TWO Vietnamese men have appeared at crown court after their arrest following the discovery of a substantial cannabis farm in a terraced house last month.

One of the pair, Hoa Danh Ha, detained after police raided the property in Spennymoor, on January 27, has already admitted charges of producing a class B drug and abstracting electricity.

About 200 plants in different stages of growth were recovered by police from the boarded-up house, in Wood Street.

The 31-year-old defendant, who is said to have no legal immigration status to live in the UK, will be sentenced following the resolution of the case of his co-accused, a 20-year-old compatriot.

Appearing at Durham Crown Court with Ha, via video link from the nearby prison, the younger defendant denied both charges.

A date was provisionally set for a trial in his case, to be staged at the court in the week starting June 15.

But the court was told a decision is awaited from the Home Office as to whether he is to be considered a victim of human trafficking.

Asked by Judge James Adkin as to the timescale, Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, said it could take several weeks, but if it is resolved he has been trafficked, it is up to the Crown what becomes of the case.

In the meantime, he was remanded to remain in custody with his co-accused.