Doherty's Get-Out-of-Jail Card Still Working

Judge adjourns troubled rocker's drug sentencing, gives Doherty one month to clean up or face prison

By Gina Serpe Aug 07, 2007 4:54 PMTags

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Pete Doherty may be going to prison on a litany of drug charges...or not.

A London judge is once again giving the arrest-prone rocker the benefit of the doubt, postponing his sentencing on drug charges for one month to better assess the progress of the Babyshambles frontman.

District Judge Davinder Lachlar issued a now familiar ultimatum to the 28-year-old, telling him that if sufficient progress has not been made to sober up, he will be put behind bars.

"What I have in mind is to adjourn this matter for four weeks to assess his motivation," Lachlar said in court. "What I have in mind is a community order or prison...if he does not show his motivation, it's prison—simple as that."

Doherty, who was accompanied to the hearing by his mother, Jackie, pleaded guilty last month to two charges of driving illegally while in possession of a crack cocaine, heroin, ketamine and cannabis. London police found the narcotics motherlode in Doherty's possession after his car was stopped by officers on May 5.

At the July hearing, Lachlar told Doherty he must undergo detox or be faced with jail and set today's hearing to determine whether the rocker had taken advantage of any of the court-approved programs. When asked, Doherty volunteered to show the court the positioning of an implant that was recently inserted in his stomach, designed to prevent opiates from entering his bloodstream.

The implant lasts 12 months before it needs to be replaced.

Doherty's attorney, Sean Curran, did his part to bolster his client's case, saying he "presents himself certainly looking a lot better today" than he did in court appearances past.

Lachlar, however, was less than impressed with the surgical fix, saying Doherty waited until well after the last hearing before getting the implant.

"I see that he didn't actually do the detox until the end of the month," she said, adding that drug tests of Doherty's system have come out positive for illegal substances despite the implant. "It's early days, to put it mildly."

Lachlar opted not to impose a fine on Doherty, though she may still choose to do so at the next hearing, claiming it was too early to properly gauge the results of the rocker's detox program and determine whether he was genuinely attempting to adhere to the court-ordered course.

She requested updates on Doherty's progress from now until his Sept. 4 hearing and allowed him to remain free on conditional bail.