Wham! singer headed for the slammer

LONDONGeorge Michael was sentenced to eight weeks in
jail and lost his license for five years for driving under the influence of
drugs when he crashed his car into a London photo shop.

A
British judge told the wayward star his addiction to marijuana put him and the
public at risk.

The
former Wham! singer pleaded guilty last month to driving under the influence
and possession of cannabis following a 4 July 
collision between his Range Rover and a Snappy Snaps store in north
London.

District
Judge John Perkins told the singer he had taken a “dangerous and
unpredictable mix” of prescription drugs and marijuana.

“It
does not appear that you took proper steps to deal with what is clearly an
addiction to cannabis,” the judge said. “That’s a mistake which puts
you and, on this occasion, the public at risk.”

Perkins
sentenced Michael to the prison time and a $1,930 fine during a hearing at
Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

The
judge said Michael would have to serve four weeks of the sentence in prison and
the rest on parole.

Michael
arrived at court in a chauffeur-driven car, surrounded by four security guards
and greeted by a large crowd of fans and photographers. He left with court
guards who led him from the courtroom toward the cells, as one person in the
public gallery sobbed.

According
to police, Michael appeared “spaced out” when they found him sitting
in the car, whose engine was still running, in the wee hours of 4 July. He
acknowledged smoking marijuana and taking a prescription sedative, prosecutors
said.

It
was the latest in a string of automotive and drug-related mishaps for the
47-year-old star, who has often spoken of his fondness for marijuana.

In
February 2006, he was found slumped at the wheel of his car at London’s busy Hyde Park Corner. That April, he hit three
parked cars while trying to manoeuvre out of a parking space, and admitted
being “a terrible driver.”

In
October 2006, he was found slumped over the wheel of his car as it blocked an
intersection. He pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs and was
sentenced to community service.

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