Pete Doherty freed: what actually happened?

Read the lowdown of why the Babyshambles man walked free yesterday

As reported on NME.COM yesterday (August 21), Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty was released from court, where he had been waiting to answer a charge of breaching bail.

Today (August 22) the Court Records Office has explained to NME.COM the precise reason why he was released before facing charges.

The Office said that the court decided that they had “no jurisdiction” against Doherty.

This was because he had not appeared before the court within 24 hours of being accused of breaching bail conditions. The conditions had been outlined to him on August 7, where his sentencing for previous drug offences had been adjourned.

A condition of Doherty’s bail was that the singer had to remain in an address in Somerset until September 4, which the singer had provided, to keep him away from London.

The bail stated that he was allowed to be in London for the weekend of August 18 and 19 to allow him to travel to and from the V Festival, where he performed with Babyshambles.

However, as police stopped him in the Tower Hamlets area of London at 02.30 GMT on August 20, he was arrested on the charge of breaching this condition.

Court rules state that when arrested for breach of bail, a person must be brought before the court within 24 hours to face the charges. As police failed to bring him in front of a court within the 24-hour time period, District Judge Susan Williams allowed him to go free yesterday. He did not appear before the court in any capacity.

Police have since been criticised for failing to produce him before the court in time.

They were required to bring him before a court before 02.30 on August 21, but brought him to West London Magistrates Court, handcuffed in a police van, at 09.30.

As well as being arrested for breach of bail, Doherty was suspected of drug possession by police when stopped.

He now has to return to Bethnal Green police station on October 31 to answer the charges.

This means that the incident will not affect his sentencing for previous drug charges on September 4, when Judge Davinda Latchlar will decide on his punishment, based on his progress on the drug detox programme he is undertaking.

Judge Latchlar has already stated that she has a “community order or custodial sentence in mind”, but its severity will be based on her judgements after having read a report on Doherty’s detox progress from the doctor overseeing it.

NME.COM will have full coverage of events on September 4 as they happen.

Meanwhile, see the NME Office Blog for a behind-the-scenes report from the court-room yesterday, where NME.COM was waiting in the gallery with Babyshambles members Adam Ficek and Drew McConnell.