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NewsMusic NewsSilverchair’s Daniel Johns pleads guilty to drink-driving, could face prison

Johns entered rehab following the incident for “self-medicating with alcohol to deal with my PTSD, anxiety and depression”

By Will Richards

Daniel Johns
Daniel Johns. CREDIT: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns could face jail-time after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Last month, it was revealed that the 42-year-old Johns had entered rehab after being charged with high-range drink-driving after a collision with a vehicle in the Australian New South Wales Hunter region.

Johns was absent from the court hearing earlier today (April 11) in the Hunter region, with his lawyer entering a guilty plea on his behalf.

As The Guardian report, Johns’ lawyer Bryan Wrench asked magistrate Ian Cheetham to hand down sentencing immediately due to the mental toll the trial may take on Johns, but Cheetham told the local court in Raymond Terrace that the offence was too serious in nature for this to be a possibility – and that Johns may face a prison sentence.

The case has now been adjourned until June 22. “His main focus is his mental health,” lawyer Wrench told the court of Johns.

Silverchair performing in 2006. Credit: John Stanton/WireImage
Silverchair performing in 2006. Credit: John Stanton/WireImage

A police report cited by The Sydney Morning Herald at the time of Johns’ charging said that the singer had been driving an SUV northbound on the Pacific Highway when his car allegedly collided with another vehicle travelling southbound.

A roadside breathaliser test conducted by attending paramedics allegedly returned a positive result. New South Wales Police said: “[Johns] was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace police station where he underwent a secondary breath analysis which returned an alleged reading of 0.157.”

In an Instagram from the time of the incident, Johns began addressed his ongoing management of his mental health. “As you know, my mental health is a work in progress. I have good days and bad days but it’s something I always have to manage.”

Johns said that over that week, he began to experience panic attacks. He continued: “Last night I got lost while driving and I was in an accident. I am OK, everyone is OK.”

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A post shared by Daniel Johns (@danieljohnshq)

Besides being in therapy, Johns said that he has “been self-medicating with alcohol to deal with my PTSD, anxiety and depression”.

He added: “I know this is not sustainable or healthy.”

Johns concluded in his post: “I have to step back now as I’m self admitting to a rehabilitation centre and I don’t know how long I’ll be there. Appreciate your love and support as always.”

The artist was vocal his mental health struggles in the Spotify podcast Who Is Daniel Johns? in which he opened up about his battles with anxiety disorders, depression and anorexia.

News of his accident came just a day after he announced a new philanthropic endeavour, FutureNeverFund, which aims to help “people and animals who would never have a future if not for some financial intervention”.

His second solo album ‘FutureNever‘ is due for release on April 22.

For help and advice on mental health:

  • ‘Am I depressed?‘ – Help and advice on mental health and what to do next

  • Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians

  • Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues

  • YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing

  • CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men

  • Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination

  • The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day

  • Related Topics
  • Daniel Johns
  • Rock
  • Silverchair

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