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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 17:15 GMT
Boy George cocaine charge dropped
Boy George
The former Culture Club singer has also worked as a DJ
Singer Boy George has had a charge of possessing cocaine dropped by a New York court.

He admitted wasting police time over an incident last October and was sentenced to five days of community service and fined $1,000 (575).

The singer, whose real name is George O'Dowd, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to falsely reporting a burglary at a brief hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The singer was ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation programme.

The 44-year-old, who made his name as the front man of 1980s pop band Culture Club, attended the hearing.

Judge Anthony Ferrarar warned the defendant that he would have a criminal record which "never goes away".

The judge said to Mr O'Dowd: "You are admitting to me the following ... you called the police, you summoned them to your apartment by dialling 911 and reported that your apartment had been burglarised when in fact you knew your apartment had not been burglarised."

Police call

The singer must also pay court costs of $160 dollars (91).

He is expected to leave New York on Wednesday, returning to the UK to attend Clouds rehabilitation centre in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

In a statement released after the hearing, Mr O'Dowd said: "I am relieved and happy that this case has been disposed of.

"I love New York and I'm looking forward to coming back and working in the States later this year."

He had maintained his innocence on the drug charges, which could have seen him sentenced to five and a half years in prison if convicted.

Mr O'Dowd was arrested after police were called to his Manhattan apartment.

Speaking after a hearing last month, Mr O'Dowd's lawyer Lou Freeman said his client had hosted a party and did not know who owned the drug.

Mr O'Dowd was charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance after his arrest.

See Boy George leaving court in New York

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