The drummer for the rock titans had pleaded guilty in the hope of getting a discharge without conviction in order to tour with the group, but the sentencing judge told him "Queen replaced Freddie Mercury".
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been sentenced to eight months of home detention after pleading guilty to threatening to kill one of his ex-employees, along with possession of two drugs, methamphetamine and marijuana.
61 year old Rudd was initially suspected of murder-for-hire when he was arrested in November 2014, with prosecutors believing he had hired a hitman to kill his former employee. This was later dropped as a line of pursuit, but Rudd admitted in April that he had directly said to the victim that he was going to kill him.
It is believed that the threat came as a result of Rudd’s solo album not performing very well commercially, and as a result he had faced the possibility of a maximum seven year prison sentence.
Phil Rudd, AC/DC drummer, has been sentenced to 8 months home detention
The drummer was sentenced in Tuaranga district court on New Zealand’s North Island on Thursday (July 9th), and will be electronically tagged and monitored at his waterside mansion. As part of the sentence, Rudd will also be expected to complete a drugs rehabilitation program, a condition of him returning to the AC/DC line-up.
“You are a man that clearly has rehabilitative needs”, Judge Thomas Ingram told Rudd, adding that there was “nowhere to hide” and that he would be jailed if he was found to have any traces of drugs or alcohol in his system during the sentence.
Rudd’s lawyer had attempted to argue for a discharge without conviction, on the grounds that any kind of sentence would leave AC/DC unable to fulfil their tour of the US, Canada and Japan, losing them tens of millions of dollars as a result.
However, Judge Ingram dismissed the argument that Rudd was critical to the group’s sound, saying “Queen replaced Freddie Mercury”, and pointing out that Rudd had been discharged on two occasions in the past, on assault and cannabis charges.