Phil Rudd's lawyer has revealed to the Bay of Plenty Times that he has lodged an appeal to this morning's sentencing.

Craig Tuck said Rudd was at his Tauranga home this afternoon, starting his home detention sentence.

Rudd was sentenced this morning to eight months home detention and failed to escape conviction.

In Tauranga District Court today, Rudd received the sentence having already admitted to charges of threatening to kill an employee, and for methamphetamine and cannabis found in his home during a police raid last year.


The 61-year-old appeared tired and expressionless as he stood in the dock while Judge Ingram delivered the sentence, after refusing an application for a discharge without conviction.

In ordering Rudd stay confined to his Harbour Drive, Tauranga, home, Judge Ingram also banned him from taking any drugs not prescribed to him.

The drummer angrily refused to comment as he left the court, smoking a cigarette and telling one member of the press "to get a f*****g job pal, get a real job".

Rudd, who has claimed his old band mates from AC/DC has shut him out since he was arrested last year, had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

This came after police dropped charges of attempting to procure a murder, which caused an international media storm that his lawyer Craig Tuck, said generated more publicity around the band than the death of its former lead singer Bon Scott.

In May, Rudd told Australian media his previous bail conditions still would have allowed him to rejoin the band on its Rock or Bust tour, but the group had ignored his pleas.

The band confirmed Chris Slade would be drumming when it played in Auckland and Wellington in December.

New facts emerge

Today in court, significant new insights around the case emerged.


They included:
• Rudd has been meeting one-on-one with a specialist psychiatrist but authorities have remained concerned about his behaviour. It emerged ESR results showed Rudd had tested positive for cannabis in a test in December.

•The rocker put the threats he made to his former employee down to "methamphetamine-induced psychosis".

•Rudd has reconciled with his would-be victim and agreed to pay him a substantial sum of money in reparation - the Herald can not reveal the amount for legal reasons. Mr Tuck told the court a process that had "started badly" had "ended beautifully".

•Rudd's lawyer claimed that a conviction would result in losses in the tens of millions of dollars that would have came from being able to tour with AC/DC. The Crown cast doubt on this assertion, pointing out there was no direct evidence that Rudd was still a member of the band.

•Rudd's defence claimed while there was "uncertainty" about his place in AC/DC, it was "certainly not a closed door". The Crown however argued Rudd was not a member of AC/DC even before the time he was arrested in November.

•Rudd was concerned about people - half of many he claimed he didn't know - that were hanging around in his house, some of whom he described as "fleas". Their presence had led to phone the police on two occasions.

•Mr Tuck said Rudd had described the issues that stemmed from his drug use had resulted in "perfect storm" that "impacted heavily on those around me".

•Rudd's son, Steven Rudd, who was also in court today, described his father as having "a heart of gold" and it was "just when the drugs take over" that trouble began.

•An affidavit from Australian music industry heavyweight Michael Murchison, whose music touring credits include The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Madonna and The Sex Pistols, described how Rudd's behaviour had been "heart-wrenching" to see. "Phil needs help and many tears were shed by those close to him."

Judge: "You felt bound to lead a rockstar life"

The Crown proposed a starting point for Rudd of 18 months' jail, but in considering mitigating factors including his restorative justice meetings, reparation payment and guilty plea, Judge Ingram arrived at the point of no less than eight months home detention.

He rejected an application for discharge without conviction, explaining: "I'm simply not persuaded that you have done enough to establish the consequences of the conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the offending."

Judge Ingram agreed with the Crown's position that there was no direct evidence to confirm Rudd was actually still a member of the band.

In summing up, Judge Ingram noted how Rudd had spent decades leading a rock star life, and should have known about the consequences of drug use.

"If anyone can understand the consequences, surely it must be you," he said.

Despite Rudd's lawyers arguing that being left out of AC/DC would result in a significant loss of income for him, Judge Ingram pointed out how the band Queen had replaced lead singer Freddy Mercury, following this death, and added it was "currently clear [AC/DC] is playing without you".

Judge Ingram described Rudd as a "relatively fragile man" who had "felt bound to lead a rockstar life, publicly..." although at another point in his summing up, acknowledged he himself hadn't experienced the pressures the life involved.

"You've led it. I haven't."

In other moments, Judge Ingram sternly criticised his behaviour, telling him: "You are now 61 years old, Mr Rudd, you are not 21".

While further commenting on his conduct later, he reminded him: "I'm not your headmaster. I'm not your father. I'm a judge."

Rudd appeared exasperated with Judge Ingram's comments at the time, acknowledging that he understood in audible mutters.

"Judge Ingram also pointed out that, just yesterday, he had sent a man to jail for nine months for sending a threatening text to his wife.

He told Rudd that if he re-offended, he would not hesitate in sending him to jail - a sentence he said that home detention had provided the only other alternative to.

The charges

According to a court summary Rudd has admitted to, the matter stemmed back to August last year.

At this point, 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.

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".

The former staff member, described in court as "140kg of business", politely declined to talk about why Rudd threatened to kill him.

"I'm sorry, I've got no comment."

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.

Judge: Not an integral part of the band

Judge Ingram told Rudd he was not an integral part of AC/DC, adding how the band had been able to carry on with him.

This was in contrast to a picture of Rudd illustrated by his lawyer, who, citing affidavits, described Rudd's role with AC/DC as being "historic", "quintessential" and "legendary".

Rudd had played on all five of the band's world tours since 1996, and as at November 5, was still listed as being a member, Mr Tuck said.

An affidavit he read to the court described Rudd as being one of top three rock drummers in the world, and having "incredible discipline and determination".

Rudd was a member of AC/DC from 1975 through 1983, through a period that produced such seminal albums as Highway to Hell and Back in Black, and again from 1994.

Earlier this year, however, Rudd told the Australian Nine Network's A Current Affair that his old bandmates had shut him out.

"They haven't called me. I wrote them a letter and I tried to get in touch with Angus but I have had no contact from anybody," he said.

"I'm very disappointed, but that's life."

Guitarist Angus Young responded to the programme with a statement explaining that Rudd had changed from the bandmate they originally knew.

"Phil created his own situation. It's a hard thing to say about the guy. He's a great drummer, and he's done a lot of stuff for us. But he seems to have let himself go. He's not the Phil we've known from the past."

Rock or Bust tour manager Garry Van Egmond confirmed to NZME that Rudd would not be playing in any of the New Zealand concerts.

"Chris Slade will be on drums - he replaced Phil when he left the band some years back and he has been playing in the Rock or Bust tour worldwide."

Biographer: Rudd deserves more from old bandmates

AC/DC biographer Jesse Fink has criticised the way the band has responded to Rudd's legal troubles.

"AC/DC could have issued a 'we're behind you, Phil, as you get your life back on track' statement at some point, which Phil was owed at the very least for his service to the band," the author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC told the Herald from Brazil.

"Put Phil's troubles aside for the moment and look at how many years he was their drummer: 1975-83, 1994-2015.

"That counts as long service. I don't think it was handled in a very good way by AC/DC, especially when light of Phil's predicament was made on Howard Stern's radio show in New York."

Rudd had worked very hard for the band, Mr Fink said, especially in the late 1970s when they were trying to break in the United States.

"His health suffered then. He soldiered on and played the shows."

If Rudd could get his life back on track, he could get a job anywhere playing drums.

"He's one of the greatest rock 'n' roll drummers of all time," he said.

"Personally I can't see him going back to AC/DC and I'd question why he would want to at this point given what has happened and how it was handled," he said.

"He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. He drummed on four of the best rock albums in history: Powerage, Let There Be Rock, Back in Black, Highway to Hell. Perhaps it is time for new projects."

Previous brushes with the law

This case wasn't the first time Rudd has had to front up at his local courthouse - but in previous cases, he has managed to escape conviction.

"AC/DC drummer beats assault conviction" was the headline after he pleaded guilty to common assault in 2007 following an incident on his luxury launch Barchetta at the marina.

An argument with his former wife became heated, at which point Rudd - born Phillip Hugh Norman Witschke Rudzevecuis - pushed his chest into her and held a clenched fist to her face, before grabbing her arms and pretending to push her overboard.

His actions were "threatening rather than violent", according to the judge, who discharged him without conviction given the impact it would have on his ability to travel with AC/DC.

In 2011, the same travel ban argument was successfully used to quash a conviction after Rudd pleaded guilty to possession of 25g of cannabis found on Barchetta.

Last year, he was acquitted of deliberately lying about his prior drug use to obtain a medical certificate to enable him to renew his private pilot licence.

The Civil Aviation Authority challenged the ruling, but last month a panel of judges in the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Sentence not surprising to law expert

Rudd's sentence wasn't surprising to Auckland University expert Dr Bill Hodge.

While it was unusual for an admitted charge of threatening to kill not to come with a jail sentence, this was because that typically came with other violent offending.

"In isolation, the charge is a little bit odd," he said.

Given Rudd's previous appearances in court on past charges, Dr Hodge also wasn't surprised that an application for discharge without conviction failed.

"It isn't as if he's an innocent person who has been caught up in things bigger than he is," he said.

"He has had a lot of opportunities to go down a different path, he has had warnings and second chances and third chances, so on this one, I would have thought a discharge without conviction would have been a long stretch."

Dr Hodge believed Rudd should not have any doubt Judge Ingram was serious when he told him that any re-offending would result in jail.

"If he doesn't pay a parking ticket, he's inside... well that's a slight exaggeration, but he certainly doesn't want a warrant out for his arrest."