A MAN caught growing more than 150 cannabis plants in a terraced home has been jailed.

Adrian Mata had come to the UK illegally and been promised work in the construction industry.

When he arrived, however, a court heard that the 20-year-old of Causeway, Banbury, was instead told to look after the cannabis factory and act as a 'gardener' for the drugs.

Mata appeared at Oxford Crown Court on Monday.

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He pleaded guilty at that hearing to one count of producing cannabis.

Outlining the case prosecutor Cathy Olliver said police raided Mata's address on Causeway, Banbury, on May 12 this year.

After forcing their way inside officers discovered a professional cannabis growing operation.

Mata was found in the terraced property along with 153 mature cannabis plants.

A number of rooms had been transformed into growing rooms, with sheeting, transformers and reflectors all set up in the factory.

The electricity supply had also been adapted to support the growth of the plants.

When police arrived Mata dumped a mobile phone in a toilet and due to water damage it was not investigated.

He had on him a key to the address as well as £167.60 in cash, and he was arrested.

The court heard that Mata has no previous convictions either in the UK or his native Albania.

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In mitigation defence barrister Peter Du Feu said that his client had been identified as a victim of modern slavery in a preliminary assessment.

He said Mata came to the UK illegally in a lorry and was promised work in the building trade.

When Mata arrived, he said, he was told that instead he would be working as a gardener in a cannabis house.

Mr Du Feu added: "He was subject to threats and some violence."

He went on to say that Mata will 'in all likelihood' be deported back to Albania.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle QC called the operation 'quite a sophisticated set-up' and said there was a 'large' amount of cannabis seized following the police raid.

He added that the factory was a 'commercial operation.'

Mata was jailed for eight months and must pay a statutory victim surcharge.