Snoop Dogg was left with his tail between his legs yesterday after entering a surprise no-contest plea to gun and drug charges which will spare him from serving time in jail.

The US rapper was given a three-year suspended sentence by a Los Angeles court after entering the plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors over charges he faced concerning the sale or transportation of marijuana and the possession of a gun as a convicted felon.

Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, will also be required to carry out 800 hours of community service after agreeing to five year probation, with the 35-year-old star told that he could still face jail if he breaks the terms of his sentence.

As part of the agreement Snoop Dogg will also be barred from employing security guards who have gang affiliations and be required to ensure that any of his staff who carry a gun have an appropriate license.

Commenting after yesterday's hearing Snoop Dogg's lawyer Donald Etra told reporters that his client recognised the "seriousness" of complying with the terms of his sentence.

"He recognises he got a great deal and he fully intends to make sure nothing prohibits him from keeping his part of the bargain," Etra said.

Snoop Dogg landed himself in hot water with the law after police stopped him at an airport near LA in October and found a gun and marijuana in his car, with a second firearm also found following a subsequent search of the rapper's home.

The controversial star has yet to appear in court over separate charges concerning his alleged possession of a deadly weapon.

Police found Snoop Dogg to be carrying a collapsible baton as he passed through security at Orange County's John Wayne Airport last September, but the rapper insists that it was just a prop for one of his videos and has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

12/04/2007 06:44:19