Judge jails George Michael for eight weeks

Judge jails George Michael for eight weeks

Pop star George Michael was jailed for eight weeks today after he admitted crashing his Range Rover while under the influence of cannabis.

The 47-year-old star, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, was found slumped at the wheel of his car after it ploughed into a branch of Snappy Snaps.

Police who banged on the window to rouse him suspected he was under the influence of something after they found him “spaced out” and with no memory of what had happened.

The Wham! star was found to be carrying two cannabis cigarettes and tests on a sample of his blood showed he had chemicals linked to the drug in his system.

Michael, who has a previous conviction for the same offence, admitted driving while unfit through drugs and possessing two cannabis cigarettes when he appeared at London’s Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court last month.

He was jailed today when he appeared at the same court for sentencing.

Michael sighed as District Judge John Perkins sentenced him.

He was told he would serve four weeks in prison and spend the remainder on licence.

Michael was also banned from driving for five years and was ordered to pay a £1,250 fine, £100 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

One fan sobbed in the public gallery as he was taken towards the cells by security guards.

The court heard Michael was also convicted of driving while unfit through drugs after he was found collapsed in his Mercedes in October 2006.

He was banned from driving for two years and sentenced to 100 hours of community service, to be carried out within 12 months, when he was sentenced for that offence in June 2007 at Brent Magistrates’ Court, north London.

District Judge Perkins told him today he had taken a “dangerous and unpredictable mix” of prescription drugs and cannabis.

Michael’s jail sentence is the culmination of a long line of clashes with the law for the singer, who has been open about his use of cannabis and has claimed in the past that he was trying to cut down.

He has been cautioned for drugs possession, questioned over several minor accidents and, famously, fined for “engaging in a lewd act” in a California public toilet.

In the latest incident Michael was held in Hampstead, north west London, in the early hours of July 4.

He was arrested shortly before 4am when two police officers found him apparently unconscious in his grey Range Rover in Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead.

He appeared to try to get the car back in gear when he was roused by one officer banging on his window.

When he got out of the car the officers found he was soaked with sweat, breathing heavily and had to be held up.

When told he had crashed into a shop, added: “No I didn’t. I didn’t crash into anything.”

Michael was handcuffed, arrested and driven back to Hampstead police station where he failed a test to find whether he was fit to drive. He had not been drinking.

Michael admitted smoking a “small quantity” of cannabis about 10pm the previous evening and said he also took a newly-prescribed sedative to help him sleep.

He told police he decided to drive between his homes in Highgate and Hampstead to meet a friend on the spur of the moment and forgot he had taken the sedative.

As the pop star arrived at the court today, fans screamed his name and tried to break through a barrier of police officers.

Michael, wearing a charcoal suit with a black tie, was escorted from a black car with tinted windows by four private security personnel.

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