Arrested again: are police harassing Pete Doherty?

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Long-suffering fans of Pete Doherty and his band Babyshambles face more disappointment tonight as the singer prepares to spend the weekend in prison.

A judge ruled that the 26-year-old former boyfriend of Kate Moss would have to remain in custody after his latest arrest on drugs charges. His management immediately cancelled gigs planned for Bristol and London this weekend. In less than three months, Mr Doherty has been stopped or arrested at least 10 times, prompting allegations of police harassment.

Representatives of Mr Doherty's record company, Rough Trade, say they have lost count of the number of times he has been in trouble with the law. "Anyone looking at this from the outside must be under the impression that this is police harassment," said a Rough Trade spokesman. "It's happened far too many times for it to be anything else."

District Judge Stephen Dawson, sitting at Thames magistrates' court, told Mr Doherty: "I'm sorry if my order will affect your fans and people who go to your concerts."

Prosecutors told the court that plain clothes police officers stopped him on Thursday because he looked suspicious and because he was a known drug user. They found a wrap of white powder in his pockets, the court heard. Mr Doherty is said to have told the officers before they arrested him: "It was in my pocket from earlier. I didn't even know it was there. Please, officers, don't do this. I've got a gig tonight, cut me a break."

The singer is due to appear on 8 February at Ealing magistrates' court for sentence. He also faces charges of possessing drugs. A spokesman for Mr Doherty said all tickets would be refunded in full and that they would try to rearrange the gigs after 8 February.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "He keeps coming to the attention of the police because he keeps committing offences. We have to do our job and that may also mean following up allegations."

Mr Doherty formed Babyshambles after being sacked from his previous band, the Libertines, over his heroin addiction.

Babyshambles' debut album, Down In Albion, hit the top 10 in November, but the band have become almost as famous for cancelling gigs as they are for Mr Doherty's drug problems. They were sacked from Oasis's 2005 UK tour for failing to turn up.

Arresting times

* 2 OCTOBER

Arrested at Babyshambles gig in Shrewsbury.

* 30 NOVEMBER

Arrested for possessing class A drugs.

* 18 DECEMBER

Arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Ordered to appear in court on 2 February.

* 11 JANUARY

Pleaded guilty at Ealing magistrates' court to possessing heroin and cocaine on 30 November.

* 26 JANUARY

Arrested as he drove through east London at 5.40am. Charged with possession of heroin.

Bailed - and then stopped again by police. Charged on suspicion of being in possession of class A drugs.

* 27 JANUARY

Pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and remanded in custody until 8 February.

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