George Michael has been banned from driving for two years, and will serve one hundred hours of community service (to be carried out over the next twelve months). George has requested the the community service will be to do with music, for example teaching young people to sing.
Emerging from court after receiving his sentence, George spoke to the press on the steps of the court house. He read from a hand-written statement on a small piece of paper, saying:
OK – don’t bother to ask any questions, because, believe me, I’m not going to answer ’em! So, if you just listen to this, as I haven’t had a chance legally to say anything for the last eight months. I would simply ask people to understand that the media coverage of this case has been farcical, concentrating almost entirely on the prosecution’s allegations. In reality, I have been sentenced today on the basis of unfit driving through tiredness and prescription medicines, which I fully accept responsibility for. I am glad to put this behind me, and now I’m off to do the biggest show of my life.
And with that, George jumped in his car and drove off… well, he didn’t drive, obviously…😉
It should be said that the judge took a very serious view of this case, and told George in court at one point today that he was in serious danger of receiving a jail sentence. In fact, at the beginnings of proceedings today, she told a stunned George that her starting point today was that she was planning to sentence him to jail.
It should also be said that it was never established in court whether or not his being unfit to drive was due to tiredness and prescription drugs (as George claims) or due to illegal drugs. In the end, the judge simply sentenced George on the basis of the state of his unfitness at the time of his arrest.
I think it was actually pretty generous of the judge not to dig further into the issue of what was the true cause of George’s condition. She had to put up with a fair amount of bullshit from George’s defence team. For example, in explaining why George was out in his car that night, his lawyer said that George’s DVD player in his Highgate house was broken, and so he decided to drive to his Hampstead house to watch a DVD of his Paris concert; and explaining why a driving ban would be a genuine hardship, he said that it would be difficult for George to use public transport for “security reasons”. Sometimes, you really have to wonder about the quality of the people that George hires – expecting the judge to listen to such total bollocks can lead to only one thing: the judge feeling irritated. Nevertheless, this second lawyer is a lot better than the first one – at least this one navigated George towards a pretty good outcome.
In the end, I guess she figured knowing the answer wouldn’t affect the sentence she handed out – she had already decided this was at the upper end of the seriousness for this offence. This is a great result for George as regards his US tour now going ahead. Expect an announcement on that in days (he might have to get the US Embassy in London to give him the required visa before they can announce the tour).