A VIETNAMESE man who was caught growing £60,000 of cannabis at a house in Westhoughton has been jailed.

Tien Bui, aged 19, was smuggled into the country by people traffickers, and then got involved in growing the drugs to pay back debts that he owed.

Bolton Crown Court yesterday heard the house was raided by police on September 13 and Bui was inside transferring plants from small pots into bigger pots.

There were 105 cannabis seedlings, and 86 small plants.

The court heard the house appeared to be lived in, as a single mattress and food was also found.

Antony Longworth, defending, told the court he came here illegally when he was aged 17.

He said: “As a teenager illegally in the country he was vulnerable to exploitation. At first he found employment with a Vietnamese family as a housekeeper.

“He owed $20,000 and in two years he paid off $5,000. He was targeted and recruited by a criminal gang. He did not realise how criminal the activity was that he was involved in.”

Bui, of Manchester Road, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis at an earlier hearing.

Recorder Stephen Bedford jailed him for eight months.

He said: “I understand the difficulty you found yourself in. What you were doing was a form of what can only be described as slavery that I rule is at the bottom end culpability.”

The court heard at the end of his sentence he could be deported.