Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd wanted employee 'taken out'

AC/DC rocker Phil Rudd told an associate he wanted a former employee "taken out", a court has heard today.

Rudd, 60, today pleaded guilty in Tauranga District Court to one charge of threatening to kill, as well as possession of cannabis and methamphetamine - charges he had earlier pleaded not guilty to.

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd arrives at court. Photo / Daniel Hines
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd arrives at court. Photo / Daniel Hines

A second threatening to kill charge was withdrawn by police.

He has been remanded on bail to re-appear for sentencing on June 26, when his lawyer will challenge conviction.

The court heard how Rudd asked for a former employee to be "taken care of".

The matter stemmed back to August last year, when Rudd was angry the launch of his solo album, Head Job, did "not go well", leading him to sack a number of employees - including his would-be victim with whom he was "particularly angry" with.

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd arrives at court. Photo / Daniel Hines
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd arrives at court. Photo / Daniel Hines

On September 25, at around 8.12pm, Rudd called an associate holidaying in Australia and said he wanted the victim "taken out".

When asked what he meant by that, Rudd said he wanted them "taken care of" because "they were a bunch of f**ers and c**ts".

In another call to the same associate, while he was still in Australia, he offered him $200,000, a motorbike, one of his cars or a house.

The associate took this to mean as payment for carrying out his earlier request.

On September 26, at around 8.27am, Rudd called the victim to ask if he "was on" today.
The victim replied yes, before Rudd later responded "I'm going to come over and kill you" and then repeated "I'm going to come over and kill you, you f*** c***."

On September 28, at 4.10pm, Rudd again called the victim, who hung up.
This happened again the following day.

The court heard that as a result of the threats, the victim was "genuinely very fearful for his safety".

Details surrounding the drugs charges also emerged today, with the court hearing how Rudd tried to hide some cannabis crumbs on the coffee table during the police raid on his million-dollar Harbour Drive home on November 6.

When police arrived, Rudd had been wearing a pair of jeans with no shirt.

Upon searching his jeans, police discovered a small snaplock bag containing white powder in his front right coin pocket.

This was later found to weigh 0.273 grams and contained methamphetamine, a controlled Class A drug.

Police also found a further 0.205 grams in Rudd's master bedroom, 47.2 grams of cannabis in a hallway cupboard and 17.9 grams of cannabis in a bedroom/poolroom.

While being spoken to in the lounge area, Rudd also reached out to move a container containing cannabis crumbs from the coffee table and place it out of sight on the floor.

Upon analysis by ESR, the plant was found to weigh six grams and was confirmed as cannabis, a Class C controlled drug.

Rudd then pulled out a plastic snaplock bag containing cannabis from the edge of the couch cushion.

That material was found to weigh 20.2 grams.

After the hearing, Rudd's lawyer Craig Tuck said his client would be contesting a conviction at the sentencing in June.

"This matter essentially revolved around an angry phone call - that was it."

Mr Tuck said this led to a complaint to the police, and the "apparatus of the police" then turning up at Rudd's home with a search warrant.

"Nine police officers, a dog and media turned up at Phil Rudd's home, the home was turned over, and [police] subsequently charged him with attempting to procure a murder.

"That was immediately dropped, and today we have seen another charge dropped."

Mr Tuck noted no conviction had been entered, "and we will be arguing about that in June".

Earlier, Rudd refused to answer questions as he left court, and remained silent in court except to enter his plea.

Flanked by security guards and wearing jeans, a black suit jacket and a red tie, he arrived in a Mercedes SLS-AMG sports car, but left in late-model Mitsubishi sedan.

- NZ Herald

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