Man denies growing cannabis in former pub in West Cornforth

A MAN has denied tending a flourishing cannabis farm in a disused village pub.

Mao Cong Nguyen is alleged to have overseen growth of 453 cannabis plants at the former Balaclava Inn, in West Cornforth, County Durham.

Police found the plants in various stages of growth after executing a search warrant at the old High Street hostelry, on Wednesday November 14, following a tip-off by a member of the public.

Mr Nguyen, who is believed to be aged 18, and of no fixed abode, was arrested at the premises.

He has remained in custody since the raid and yesterday (Tuesday February 19) appeared at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court.

Speaking via a Vietnamese interpreter he denied producing a controlled drug of class B, namely the 453 plants, as well as abstracting “a quantity of electricity”.

The case was adjourned and Mr Nguyen was remanded in custody pending the start of his scheduled trial, at the court, in the week beginning April 8.

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