AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleads guilty to threat to kill charge
AC/DC's Phil Rudd has pleaded guilty to a threat to kill charge.
The drummer appeared at the District Court in Tauranga, New Zealand, where he was charged with two counts of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis, relating to a police raid on his waterfront North Island mansion in Taranga on November 6 and his subsequent arrest.
Rudd had originally entered a plea of not guilty to the crimes but ahead the start of his trial on Tuesday (21.04.15) his lawyer informed the judge he was altering his plea.
However, one threatening to kill charge has been dropped. An earlier charge of attempting to procure murder had been dropped at before the case went to court.
Rudd, 60, has now been remanded on bail until sentencing on June 26.
Before his change of plea, the court had heard that Rudd had asked for a former employee, a security guard, to be "taken out" after becoming angry his solo LP had not sold well.
In court documents released at the end of last year, it was claimed Rudd attempted in a phone call to hire a person in September to kill the man and his daughter, insisting he wanted the person "taken out". He allegedly later offered the associate he had contacted £100,000 as well as "a motorbike, one of his cars or a house" for carrying out his earlier request.
Rudd is also accused of later contacting his ex-employee, and during the conversation he threatened he would "come over and kill you".
The court summary of events read: "As a result of threats made by the defendant, the victim was genuinely very fearful for his safety."
If found guilty of threatening to kill the musician could face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail under New Zealand law.
Possession of cannabis carries a sentence of three months and methamphetamine possession six months.
However, outside the court, Rudd's lawyer Craig Tuck told reporters the charge "essentially revolved around an angry phone call - that was it".
Rudd's plea has cast his future with AC/DC - one of the highest grossing musical acts of all time - in doubt.
The band - fronted by Brian Johnson - kicked off their 'Rock or Bust World Tour' on April 10 at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California, with their former drummer Chris Slade replacing Rudd.