Cash-strapped Pickering businessman James Hesleton jumped at the idea of making money from allowing part of his rented premises to be used by others.
Unfortunately, the enterprise those offering him £1,000 per month had in mind was a cannabis farm.
The plan came crashing down after a local resident noticed on a day last September that the premises had been broken into and called the police who found 29 young plants, together with lighting and tenting in place.
Hesleton, 37, of College View, appeared before York Crown Court on Monday for sentencing having previously admitted being concerned in the production of can-nabis.
When originally quizzed by the police, Hesleton claimed that he had rented out part of his steel fabrication unit, on the outskirts of the town, for storage purposes and knew nothing about the cannabis plants.
However, he was later to admit that he had been aware of what had been going on and had, on just one occasion, helped by watering the young plants when he discovered them suffering under the lamps.
Hesleton, who has a record for violence, has served a prison sentence in the past and at the time the grow was discovered was subject to a community order.
The court heard that in the end Hesleton had received none of the promised monies and had expressed a great deal of remorse for becoming involved.
Passing sentence, Recorder Jeremy Hill-Baker said that he believed Hesleton’s role to have been significant and warned him not to be under any illusion that he had come very close to going back to prison immediately.
Hesleton was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.