Pete Doherty gets community order.

Doherty gets community order
8th February 2006

" 'Ere, he's off 'is 'ead!": Pete Doherty

Troubled rock star Pete Doherty was given a 12-month community order today after admitting a series of drug offences.

The 26-year-old Babyshambles front man and former boyfriend of Kate Moss was sentenced at Ealing Magistrates' Court in west London after earlier pleading guilty to seven charges of possessing illegal substances.

The singer was also ordered to take part in a drug rehabilitation programme for 12 months and warned that if he breached this order, he could face a custodial sentence.

Prosecutor Bryony Derbyshire told the court Doherty was stopped by police in Cleveland Road in west London just before midnight on November 30 because he appeared to be driving over the speed limit.

The rocker was behaving in a "nervous and fidgety manner" and told the officers: "If you search my car, I'm f ."

He showed them where they could find heroin and cocaine he had with him in his car, the court heard.

Four days later, Doherty was stopped again in similar circumstances, this time in Millfields Road, Hackney, east London.

Police found small quantities of heroin, morphine, crack cocaine and cannabis in the singer's possession, Ms Derbyshire told magistrates.

The singer was again stopped by officers in Whitechapel Road, east London, on January 26 because he "looked dishevelled and seemed to be staring at the floor", the prosecutor said.

Police found he was carrying a wrap of heroin. Doherty pleaded guilty at three earlier hearings before Ealing and Thames magistrates to seven counts of possessing controlled drugs relating to these incidents, the court heard.

Wearing a black jacket, white shirt open at the neck and a crucifix, Doherty spoke only to confirm his name and address during today's hearing. He appeared bleary-eyed and disorientated and frequently glanced towards the back of the court, where about 20 of his fans were sitting in the public gallery.

'Only a harm to himself'

Sean Curran, representing the singer, told the court Doherty was "only a harm to himself".

He said the singer had been born into a very supportive family, achieved excellent GCSEs and A-Level results and was a "very articulate and intelligent man".

After leaving school, Doherty formed the group The Libertines with two friends and the band went on to sell hundreds of thousands of albums, Mr Curran said.

But it was at this time that he realised he could not control his drug addiction and this led to the break-up of the band, the magistrates heard.

Doherty recently formed Babyshambles and the group released its debut album last year.

Mr Curran said the rock star's fellow band members, his entertainments lawyer and a representative of his record label, Rough Trade, were all in court today to show their support for the singer.

Doherty's lawyer said he had been asked by his client to tell the court that the singer was "happiest when he is playing guitar for others".

He wanted to repay his fans' "loyalty and support" and was upset he had already disappointed people by having to cancel three sold-out concerts while on remand awaiting sentencing.

Mr Curran said: "He is only a harm to himself, and the real shame here would be if he did not receive the treatment he needs.

"The easy option is to pass a custodial sentence because it will punish him in the short term, but it will leave him vulnerable and open to drug abuse."

Passing sentence, chairman of the bench Ann McLaughlin told Doherty if he broke the drug rehabilitation requirement of his community order, he would be brought back before the court.

She added: "The court will then be able to increase the order or it can revoke the order and sentence you in a different way. This could include sending you to prison."

She ordered that Doherty should be tested for drugs each month and told him to return to Thames Magistrates' Court on March 8 for a review of the order.

The chairman also ordered the destruction of all the drugs siezed and told the singer to pay 129 towards the prosecution's costs.

With his band Babyshambles.
Charming bunch aren't they?

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