AN Albanian man has appeared before Blackburn magistrates and admitted his role as a "gardener" looking after a cannabis farm.

The court heard police recovered 303 plants from a house in Burnley Road, Colne, which were being tended by Alfred Dushaj, 25, who was living in the house at the time.

Dushaj pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced after the magistrates ruled their powers of punishment were insufficient. He will appear before the Crown Court on May 24.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Dushaj was an illegal immigrant who had come into the UK from Belgium in the back of a lorry.

She said he had admitted working illegally at various locations before ending up tending the cannabis plants in Colne.

"He got into the country without any papers and could leave the same way and the prosecution say he represents a significant flight risk," said Miss Allan.

Mark Williams, defending, said his client had admitted his role as a gardener.