Wellington, New Zealand — AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleaded not guilty on Monday to breaching the rules of his home detention sentence by drinking alcohol.
A New Zealand judge allowed Rudd to remain in home confinement on bail pending a November hearing on the possible breach.
The 61-year-old Australian-born drummer could face further sanctions, including jail time, if the judge concludes Rudd was in breach of his conditions. However, drinking alcohol would likely be considered on the lower end of potential breaches.
Asked by reporters after the hearing if he was nervous about what lay ahead in the case, Rudd replied: “No, the only thing I’m nervous about is I don’t, I don’t actually don’t know what’s going on.”
Asked how he would be spending time on bail, he responded with a lopsided grin “Self-improvement,” before his lawyer hustled him into a waiting car.
Rudd’s erratic behavior outside the courthouse has become a feature of his recent appearances. At one hearing he clowned around by jumping on the back of a security guard; at another he raised his middle fingers to journalists. He typically doesn’t wear dentures, sometimes making his soft-spoken answers difficult to understand.
Rudd was sentenced to eight months of home confinement on July 9 after pleading guilty to threatening to kill a former employee and possessing methamphetamine and marijuana.
Rudd acknowledged in a court summary of facts that he’d offered cash, vehicles and a house to an associate after asking him to have the victim “taken out.” He also acknowledged that he’d directly said to the victim he was going to kill him.
Police then arrested Rudd at his home on July 18, accusing him of possessing and drinking alcohol. He was subsequently given a new bail condition: that he undergo drug and alcohol testing whenever police request it.
It is unclear whether Rudd has any future with AC/DC, which is currently touring with Welsh drummer Chris Slade.
Rudd’s lawyer Craig Tuck said Monday he is appealing Rudd’s convictions and sentence.
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