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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Boy George criticised by US judge
Boy George, real name George O'Dowd
Boy George shot to fame in the 1980s with pop group Culture Club
A judge in New York has criticised Boy George for failing to pay the fine or begin the community service he received after falsely reporting a burglary.

Judge Anthony Ferrara ridiculed the star for saying he could hold a make-up workshop as part of his punishment.

A lawyer for the singer - real name George O'Dowd - insisted he was trying to arrange something more worthwhile than sweeping streets in Manhattan.

A further hearing on 26 June will rule if he broke the terms of his sentence.

O'Dowd, who turned 45 on Wednesday, admitted wasting police time over an incident last October.

He had been arrested after police were called to his home in New York.

He received a sentence of five days of community service and a fine of $1,000 (540).

A charge of possessing cocaine was dropped.

Arrest warrant

Judge Ferrara went as far as to issue an arrest warrant for O'Dowd because he did not appear in person to explain why he had refused to begin his community service.

However, he said he would not order an arrest until next week's hearing, giving O'Dowd a further opportunity to attend the court.

He doesn't serve himself well by not paying the fine. We know he has the means
Judge Anthony Ferrara

He also ridiculed the singer's proposals to help teenagers create a public service announcement, stage a fashion and make-up workshop and play a DJ set at a benefit for Aids sufferers.

Lawyer Louis Freeman said O'Dowd hoped to do something other than sweeping pavements.

"There's nothing wrong with that if that's part of his punishment, but it will turn into a media circus, and the press will be following him every day," he said.

The judge said he understood the objection to street cleaning - "it's humiliation," he conceded - but claimed O'Dowd "took a deal that had an element of humiliation".

"I put people in jail who don't pay fines, he said. "Why shouldn't I do that?"

The star - famous for his hits in the 1980s with Culture Club - "doesn't serve himself well by not paying the fine" as "we know he has the means", he added.

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