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Hell's Bells! AC/DC drummer guilty of murder threats and drugs charges

Phil Rudd charged over cannabis possession and intention to kill resulting from solo album failure
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd gestures to members of the media after leaving Tauranga DistrJoel Ford/Getty Images

Reuters –Phil Rudd, the Australian-born drummer from world-famous rock band AC/DC, pleaded guilty in a New Zealand court on Tuesday to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs, his lawyer said.

Rudd, 60, who has been on bail since his arrest last November, reversed an earlier not guilty plea and admitted to one charge of threatening to kill, as well as possession of cannabis and methamphetamine.

A second charge of threatening to kill, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail, was withdrawn.

The district court in the seaside city of Tauranga, about 125 milessoutheast of Auckland, heard the matter arose from Rudd's anger about the launch of his solo album, which had not gone well.

"This matter essentially revolved around an angry phone call, that was it," Rudd's lawyer Craig Tuck told reporters outside the court.

An original charge of trying to procure murder was withdrawn because of a lack of evidence.

Rudd, who was silent in court apart from entering his guilty plea, will be sentenced in late June.

Rudd has lived in Tauranga since he was sacked from the heavy metal band in 1983. He rejoined AC/DC in 1994 but has remained in New Zealand, where he owns a restaurant.

He is not taking part in AC/DC's world tour, which starts next month.

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