Phil Rudd, former drummer in the Australian hard rock band, will have to resume his sentence, a judge has decided. The musician was convicted for threatening to kill a colleague and possessing drugs.
The New Zealand judge rejected the appeal on Tuesday, insisting the 61-year-old former rock star would have to continue the full eight months of home detention he had been ordered to serve in July. Rudd received the sentence, as a well as a fine of 120,000 New Zealand dollars ($78,000, 69,000 euros), after leaving death threats on his former security chief's phone and being caught with methamphetamines and marijuana.
In his appeal, Rudd argued the conviction was excessive and would negatively impact his earnings from AC/DC. He attempted to justify the actions that led to his arrest by citing his disturbed mental state at the time, claiming the death threats were him simply "nutting off" on the phone.
High Court Justice Raynor Asher disputed that assessment: "Indeed, I view it as far off the mark. Mr. Rudd's threat was not a spontaneous outburst; it was a manifestation of a serious intention to intimidate and at least cause grave fear to the victim," Asher wrote in his statement.
Ultimately, the court decided the convictions were not out of proportion with the crime.
Rudd was arrested last November after the incident. He was reportedly upset with the security professional's poor organization at a launch party for his solo album, and after telling an associate he wanted the man "taken out," he phoned the man directly. According to official documents, when police raided his home, they found a small quantity of metamphetamines and around 90 grams (3.21 ounces) of cannabis.
blc/msh (dpa, AFP)