Aussie concert promoter Andrew McManus has left court a free man after pleading guilty to “attempting to pervert the course of justice”.
The 55-year-old, who we have to thank for bringing high-profile acts like KISS, Def Leppard and Live to Australia in the past, confessed to lying to police about a suitcase containing more than $700K cash, which investigators found inside a five-star Sydney hotel room back in 2011.
McManus told Sydney District Court that he’d struck a deal with organised crime figures operating out of Woolloomooloo’s China Doll restaurant, agreeing to tell the cops that the cash was his if the gangsters gave him a $200K loan to fund a Lenny Kravitz tour.
But the promoter reneged on the furphy in court, after police — including the FBI — followed the money to unravel an international drugs syndicate, resulting in the conviction of its US leader, Owen “O-Dog” Hanson, who was slapped with a 20-year jail sentence back in January.
As Fairfax reports, McManus copped to the “perverting the course of justice” charge, which alone carried a maximum penalty of 14 years behind bars. But the judge instead sentenced him to just 20 months with a corrections order, which will now see him serve out the sentence with community work rather than jail time.
During the court case, McManus revealed that he’d been severely depressed at the time of the crime, using a potent cocktail of alcohol, prescription meds and cocaine “just to get through the day”.
“I was looking at the world through the bottom of a vodka glass,” he told the court, admitting to attempting suicide in the midst of his company’s financial woes.
And it seems Judge Mark Williams decided to go soft on the embattled promoter, justifying his decision to let him off with a slap on the wrist with the fact that McManus had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, had shown remorse for his crime and was “unlikely to reoffend”.
Maybe he can use the money he inevitably makes from selling the movie rights to finally fund that Lenny Kravitz tour, eh?