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AC/DC’s Phil Rudd accused of breaking court booze ban

acdcAC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was back in court in New Zealand yesterday, accused of ignoring an alcohol ban imposed when he was convicted earlier this month of threatening to kill an employee. The 61-year-old rocker appeared in Tauranga District Court after spending most of the weekend behind bars following his arrest on Saturday night at his North Island mansion. He entered no plea to a charge of breaking the conditions of his home detention sentence by allegedly possessing and consuming alcohol.

Rudd was granted bail to reappear on August 3 and ordered to undergo random drug and alcohol testing. During his sentencing on July 9, judge Thomas Ingram warned Rudd he would be jailed if he did not curb his wildman ways. “I stone cold guarantee that’s where you’ll end up. I’m not your headmaster, I’m not your father, I’m a judge,” Ingram said at the time.

He added: “The temptations of the rock star lifestyle have caused your downfall.” Rudd made no comment to reporters as he left the court wearing a leather jacket with AC/DC emblazoned on the back. However, his position with the legendary band appears tenuous as he has been replaced on the current “Rock or Bust” world tour by Briton Chris Slade. His conviction also means Rudd will face difficulty travelling internationally once his sentence is complete. Rudd’s legal woes stem from threats made to his former security chief last year. He was allegedly upset about poor organization at a function to launch his solo album “Head Job” in August, calling an associate four weeks later to say he wanted the ex-employee “taken out”, then phoning the man and threatening his life.

He allegedly offered the associate “NZ$200,000 ($130,000), a motorbike, one of his cars or a house”. When police raided Rudd’s waterfront mansion in November, they found 0.478 grams (0.017 ounces) of methamphetamine and 91 grams (3.21 ounces) of cannabis. He pleaded guilty to drug possession and threatening to kill, receiving a sentence of eight months home detention, which he is appealing. Australian-born Rudd initially faced another charge of “attempting to procure murder”, but it was dropped after prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence. Rudd first joined AC/DC in 1975 and left in 1983, only to return 11 years later. He was part of the AC/DC lineup inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and that won a Grammy for best hard rock performance with the band for “War Machine” in 2010. — AFP

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This article was published on 21/07/2015