Police release image of jailed illegal immigrant who was found with 158 cannabis plants at a Sheffield property

A Sheffield judge has called for greater international publicity to deter illegal immigrants from Vietnam from getting caught up in cannabis harvests in the UK.

By Jon Cooper
Monday, 9th May 2022, 3:05 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 7:48 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 6 how Vietnamese national Thai Dau, aged 54, was caught with 158 cannabis plants worth tens of thousands of pounds at his former address on Highfield Place, in Highfield, Sheffield.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said there needs to be greater international publicity to deter the many illegal immigrants who come to the UK from Vietnam and become involved in the illegal production of cannabis plants.

He told the hearing: “I think it would be good idea to write a letter to both the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Development, and the Lord Chancellor indicating that it might be a good idea if Her Majesty’s Embassy and elsewhere do their level best to publicise that those individuals who come here and do this go to prison and get deported and are never allowed to come into the UK again.”

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Pictured is Thai Dau, now aged 54, formerly of Highfield Place, at Highfield, Sheffield, who was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to two years and three-months of custody after he pleaded guilty to producing class B drug cannabis at a property on Highfield Place following a police raid that uncovered 158 cannabis plants.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said police had raided Dau’s home on February 27, where he and his girlfriend – who both confirmed they are illegal immigrants – were found along with 78 cannabis plants in the attic and 80 in the basement.

Dau, of no fixed abode, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to producing the class B drug cannabis following the raid.

Ms Gallagher added Dau had been performing a limited function in the operation as a gardener for the cannabis harvest but the operation was capable of producing significant quantities for commercial use.

Chris Aspinall, defending, said Dau, who has family including a poorly mother in Vietnam ,had come to the UK to earn some money but he now wishes to return to Vietnam.

Judge Richardson said it is important there is publicity in Vietnam so if anyone is minded to come to the UK they are told if they become involved in this kind of criminality and are caught they will go to prison and be deported.

He added: “I commence my sentencing remarks with this rhetorical question – when will this stop?”

Judge Richardson added it is a sad feature that a number of Vietnamese citizens who gain illegal entry into the UK then embark upon criminality involving drugs.

He told Dau: "It’s the experience of this court and doubtless many other courts in this country that such individuals become involved in cannabis farms. You are an individual in this category.

"I hope that in the near future there will be publicity in Vietnam to reveal the consequences of your sort of conduct.

"Individuals who behave like you and break the law of this country in the way that you have in this case can expect and will serve sentences of immediate imprisonment.”

Judge Richardson added he intends to write to the Secretary of State and to the Lord Chancellor to urge them to do what they can to ensure there is such publicity to serve as a deterrent.

He sentenced Dau to two years and three months of custody and told him: “You are the author of this personal catastrophe for you and your family.”

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