Doherty to face trial on driving charges

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The Independent Online

Rock singer Pete Doherty was released on £50,000 bail today to await trial charged with dangerous driving after a gig.

The 30-year-old Babyshambles and ex-Libertines singer was bailed after appearing in court charged with driving dangerously, while drunk, and while in possession of heroin.

Kate Moss's former lover was stopped on Wednesday night in Gloucester after officers spotted a car being driven erratically.

He appeared at Stroud Magistrates' Court this morning, accused of being drunk at the wheel of his Mercedes in the small hours of 11 June.

His barrister, Peter Ratcliffe, indicated that Doherty would be pleading not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving.

But Doherty then entered guilty pleas to two offences of drugs possession and to having no licence or insurance, all on 11 June.

Some 0.02oz (0.6g) of heroin, worth around £35, was found in the car, while some 15 wraps of the drug, worth up to £300, were discovered in a search of his country home, Stomey House, in Durley, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

He entered no plea to the drink-driving allegation.

Doherty, wearing a white T-shirt under a dark blue sweatshirt, and with his hair styled in "mod" fashion, also spoke to confirm, his age and address.

His manager, Andrew Boyd, put up the £50,000 surety which will be forfeited if Doherty jumps bail. Mr Boyd watched from the public gallery as magistrates freed Doherty with several conditions.

Chairman of the bench Christopher Weaver explained that those conditions were to live at his home address in Wiltshire and to obey a curfew order from 7pm to 7am. But when gigging, the conditions will not apply, Mr Weaver told him.

He is also not to travel in the front seat of any vehicle and will be fitted with a medical implant "to attempt to prevent drug abuse".

He is forbidden from using illegal susbstances while on bail and must attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings at least once a week.

Mr Weaver added: "We've checked and your schedule permits that."

Magistrates declined to try Doherty and his case will be committed to Crown Court after a short hearing before Cheltenham Magistrates on August 11.

More than a dozen fans were waiting to greet the singer-songwriter outside.

Doherty's arrest came half an hour after he had played to an audience of 300 with an acoustic set at the city's Guildhall.

A 30-year-old London woman, who was arrested in the car with him on suspicion of drug possession, was released without charge.

The pair were found in a car at 12.30am in Derby Road, off Barton Street, after he finished the well-received show.

His latest solo album, Grace/Wastelands, was attributed to Peter Doherty, rather than Pete, which critics saw as a sign of growing maturity.