Tue 08 May 2007

Pop star George Michael has pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while unfit through drugs, blaming "tiredness and prescribed drugs" for the offence.

The singer, 43, had been ordered to stand trial, but admitted the offence at Brent Magistrates' Court in London.

The Crown Prosecution Service dropped a further charge of being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drugs.

He was arrested in October after police dealt with a car which was obstructing traffic lights in Cricklewood, London.

The former Wham! singer, who wore blue jeans, a black shirt and a black jacket, sat in the wrong seat in the courtroom before District Judge Katherine Marshall told him to take his place in the dock.

Speaking directly to her, he said: "I did something very stupid and I am very ashamed since doing it.

"I'm not used to defending myself in a position where I am ashamed of something.

"I really have been very distressed by this whole thing.

"I am perfectly aware that I did something very wrong and got into my car when I was unfit to drive.

"I was not in my normal physical state and I'm perfectly prepared to accept the correct punishment for that."

Sentencing for the singer was adjourned until 30 May to enable further blood tests to be carried out, although it is not clear whether he will attend on that occasion.

He is due to play the first concert at London's new Wembley Stadium on 9 June as part of his European tour.