Friday, April 1, 2011

AC/DC drummer’s drug conviction overturned

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has had his cannabis conviction quashed on the grounds that it would have stopped him from continuing to tour with the iconic rock band.

The New Zealand Herald reports Rudd, 56, fought to have his conviction for possession of marijuana wiped from his record when he appeared in Tauranga District Court on Thursday.

The drummer pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $250 in December after failing in his bid for a discharge without conviction. His lawyer, Craig Tuck, argued at the time that the consequences of a conviction outweighed the gravity of his client's crime.

The charge came after police searched Rudd's launch, moored at Tauranga Bridge Marina, on October 7 and found 25g of cannabis onboard.

Rudd’s lawyer successfully argued that the longtime member of AC/DC is required to travel extensively around the world to fulfill his professional obligations, and that a conviction on his record would restrict his ability to enter some countries, which would cause financial fallout for AC/DC and its employees.

Judge Wills said when balanced against the gravity of the offending - which she assessed as at the "lower end of scale" - she was satisfied the appeal should be granted. The judge discharged Rudd without conviction subject to him paying $1500 to cover the prosecution's legal costs.

AC/DC – Jailbreak (1984)

See also:

AC/DC alumni involved in Bon Scott tribute shows
AC/DC singer ready to race
AC/DC: Black Ice Live CD/DVD due in May
AC/DC: Black Ice Live album, DVD due this spring