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Phil Rudd Loses Appeal

October 6, 2015

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has lost his appeal against conviction and a home detention sentence but has not discounted lodging a further appeal.

Tauranga lawyer Craig Tuck told the Bay of Plenty Times last night that his client was still analysing Justice Raynor Asher's 14-page judgment released yesterday, and considering his options.

"Phil was always realistic about the possible outcome of the appeal. He believes he got a fair hearing from Justice Asher and is being treated well by Corrections staff," he said.

Mr Tuck said Rudd was now a significant way through his sentence, and he was thankful for the support he had received from community and "making the most of every day".

"Phil is looking forward to completing his sentence as he has got a lot of plans in mind and lots of opportunities he's exploring in regard to his future."

Mr Tuck would not be drawn on what those "opportunities" might be.

Earlier this year, Rudd pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis.

On July 9, he was sentenced by Judge Thomas Ingram to eight months' home detention, together with six months' post release conditions and ordered to pay $120,000 to the victim.

Rudd appealed his sentence and convictions on the basis that it was manifestly excessive.

But Justice Asher dismissed the appeal. In his judgment he said given this was a relatively serious threat-to-kill charge, there was a real need to denounce Rudd's actions, and to deter him and others from re-offending.

"I agree with Judge Ingram's assessment; a penalty that involved imprisonment or the nearest sentencing alternative was the required sentencing response to such serious offending."

"Anything less would not have adequately reflected the culpability of Mr Rudd's act, even taking into account his particular circumstances," he said.

Justice Asher said Judge Ingram correctly refused a discharge without conviction, after considering whether the consequences of a conviction were out of all proportion to the gravity of the offense.

"In my view they are not. Even with the convictions, Mr Rudd may practice as a musician in session work and in concerts in New Zealand and in other countries."

Justice Asher noted there was potential for Rudd to lose significant income because of the convictions, but said for that to arise two things would have to happen.

"First, the band would have to want him to play with them. Second, the convictions would have to operate as a barrier to him traveling with them on tour.

Neither are certain.

"It is far from clear that, at the time when the offending took place, there was any place in the band available to Mr Rudd, given his drug addiction and state of mind."

Justice Asher said also relevant to the dismissal of the appeal was the fact that Rudd had two prior discharges for "similar wrongdoing".

Source: Bay of Plenty Times, New Zealand


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