A HOUSE in Crewkerne was used as a drugs factory, Taunton Crown Court heard last Friday.

A police raid in February uncovered hundreds of cannabis plants with a street value of £252,000.

Tuong Nguyen, a 29-year-old Vietnamese national, pleaded guilty to production of a controlled Class B drug and possession of the drug with intent to supply.

Nguyen was sentenced to two years in prison on each charge, to run concurrently, and was told by Judge Graham Hume Jones he would be deported.

Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said the house in Hermitage Street had been let privately in October 2009 to a man called ‘Tom’ who paid four months’ rent in advance in cash.

She said a drugs warrant was carried out on February 12 when police found pots of cannabis plants, along with special chemicals, lighting and heating.

The electricity supply had also been tampered with, so the house was receiving free electricity.

Nguyen tried to flee when police arrived, but was caught soon afterwards. He told police he did not realise the plants were illegal.

Janice Eagles said the Crown accepted that Nguyen was only acting as a “gardener”, adding that the raid was part of a wider operation and “numerous” factories had been found in the South-West in recent months.

Ben Tabiner, defending, said Nguyen had no previous convictions in this country.