A VIETNAMESE drugs gang have been jailed for their part in an organised cannabis growing business.

Tam Cao, 27, Tan Troung, 46, and Bang Pham, 24, all received prison terms for their part in cultivating drugs at houses across town.

Lee Thi Nguyen, a 37-year-old mother of two young children, received a suspended sentence, while all four, who are illegal immigrants, have also been recommended for deportation.

James Patrick, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that in the summer of last year police uncovered a series of cannabis farms across the town.

Private rented houses had been converted to grow the plants indoors.

He said the first property was found in Okebourne Park, in Liden, on July 22 when they were called out on another matter.

Raids then took place at a number of houses, including ones in Haydon Street, Alexandra Road, Read Street, County Road, Broome Manor Lane and Edgar Row Close, Wroughton.

Troung was found living at the Wroughton address. Cao's fingerprints were found at three of the other properties and Pham's were found at the Haydon Street house.

Mr Patrick said Lee Thi Nguyen was a look-out, Troung a farmer, and Cao helped set up the farms.

He said the other two were hard to place but had been involved in getting the property and were not at the bottom of the scale.

Lee Thi Nguyen, of Padstow Road, and Troung, of Edgar Row Close, admitted the cultivation of cannabis on the first day of the trial.

Bang Pham, of Read Street, and Binh Nguyen, of Padstow Road, admitted similar charges and Cao, also of Padstow Road, was found guilty at trial.

Jon Harrison, defending Cao, said his client, who had a 19-year-old wife and young daughter, was towards the bottom of the chain of command.

Jonathan Simpson, defending Lee Thi Nguyen, said she had two children, had given birth in custody and was living in Swansea with the help of a refugee charity.

Lucia Whittle-Martin, defending Troung, said he had come to Britain a few months before he was arrested. He had been given the room and food in return for looking after the plants, which he was told were being grown for medicine.

James Cranfield, defending Pham, said his client was an illegal immigrant and before getting involved in the drugs growing had been able to support himself and his wife.

Judge John McNaught jailed Cao for three and half years, Pham for two years and Troung also for two years. He also ordered the confiscation of £1,292.81 from Pham.

Lee Thi Nguyen was jailed for 12 months suspended for a year and she was ordered to do 60 hours community service. Binh Nguyen will be sentenced today after a mix-up at Gloucester prison meant he was not brought to court.