AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd in Tauranga Court
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has appeared in court this morning charged with failing to disclose his drug use so he could get a pilot’s licence.
In the Tauranga District Court today, Rudd pleaded not guilty to one charge of making a misleading statement in an application for a medical statement form.
The question on the form was “have you ever used any legal or illegal recreational drugs?” to which Rudd replied “No”, the court heard.
Rudd pleaded guilty to a separate charge of failing to maintain a pilot’s logbook as required under the Civil Aviation Act between August 3, 2012 and April 30, 2013.
Prosecuting on behalf of Civil Aviation NZ (CAA), Fletcher Pilditch said the logbook charge, was amended this morning after Rudd admitted to not keeping a logbook at all.
Pilditch told the court Rudd had flown his helicopter on five occasions during that period and that his signed declaration about drug use was a deliberate attempt to mislead the CAA so that he could obtain his pilot’s licence.
Rudd had first got his pilot’s licence in 1985, but the law changed in 1990 effectively making every pilot reapply for their licence, the court heard.
To do so, an applicant must first obtain a medical certificate.
Rudd filled out his medical certificate on June 13, 2012. However, the CAA discovered police searching Rudd’s boat and home in Tauranga in 2010 had found a total 24 grams of cannabis, the court heard.
He told police at the time was that he had used cannabis since he was 18 years old.
Defence lawyer Paul Mabey QC told Judge Louis Bidois that the prosecution was making his client out to be a liar by inferring that he deliberately said “no” to the questions regarding drug use.
Mabey said this was not done intentionally.
“There’s no dispute that the answer is wrong but that’s where the contest lies,” he said.
The defended hearing is expected to conclude today.