbria.

The court heard the prosecution valued the potential drugs crop at £400,000, but defence advisers reckoned it would have been worth less than that.

The prosecution’s figure was based on the crop producing a likely 24.6 kilograms of cannabis – the defence said it would have produced only 17 kilos.

The pair were remanded in custody and will be sentenced later.

Judge Peter Hughes QC said prison sentences were inevitable. He added they would almost certainly be deported.

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