21 Apr 2015

Phil Rudd trial due to open

6:46 am on 21 April 2015

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is due to go on trial today in the Tauranga District Court on charges of threatening to kill and possessing drugs.

Phil Rudd leaves the court after breaching his bail conditions by being in the same shop as a witness.

Phil Rudd leaves the court last December after breaching his bail conditions Photo: RNZ / Natalie Mankelow

The 60-year old's million dollar waterfront Tauranga property was raided last November after police said he made a threatening phone call.

According to a police summary of facts, Mr Rudd called a man and threatened to kill him and his daughter in September last year. The man's name is suppressed.

Police raided Mr Rudd's home two months later and said they found 130g of cannabis and 0.71g of methamphetamine.

In the summary, police said Mr Rudd denied making the phone call but admitted possessing a small amount of marijuana.

Mr Rudd had initially faced a charge of attempting to procure a murder which carries a maximum of 10 years in jail.

But the charge was dropped less than 24 hours after the Crown took over the prosecution from the police, due to a lack of evidence.

His lawyers have earlier said they are looking at damages and described the police actions as having the appearance of being inept and irresponsible.

Mr Rudd has been on bail but that has carried conditions, including not contacting the people named in the charges and being banned from two Tauranga streets.

Last December he appeared in court in relation to a breach of those conditions. The court heard Mr Rudd had come into contact with a witness while in a shop.

During that appearance Crown lawyer Greg Hollister-Jones asked for a change to Mr Rudd's bail conditions to include the requirement not to take illicit drugs, which he said could curb some of Mr Rudd's erratic behaviour.

Judge Paul Geoghegan altered the conditions to include an order not to take illicit drugs.

Mr Rudd's band, AC/DC, is due to kick off a world tour next month but have announced that Mr Rudd will not be included.

He was also absent from their appearance at the Grammy awards performance in February.

The Australian-born drummer moved to Tauranga after he was sacked from AC/DC in 1983. He rejoined the band in 1994 but has continued to live in Tauranga where he owns a restaurant.