Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been sentenced by the Tauranga District Court (New Zealand) on Thursday, July 9, to eight months of home detention relating to charges of drug possession and threatening to kill.
Rudd, who had been arrested last November after hiring a hitman to murder two people, plead guilty to possession of cannabis and methamphetamine and one charge making a threat to kill. The drummer was originally charged with the drug offenses as well as attempting to “procure a murder.” The procuring a murder charge was dropped and replaced by “making a threat to kill.”
During the trial, Rudd and his lawyers claimed he would lose millions of dollars if he were convicted and not able to tour with AC/DC. Not having any of his excuses, the judge responded that there was no evidence of an offer to return to the band and added: “Queen replaced Freddie Mercury.”
Before going to court, Rudd had been optimist, telling reporters early in the trial that he would be returning to the drum kit for the band’s world tour and other upcoming engagements. Any optimism went out the window when the judge told him that if he violated any of the terms of his home detention, he would be put behind bars.
“I stone cold guarantee that’s where you’ll end up,” said Judge Thomas Ingram. “I’m not your headmaster, I’m not your father. I’m a judge.”
Back in November, the news of Rudd being arrested made headlines worldwide, with the band finding out at the same time as the public. Quickly, the rock icons took to social media to confirm that their world tour would go on, as planned, without Rudd, even though they had no comment about the arrest.
The band quickly asked former drummer Chris Slade to return to the band for their performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards earlier this year. That one performance has now led to Slade returning to the group for their current world tour which will touchdown in North American beginning on Aug. 22 at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.