A house in a Borehamwood street was a secret drugs factory, a court heard yesterday.
Inside the house in Melrose Avenue, 400 cannabis plants were being nurtured and, tending them, was 38 year old Vietnemese man Bang Nguyen.
Ann Evans prosecuting told how, on January 11 this year, police went to the property and inside found a professional drug cultivation underway.
As the police went in Bang, an illegal immigrant in this country, fled out the back, but police were waiting and he was arrested.
St Albans Crown Court was told he had entered the country as an illegal immigrant and eventually got work as a 'gardener' at the cannabis factory.
The court was told that when he realised what he was doing was wrong, he tried to get out, but threats of harm were made to his wife and two children back in Vietnam.
Judge Stephen Gullick was told that each of the plants found growing was worth £100 and Nguyen was being promised that he would eventually get £300-£400 per month, which he wanted to send back to his family.
Judge Gullick jailed him for 14 months and said that given his status in this country, it was likely he would be deported at the end of it.
"This is a matter for the Home Secretary and Border Agency. What action they take is a matter for them" said the judge.