AFTER police found cannabis plants worth up to £19,000 in his loft, a man claimed they were for personal use.

At Bolton Magistrates Court Paul Orange admitted producing cannabis but denied he was growing it to sell commercially.

Gemma Zakrzewski, prosecuting, told how police raided 33-year-old Orange's home on July 4 last year.

"We was not home at the time but returned a short while later," she said, adding that a search of the property revealed a cannabis farm in the loft.

"The set-up is said to be sophisticated. The loft had been boarded up and there were lights, fans and other equipment used for growing cannabis."

A total of 24 plants were discovered.

"They appeared to have been fairly successfully grown and there were two plastic buckets which contained harvested heads," said Miss Zakrzewski.

Police experts estimate that the plants would have yielded around 80g of cannabis per plant, making a total yield of 1.92kg, worth up to £19,200 on the streets.

But Orange, of Whittle Grove, Bolton, maintained that the drug was only to be used by himself.

Interviewed by police Orange, who has no previous convictions, admitted setting up the cannabis farm.

"He said he was a long-standing user of cannabis and smoked an ounce per week, which he grew for himself," said Miss Zakrzewski.

Stephen Teasdale, defending, told the court: "Mr Orange is very definite about it - it was for personal use and it was not to be grown on for commercial supply."

A further hearing will take place on December 3, to establish whether Orange was growing the drug commercially, after which he will be sentenced.