AC/DC drummer fined for cannabis

Phil Rudd, drummer for AC/DC, has been caught in possession of cannabis in New Zealand. Rudd did not deny the charge that 27 grams of the drug were found in October, on board his boat ‘Barchetta’, moored at Tauranga, on the North Island.

Rudd was fined 250 New Zealand dollars (about £122) and received a severe reprimand from Magistrate Robyn Paterson, who said he was guilty of ‘blindly ignoring the law’ and accused him of playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with his career. She maintained the incident was ‘not just an accident’.

Rudd’s lawyer Craig Tuck argued for leniancy to be shown towards the musician. Tuck claimed that the offence did not merit the reaction of the Magistrate and said: “[Rudd] travels extensively around the globe, across the planet, and on the basis of such criminality, which is low level offending, he is being targeted”.

Rudd joined AC/DC in 1975 after an initial spell with Buster Brown. In 1983, it was claimed he was fired from the rock band after fighting with a fellow band member. Following the bust-up, Rudd retired to Tauranga on the millions he had earnt from the band and bought a helicopter company. Here he ‘raced cars, flew helicopters and planted some crops’, before rejoining AC/DC in 1994 after his former band mates realised they were ‘missing something’.

The band’s most recent tour, Black Ice, concluded in Bilbao, Spain, in June this year and they were planning to begin another world tour in 2011. Rudd’s being caught in possession of cannabis, however, might put a stop to that, with Magistrate Paterson arguing that he should have known the affect such an offence would have on his band’s touring prospects.

Rudd has no previous drug related convictions and claimed he was ‘not a bad person’.