London UK: Singer George Michael, by his own admission "a 43 year old gay man", narrowly escaped a custodial sentence for DUI at a London court today.
Michael, real name Georgios Panayiotou, faced up to 5 years in prison after admitting being unfit to drive through "prescription medication" last year. The singer, who was found slumped behind the wheel of his car at a traffic light, looked relieved when the judge sentenced him to 100 hours of community service cleaning public toilets in the park at Hampstead Heath near his London home, earlier today.
Sentencing Michael the judge said: "You have been a very silly young man, and as I know you have a lot of friends who make a terrible mess in these facilities, I think it would be appropriate for you to help keep them clean."
Within half an hour of the judgement a local group calling itself "Friends of George" was selling tickets on eBay offering gay men the chance to use the facilities "in private" for half an hour while Michael serves his sentence. 200 tickets were originally listed, but at the last count just 5 remained.
Michael himself, who has often mentioned that he likes to have sex "outside", had no comment for reporters, but one witness later said that he "smiled wryly" as the sentence was handed down.