Singer Shannon Noll has been placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to cocaine possession while playing pool at a Sydney pub.
The 43-year-old escaped conviction for prohibited drug possession after magistrate Glenn Walsh placed him on a 12-month good behaviour bond at Sutherland Local Court on Thursday.
Outside court, Noll thanked the magistrate and his lawyer, Bryan Wrench, before telling reporters: "(I'm) just looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back to work."
Noll was caught with 0.53 grams of cocaine at Caringbah Hotel on September 13.
He was playing pool with friends when he saw a drug dog enter the room and moved to a secluded corner before taking a clear bag of white powder from his pocket and dropping it under a table, according to the agreed facts.
The drug drop was seen by police and captured on CCTV and body-worn cameras.
Farmers and celebrities - including Kyle Sandilands - were among those who provided character references for the Australian Idol 2003 runner-up originally from Condobolin.
The magistrate said Noll has experienced "extra-curial" punishment via public scrutiny and financial loss since the charge.
Mr Wrench submitted his client suffers severe clinical depression and has a significant back problem after an injury suffered while competing on the TV show Dancing With The Stars.
He said Noll had two performances cancelled immediately after the drug charge and lost thousands of dollars as a result.
Mr Walsh said Noll's guilty plea indicated remorse and contrition but he will call him back before the court if he breaks his word.
Australian Associated Press