A DEBT-RIDDEN West Wight man duped into believing he would get rich by allowing someone to use his home to grow cannabis in, appeared before an Isle of Wight court.
Gary Andrew McDonald admitted attempting to permit the production of cannabis to take place on his premises, between January 1 and October 10, 2019.
McDonald, of Terrace Lane, Freshwater, was out when police executed a warrant to enter his home.
They discovered a ‘fairly sophisticated’ cannabis set-up, with 17 plants being grown in three bedrooms upstairs, plus a further 13 saplings being cultivated in his garage, said Ann Smout, prosecuting, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court.
McDonald, 58, returned as the officers were conducting the search and told them he allowed somebody else to set up the cannabis cultivation, with the intention of profiting from it, but that he failed to do so.
Later, another man was arrested on suspicion of growing the drug.
McDonald added that when he moved into the property, he had been up to his eyes in debt, but his friend offered him a way out.
“He believed his friend when he was told he was going to be rich, due to his state of mind at the time,” said Mrs Smout.
“He said he never touched the equipment or had anything to do with the growing of cannabis. His phone was examined and it contained nothing connected with drug growing or supply.”
McDonald has two previous convictions for drink driving, the most recent in 2017, plus two for causing criminal damage, but nothing drug related.
His solicitor, Henry Farley, said: “He was in a weak frame of mind. A magic solution to all his difficulties was offered, but he never profited or lifted a finger to do anything to cultivate cannabis.
“He has shown great remorse and was simply out of his depth.”
Jobless McDonald was fined £80, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.