Phil Rudd, the troubled drummer with rock titans AC/DC, pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs, a court has heard.

The embattled star, 60, had been scheduled to stand trial on Tuesday at the Tauranga district court in New Zealand, but has surprisingly entered a guilty plea the day before it is due to begin.

AC DCAC/DC without Phil Rudd in a promotional photo

According to the New York Daily News, Rudd’s lawyer Chris Tuck says that this plea has been entered to allow him to apply for a discharge without conviction. The drummer was then remanded on bail for sentencing on June 26th - Judge Robert Woolff did not enter a conviction after the guilty plea.

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Rudd was arrested in November and charged over an incident that occurred on September 26th where, according to a police summary of the facts, the drummer rang a man he knew and threatened to kill both him and his daughter. Allegedly, this was after a launch party for his solo album flopped.

He was also charged with possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. These are separate charges that were brought after a police search of Rudd’s home on November 6th turned up 0.71g of meth and 130g of cannabis.

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An initial court appearance in November included another charge of attempting to procure murder, but this was dropped the following day.

Meanwhile, AC/DC played at the annual American music festival Coachella recently, with Chris Slade in Rudd’s place on drums. This was a continuation of the stop-gap solution made by the band last year pending the outcome of Rudd’s trial, and in February they announced that their Rock or Bust world tour would be conducted without him.

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