Shannon Noll first caused a stir in 2003 when he was crowned runner-up of the first Australian Idol competition.
Now, he’s making headlines for a very different reason.
The Aussie singer appeared in Sutherland Local Court on Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to cocaine possession after he was arrested with half a gram of the substance at a hotel last month.
In New South Wales, the offence carries a maximum two-year imprisonment term.
His lawyer Bryan Wrench, entered the guilty plea in court as Noll sat outside.
Later on, the What About Me star was handed a one-year good behaviour bond by Magistrate Glenn Walsh. He noted that several good character references had been provided.
Radio star Kyle Sandilands (who recently admitted to struggling with his own cocaine addiction for many years) was among those who cited Noll as a “great man,” helping him to escape conviction.
The court heard that Noll is currently suffering from severe depression.
“He’s never really gotten over the death of his father,” Magistrate Walsh said, adding that a “conviction would be most adverse to him.”
When swanked by reporters outside court, Noll said he was looking forward to putting the whole thing behind him and “getting back to work.”
Magistrate Walsh said that Noll’s celebrity status had nothing to do with his lenient sentence.
“Frankly, his status as a singer has little to do with this case.”