AC/DC drummer nabbed for drugs
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was convicted of cannabis possession in a Tauranga court this morning.
It is the first time Rudd has been convicted of a drug offence, SunLive website reported.
Police discovered the drugs when they executed a search warrant on Rudd's launch at the Tauranga Bridge Marina on October 7.
Inside they found 25 grams of cannabis and a further two grams of cannabis at another location on the boat.
Rudd's lawyer, Craig Tuck, asked community magistrate Robyn Paterson to discharge him without conviction because the "low level" offence could hinder his chances of travelling internationally.
Tuck told Tauranga District Court that Rudd spent nine months travelling the globe with AC/DC in 2009, earning $400 million from concerts.
"Over the last nine months, at least 20 countries have been entered," Tuck said.
"He travels extensively around the globe, across the planet, and on the basis of such criminality, which is low level offending, he is being targeted."
Tuck told the magistrate that Rudd was remorseful and has taken full responsibility for his actions.
He says Rudd has contributed millions of dollars to the local community since moving to Tauranga.
As Rudd left the court he told SunLive, "I'm not a bad person".
Police opposed Tuck's request to have his client discharged without conviction.
They say that if Rudd wanted to enter a country like the United States, he would still have to declare that he has been arrested on drugs charges and appeared in court.
Community magistrate Robyn Paterson refused the request for him to be discharged without conviction saying Rudd was playing "Russian roulette" by being in possession of cannabis.
She says given his age, responsibilities and the fact that he earns multi-millions travelling the world, he should have known how serious a drug conviction could be.
"It was not just an accident. You were blindly ignoring the law. You have been playing Russian roulette."
Rudd was convicted and given a fine of $250 and ordered to pay court fees.
Rudd was a member of AC/DC from 1975 until 1983, and again from 1994 to present.
After the 1977 departure of bass guitarist Mark Evans, he became the only Australian-born member of the band.
During his hiatus from the band, Rudd lived in Tauranga, where he bought a helicopter company.