Libertines man Doherty gets suspended sentence

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The Independent Online

Pete Doherty, former lead singer of the Libertines, was given a four-month suspended jail sentence yesterday for possessing a flick knife.

Pete Doherty, former lead singer of the Libertines, was given a four-month suspended jail sentence yesterday for possessing a flick knife.

The drug-addicted musician was spared prison after a court heard him described as "one of the most gentle, sensitive creatures I have had the pleasure of meeting" by the father of a girl with the debilitating neurological disorder Rett syndrome.

In a letter to the court, Steven Holden Griffiths described how Doherty performed at the bedside of his disabled daughter Bluebell at the family home. The singer agreed to play after meeting the girl's sister while shopping in Oxford Street.

Doherty, 25, protested his innocence at Thames magistrates' court before admitting the possession charge, claiming the blade had been a present for a friend bought in Thailand. The court heard that he was stopped on 18 June by police, who found the knife in his pocket.

District Judge Malcolm Read said custody was the only sentence for such offences but he was suspending it for a year because of "exceptional circumstances" in the singer's life.

Doherty, who was jailed for six months, later reduced to two, last year for burgling the home of a Libertines bandmate, Carl Barat, said: "Justice was done and I am very grateful for all the love."

Doherty has a new band, Babyshambles, while the Libertines' second album, The Libertines, is expected to go to number one this week.