George Michael in court

George Michael has been warned he faces jail after admitting crashing his Range Rover into a shop while under the influence of cannabis.

The singer, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, also admitted possessing cannabis.

A police patrol found him slumped at the wheel in the early hours of July 4 after he crashed into a branch of Snappy Snaps in Hampstead, north London. The engine was still running and when police roused him he attempted to put it back in gear, Highbury Corner magistrates' court heard. Officers suspected Michael, 47, had taken drugs as he appeared "spaced out", was sweating and had dilated pupils.

He was arrested and taken to Hampstead police station where two cannabis joints were found on him. A blood sample was taken and chemicals linked to cannabis were found in his system. He had not been drinking alcohol. Snappy Snaps' windows were shattered and the shop's yellow wooden panels were cracked during the crash.

District Judge Robin McPhee handed Michael an interim six month driving ban and said he will be sentenced on September 14. He told him: "I make it clear the options in respect of sentence remain open, including the power to imprison.

"It is a serious matter. Your driving was extremely poor and there was an accident. There is also a conviction from three years ago."

Michael was mobbed by more than 40 photographers and cameramen as he arrived at the court in a large black BMW with tinted windows. Police officers battled with the media scrum to clear a path to the court.

Michael has fought a long battle with drugs and is no stranger to the courts. In May 2007, he admitted another charge of driving while unfit through drugs after police found his car obstructing traffic lights in Cricklewood, London. In October 2006, he was convicted of the same charge after he was found collapsed in his Mercedes. He has also been cautioned for drugs possession, questioned over several minor accidents and, famously, fined for "engaging in a lewd act" in a California public toilet.

(c) Sky News 2010

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