AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd angry over solo flop
Embattled AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd made a call to an associate asking him to "take out" a former security guard turned personal assistant after becoming angry when his solo album launch flopped, a court has heard.
Rudd, 60, appeared in Tauranga District Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and methamphetamine, and one of two counts of threatening to kill.
He had previously planned to defend two counts of threatening to kill and possession of 0.71g of methamphetamine and 130g of cannabis.
A second charge of threatening to kill was withdrawn by Crown Prosecutor Anna Pollett.
Rudd had arrived at Tauranga District Court in a grey sports car and was escorted through a crowd of media by security guards.
He appeared quiet in the dock where he answered Judge Robert Wolff's questions with a "guilty" plea.
Lawyer Craig Tuck said he would be seeking a discharge without conviction and no conviction had been entered.
Judge Wolff remanded Rudd on bail, with his existing bail conditions, until a sentencing on June 26.
According to the summary of facts, Rudd had made phone calls to a colleague asking for a former contracted security guard turned personal assistant to be "taken out".
The calls were made after Rudd's solo album launch in August last year, "didn't go well".
He became angry and fired a number of employees, including his victim.
On September 25 at 8.12pm Rudd phoned an associate in Australia saying he wanted the victim "taken out", and "taken care of because they were a bunch of f***en c****.
Rudd then offered the associate $200,000, one of his cars, a motorbike or a house, which the associate believed was payment for the request.
The next day at 8.27am, Rudd called the victim and asked if he was "on today", the victim said yes at which point Rudd said "I'm going to come over and kill you".
Rudd made two further calls to the same victim, who hung up after realising it was Rudd.
"The victim was fearful of his safety," said Pollett.
Police then obtained a warrant to search Rudd's Bureta home in Tauranga on November 6.
When police arrived Rudd was in the lounge and attempted to conceal a container of crumbs, which after testing was found to be 6g of cannabis.
"The defendant then pulled out a bag of cannabis from the couch," said Pollett.
ESR testing found the bag contained a further 20.2g of cannabis.
When police arrived at the home Rudd was wearing jeans and no shirt. In his front jeans pocket police discovered a white powder, which turned out to be 0.273g of methamphetamine, said Pollett.
Police searched the home where they found 0.205g of methamphetamine in the master bedroom, 47.2gms of cannabis in the hallway cupboard, and a further 17.9gms of cannabis in the pool room bedroom.
Pollett said a total of 0.478gms of methamphetamine and 91gms of cannabis were found.
When interviewed by police Rudd denied threatening to kill the victim but admitted making some of the calls.
He also admitted possession of a small amount of cannabis located at his waterfront home.
The Tauranga-based drummer then made a quick exit through the courtroom onto McLean St where he popped a cigarette in his mouth, while refusing to answer media questions.
He was ushered into an awaiting car and sped off.
Outside court lawyer Craig Tuck said events were a consequence of an angry phone call.
"This matter was an angry phone call that resulted in police getting a search warrant, believe it or not, for possession of cannabis, own use, and a cellphone.
"They turned up at his home with nine police officers and a dog."
At Rudd's Tauranga restaurant 'Phil's Place' it was business as usual.
An employee said she had not seen Rudd or heard about the court case.
"I just turn up to work at 12 and do my job."
Inside the walls are adorned with rocker memorabilia, posters of Rudd's solo album Head Job.
ACDC last week played the Coachella music festival in California with Chris Slade, who replaced Rudd on drums earlier in the year.