A VIETNAMESE man who tended to a cannabis crop worth £1.1 million, at Newtown, and was sentenced as a boy, after claiming to be 16, has now been assessed as aged 22.

But the eight month detention and training order sentence imposed on the defendant, who has given different names, is about to end, Caernarfon Crown Court was told on Wednesday, October 9.

Judge Huw Rees said no evidence had been provided by the prosecution at his trial a few months ago to determine his true age. Powys Youth Justice Service had since done extensive work.

Judge Rees said, however, it was too late to change the sentence. He said: "It seems to me there’s nothing I can do, so far as any application to revoke and re-sentence.”

The court heard the defendant had been detained as a child, held in a young offenders’ institution and on remand in Altcourse Jail, Liverpool.

The judge said the local authority was now treating the accused as an adult and passing the case to immigration authorities.

Barrister Simon Parry, defending him, said a strategy meeting was being held between relevant parties involved with him as a 'looked after child'.

He had claimed he was 20 when he entered Britain hidden in a lorry two years ago. But when he was found guilty by a jury of being concerned in the production of cannabis he claimed he was 16 and gave a different name to that of his adult identity, Quyet Hoang.

County Times:

He had claimed he was a modern "slave” after 1,590 cannabis plants were discovered at a converted former garage at Stone Street, in Newtown.

The prosecution said the accused was an “economic migrant”.