Phil Rudd, 61, previously the drummer for AC/DC, has been sentenced to eight months of home detention after pleading guilty to drug possession and threatening to kill a former employee. He initially faced a jail term of up to seven years. The sentencing took place at Tauranga District Court in New Zealand.
Police found cannabis and methamphetamine at Rudd’s home in November during a search.
Prosecutors say Rudd made threatening phone calls to his former personal assistant, stating “I’m going to come over and kill you.”
Rudd also told an unnamed associate that he wanted the former assistant “taken out.” He reportedly offered the associate "NZ$200,000, ($135,000; £88,000) a motorbike, one of his cars or a house" in exchange for carrying out the request.
Rudd was originally charged with attempting to procure murder, though this was dropped following a lack of evidence.
Rudd’s lawyer stated the threats were “just an angry phone call.” He also argued that a drug conviction would be financially damaging to Rudd as he would be unable to travel to some countries to perform.
Seeking a discharge without conviction, Rudd’s lawyer also stated that his client’s actions were due to "methamphetamine psychosis."
Judge Thomas Ingram, whilst acknowledging that Rudd had reconciled with the victim and paid compensation, stated that “some of the affidavit material put before me suggests that you are integral to the band's sound and you are an iconographical member of the band." Ingram continued, "That point doesn't persuade me completely. Queen replaced Freddie Mercury and it's clear that the band is currently touring without you."
“You are a man that clearly has rehabilitative needs,” Ingram added, also explaining how Rudd would find himself in prison if the terms of his detention at his beachfront house in Tauranga, New Zealand, are breached.
He will be electronically monitored for eight months as well as enter into a drug rehabilitation program.
Rudd is not a member of AC/DC, who are currently on tour in Europe.