Written by Staff Writer
09 Jul, 2015 | 9:11 am
Phil Rudd, a drummer with rock group AC/DC, has been sentenced in New Zealand to eight months in house detention for drug possession and making threats to kill.
Rudd, 61 and born in Australia, had originally denied the charges but changed his plea in April. The Tauranga court heard he threatened to “take out” a former employee.
A subsequent police raid on his house in Tauranga found a stash of marijuana and methamphetamine. His sentence will be served at his beachfront home in Tauranga, with Judge Thomas Ingram warning he would be jailed if he breached the conditions.
The court had heard how Rudd had fired several employees after the failure of his solo album in August last year.
Then in September, he telephoned an associate in Australia saying he wanted one of those former employees “taken care of”. In another call he offered the associate money and high-value goods, which the man believed would be in exchange for carrying out the request.
Rudd also called the victim of the threat, saying he was going to kill him, the court heard. The drugs were found when police raided his home on 6 November.
Rudd’s lawyer had said the threats were “just an angry phone call” and that a drug conviction would have serious final consequences for the drummer, meaning he could not travel to some countries to perform.
Judge Thomas Ingram dismissed this, though accepted that Rudd had reconciled with the victim and paid compensation.
Rudd is not currently a member of AC/DC, one of the world’s biggest rock bands, and has not been invited to join them on their tour of New Zealand and Australia later this year.
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