A VIETNAMESE man who is accused of growing a cannabis farm described as the biggest police have seen in South Tyneside, will have his case heard at crown court.
Duong Van Nguyen, who cannot speak English, had his first formal court hearing yesterday in connection with a cannabis farm which was found at a flat in Sunderland Road, South Shields, last Thursday.
Yesterday was the 19-year-old’s fourth time at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court since then, but no progress was made on the other occasions because there were no interpreters available at court.
An interpreter was at court yesterday, and the charge of producing a Class B drug could finally be put to Nguyen, who has no fixed abode.
He entered no plea and Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the court that the case should be dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court.
Mr Laidlaw said: “Police raided the house in Harton Village at 8.45am, using a search warrant.
“The defendant was in the ground floor living area and a large number of cannabis plants were found in various rooms throughout the house.
“He was arrested on suspicion of growing the farm.
“As well as the plants, there was extensive equipment inside to grow cannabis.”
The court heard that Nguyen told police he came to the UK when he was 15, and had lived in Wales before moving to South Shields a week before he was arrested.
Magistrates declined jurisdiction of the case, and asked for it to be heard at Newcastle Crown Court.
Nguyen will be back at court in April 3 when the case will be formally transferred to Newcastle.
He was denied bail and remanded in custody until then.