This afternoon, George Michael fans are reeling from the news that the judge has hinted that she may hand out a jail sentence for this offence. If that turns out to be the end result, the reality is that it will have been George’s fault.
Throughout this case, George Michael and his legal team have been pretty obstructive to having this case heard; always claiming he’s far too busy to bother himself with such small details as this. As I said back in January, this kind of tactic is fine if you’re going to be found not guilty in the end. But, if you think you’re going to be found guilty, you need to show some humility to the court at the earliest possible stage… not go in with a last-minute “guilty plea” when you realise you have no defence. And if you do plead guilty, you don’t go on TV immediately afterwards and say you’re not really guilty, if you think there is a chance compelling evidence could be presented at a future date to suggest that there was a cocktail of illegal, uncontrolled, and prescribed drugs in your system.
Do I think George should go to jail for this? No. But given how he and his legal team have handled this whole affair, would I be surprised if he did? That’s a no too.
If I was the judge, here’s what I would think:
- George Michael takes different drugs, several of which could make him fall asleep. These drugs include drugs that are really dangerous.
- This isn’t the first time that George has been found unconscious at the wheel of his car. This wasn’t a one-off.
- George Michael does not understand the seriousness of what he has done
- George has been trying to muddy the waters in this case, to force the court to reach a verdict that isn’t clear on the matter of drugs.
What sentence would I hand out? I would actually give George a three year suspended sentence of six months in jail. That means George would not actually go to jail. However, if he was convicted of any other offence at all during that three years, the original six month jail sentence would come into force.