Doherty gets suspended sentence


LONDON -- Singer Pete Doherty escaped jail on Friday despite admitting a string of drug and driving offenses.

Doherty was handed a four-month jail term, suspended for two years, at West London Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to driving illegally while in possession of crack cocaine, heroin, ketamine and cannabis.

He was also told he would be subject to an 18-month supervision order and a 12-month compulsory drug rehabilitation order, which would involve twice-weekly drug tests.

Doherty was disqualified from driving for six months, fined 400 pounds ($821.2) for driving with no insurance, 75 pounds for driving a vehicle without a certificate of roadworthiness, and ordered to pay 100 pounds-worth of prosecution costs.

It was the latest reprieve for the Babyshambles frontman, who has been dogged this year by his failures to comply with court orders.

On Wednesday a court cancelled the last six months of a compulsory supervision order designed to help him kick drugs, after hearing he was making good progress.

On Friday, District Judge Davinder Lachhar told the court she was suspending the sentence for the same reason.

"I think you have made strides and I hope you will continue to do so," she said. "I would hate to see you going backwards."

Outside court, Doherty -- shielding his face with his trademark trilby from dozens of photographers -- was met with cheers from a large group of fans.

Asked if he was pleased with the sentence, he said: "You must be joking." He refused to comment further.

His solicitor Sean Curran earlier told the court that the threat of jail had helped Doherty to tackle his drug problem.

"If the possibility is that the risk of incarceration is the motivating factor in his drug abstinence, then both he and I would submit that we are supportive of that," he said.

Friday's hearing was delayed several hours as the pre-sentence report had not been completed.

Doherty has had an on-off relationship with model Kate Moss, but the couple appear to have finally split for good.