Nichols said he had got “carried away” after getting the idea for cannabis cultivation on Netflix.

“I saw a television programme about cannabis and how it can help people and I got information from the internet,” he said.

However, Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said they were “sceptical” about Nichols’ explanation given £4,500 ($5,600) had been spent on setting up the cannabis operation.

Judge Stephen Holt said he believed that a dealer was behind the cultivation of such a large quantity of cannabis and that it was unlikely the accused was growing it solely for his personal use.

Representing Nichols, Emma Reed said that her client was sorry for his actions and his age and medical conditions would make any jail term particularly difficult for him, according to the BBC.