LONDON, Apr 20 (Reuters) A judge today sentenced British rock singer Pete Doherty to two years' probation and banned him from driving for six months, but the self-confessed cocaine addict was again spared a term in jail.
A tabloid favourite for his on-off affair with supermodel Kate Moss and a public battle with drugs, the 27-year-old was also ordered to undergo an 18 month narcotics rehabilitation programme.
Appearing at Thames Magistrates' Court in London looking dishevelled, Doherty spoke only to confirm his name and address before hearing his sentence from magistrate Jane McIvor. He is due to appear in court again on May 31.
''It's going to be a long and slow process, but you are showing significant signs of compliance and effort,'' McIvor said.
When he left the courtroom, Doherty, wearing a black leather jacket and striped shirt, was met by around 30 photographers before leaving in a taxi.
The sentence related to two arrests in December and January.
On both occasions he was caught in possession of small amounts of illegal drugs including heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.
In February, the Babyshambles lead singer was given a 12-month community service order for seven separate drug-related charges.
Last week he failed to turn up in court for a review of his rehabilitation programme, and after another court appearance in March, he kicked a reporter's microphone.
Media interest in Doherty's affair with Moss reached a climax last year, when she was captured on camera apparently taking large quantities of cocaine in a London studio where he was recording.
Several fashion houses and retailers severed ties with the mother of one, who has since started to rebuild her career.
Speculation over the couple's relationship continues despite reports that they have split up.
REUTERS SHB BST1742