Guilty plea in cannabis trial

A MAN has entered a guilty plea to a charge of cultivating a commercial quantity of ­cannabis at a Mildura property after the start of his County Court trial.

Xuan Ngoc Luong, originally from Vietnam, was charged with growing the crop and stealing electricity at a Walnut Avenue address between May 31 and July 7 last year.

Prosecutors made their opening submissions before a jury in Mildura on Tuesday but Luong later reconsidered his position and decided to plead guilty to the cultiv­ation charge.

Prosecutor David O’Doherty then said, before the jury, that he would not read any evidence on the electricity theft charge.

“Criminal trials are dynamic and fluid processes and, not very often, but occasionally this happens,” Judge Gavan Meredith told the jury.

Judge Meredith discharged the jury from its duties. Luong’s plea hearing will be on August 20.

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