George Michael moving to open prison

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The Independent Online

Jailed pop star George Michael will be transferred to an open prison next week, a source said tonight.

The 47-year-old, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, was jailed on Tuesday for eight weeks after crashing his Range Rover while high on cannabis.

Michael, who was taken to Pentonville Prison in north London, will be downgraded from a category C prisoner to category D and transferred to an open prison, a source said.

It is understood the move will take place next week.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Prisoners are regularly transferred within the prison estate according to their needs and individual circumstances."

Michael was found slumped at the wheel of a car after it smashed into a branch of photo store Snappy Snaps in north London in July.

The singer, who had a previous conviction for the same offence, was told by District Judge John Perkins there was no option but jail.

The former Wham! star admitted driving while unfit through drugs and possessing two cannabis cigarettes when he appeared at London's Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court last month.

Earlier today, a bail application on his behalf was cancelled.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the singer were due to apply for bail before a judge at Blackfriars Crown Court.

But a court spokeswoman said: "The bail application has been abandoned."

Mukul Chawla QC, who represented Michael on Tuesday, said he did not wish to talk to the Press.