AN OLDHAM man has pleaded guilty to possessing 25 bullets partway through his crown court trial.

Joshua Howard, 27, was one of the first defendants to go to court in England and Wales when hearings involving juries resumed after being postponed when the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

But after a jury of seven men and five women began hearing his case on Monday, on Tuesday he changed his plea to guilty shortly before the first witness was due to give evidence at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

The charge was put to him again and Howard admitted a single charge of possession of ammunition without a firearms certificate.

He had previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine.

Howard, of Anchor Street, was given bail by Judge John Potter, ahead of the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

Judge Potter warned the defendant that, although he was willing to bail him until he is sentenced, he should "prepare himself" for a likely prison sentence.

Earlier, Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, told the court that 25 7.56mm live rounds capable of being fired by an automatic weapon were seized by police at the home of the defendant's ex-girlfriend.

She had called police after they broke up and he had repeatedly failed to collect the bullets and cocaine powder from a cupboard at her home.

Howard was arrested two days later, on November 15 2018, at his mother's house in Kempton Way, Oldham.

He admitted possession of the cocaine powder, with a street value of £3,250, at an earlier hearing.

Howard will be sentenced on June 15.