A Vietnamese man has pleaded guilty to the cultivation of 300 cannabis plants in a New Malden house.

Truong Vu, who has no fixed abode and is in police custody, admitted growing the plants in Montem Road.

He faced two other counts of cultivation when he appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Monday, but the prosecution said it would offer no evidence, partly because a police officer, who mislabelled evidence and was therefore needed to give corroborating evidence, had emigrated to Australia.

Vu, who will be sentenced on Friday, June 15, after probation reports are prepared, was told he will receive a custodial sentence for his role in the plants' cultivation between November 2005 and January 2007.

However, the CPS admitted not knowing Vu's exact level of involvement or the amount that was grown.

Vu was arrested in connection with a different cannabis factory in December, and was charged with the Montem Road offences in January after police found fingerprint matches at the previously-raided address.

The court heard that Vu, who came from Vietnam in May 2004, has indefinite leave to remain in the UK after he sought and won political asylum.

The 43-year-old has had few jobs since his arrival, mostly arranged through Vietnamese friends in return for a place to stay.

His defence solicitor claimed he was only at the house in Montem Road for three weeks, tending the plants for a friend, but the CPS said his fingerprints were on two 600 watt bulbs in the house, which indicated he had played a more pivotal role in the cultivation.

Plants were grown using an advanced hydroponics and lighting system, which speeds up the process and potency of the crop.

The house, the court heard, was rented by a woman who is still wanted by police and is associated with a number of other properties in the area which have transpired to be cannabis factories.

Vu spoke through an interpreter only to plead guilty.