Phil Rudd pleads guilty to possession and threat to kill
AC/DC’s former drummer Phil Rudd has changed his plea to guilty on a charge of a threat to kill, at a court in Tauranga, New Zealand.
The court heard Phil Rudd had asked for a former employee to be “taken out” because he was angry his solo album had not performed well.
Phil Rudd, who had denied the charges, also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and methamphetamine.
One second charge of a threat to kill has been dropped for lack of evidence.
Australian-born Phil Rudd was arrested at his home in the coastal town in November 2014 and has since been out on bail.
The court summary heard on April 21 that he had fired a number of employees in August after his solo album, Head Job, flopped in the charts.
A month later, the court heard, Phil Rudd called an associate saying he wanted one of the people he had fired “taken out”.
He later offered the associate NZ$200,000 ($153,000) as well as “a motorbike, one of his cars or a house”, which the person assumed was payment “for carrying out his earlier request”.
Phil Rudd is then alleged to have called the victim threatening to “come over and kill you”.
“As a result of threats made by the defendant, the victim was genuinely very fearful for his safety,” the court summary read.
Phil Rudd’s lawyer, Craig Tuck, told reporters outside the court that the charge “essentially revolved around an angry phone call – that was it”.
The 60-year-old faces up to seven years in jail for the threat charge. Possession of cannabis carries a sentence of three months and methamphetamine possession six months.
Phil Rudd has been released on bail until another hearing in June.