A man has been sentenced after police found thousands of pounds worth of cannabis plants growing in his flat.

Jack Maher, 22, appeared in court after police officers discovered the illegal plants being cultivated on Race Court Walk in Radcliffe.

Officers arrived following reports of a man brandishing a BB gun outside a block of flats in January last year.

Rachel Widdicombe, prosecuting, told Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court that police discovered around thirty cannabis plants with a street value of around £9,000 to £22,000 during their search of the premises.

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Maher, of Race Course Walk, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.

Ms Widdicombe told the court that despite the value of the cannabis, Maher had not produced the plants on a large scale.

She said: “It was his operation, it was his sole operation, he has 30 plants, but it clearly wasn’t on a commercial scale.”

Julian Goode, defending, told the court that since the offence was committed, Maher had turned his life around following the birth of his first child.

He added that Maher had made “a positive change” in his life and was no longer using cannabis or associating with those who had helped him cultivate the plants.

“He will comply with any community order,” Mr Goode added.

Concluding the hearing, Judge Angela Neild said Maher had shown good behaviour in the two years since the offence  and noted that he now had a partner and child who are dependent on him.

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She sentenced Maher to a 16-month suspended sentence, as well as eight rehabilitation days and 120 days of unpaid work in the community.

Judge Neild said: “I must and I will give you credit for your guilty plea.

“You’ve been able to show a period where you have not offended further.

“There would be a significant impact on other were you to be sentenced to an immediate custodial term.”

However, Judge Neild added that “there is always a risk of violence” surrounding cannabis production.