Man jailed after police smash their way inside Hartlepool drugs den
An illegal immigrant who worked for three weeks in a cannabis farm told police that he was being held there against his will.
Armand Hajredini, 26, an Albanian, said that he was taken to the terraced house in Hartlepool with the promise of a building job.
But instead he was left in charge of 100 cannabis plants worth up to £84,000 with no pay and threats were made to him and his family if he quit, Teesside Crown Court was told.
Police smashed their way into the house in Kilmarnock Street at 8am on May 13 and found the interior door re-enforced by a wooden board.
The found Hajredini, who had no previous convictions and slept in a single bed in the kitchen with food dropped off for him, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.
He arrived in the country in a lorry five years ago from France but lost all of his identification documents and worked in the South East before travelled by train to Newcastle after a more secure promise of employment.
Hajredini was met by a contact who put him in the back of a van and he was taken to the house, said Stephen Constantine in mitigation.
Mr Constantine urged the judge to impose a suspended prison sentence which would possibly allow Hajredini to remain in this country.
But the judge, Recorder David Gordon, jailed Hajredini for seven months after he admitted cannabis production and told him: ”In my view I am passing the shortest possible sentence which fits your crime.”