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Actor wins reprieve from jail

Legally embattled Tom Sizemore won a reprieve from jail time on Monday when a judge suspended his 16-month prison sentence and reinstated probation imposed for a drug offence.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2005 18:26 IST
AFP
AFP
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Legally embattled Hollywood actor Tom Sizemore won a reprieve from jail time on Monday when a judge suspended his 16-month prison sentence and reinstated probation imposed for a drug offence.

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paula Adele Mabrey warned the troubled actor that he would find himself behind bars if he flouted the conditions of his probation.

"I have seen remarkable improvement ... I believe that you know what you need to do to stay out of prison, sir, and I believe you can do it," she said.

Judge Mabrey last July revoked Sizemore's probation and confined him to a drug rehabilitation centre for at least two months after he admitted violating probation by attempting to fake a urine drug test by using a prosthetic device.

The probation was imposed following the conviction of the 43-year-old actor -- who has had roles in movies including "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down" -- a year ago for possession of methamphetamines.

Sizemore has been living at a drug treatment facility in the Los Angeles area since July 11, and will continue outpatient treatment there three days a week, said Michael Rovell, one of the actor's attorneys.

"He is licking his problem. It is not an easy problem to overcome, but right now, he is winning the battle," Rovell told reporters outside the courtroom.

Sizemore's lawyer said the prospect of a 16-month state prison term is "quite a potent stick to have hanging over your head."

But Rovell said the sentence "is only meaningful if there's a future problem, and we are very comfortable there won't be any future problems."

Sizemore appeared at Monday's hearing, but left the courtroom after the hearing without comment.

A report recently submitted to the judge indicated that Sizemore has tested negative and complied with the drug treatment program, and he will be required to undergo periodic anti-narcotic testing.

Sizemore is scheduled to make his next court appearance on November 4.

The actor's attorney said his client's new role as a father "adds to the incentive of being sober," but added that he believes Sizemore "realized for himself, realized what he had lost."

"He wants that life back. He knows he has to work hard to do it," Rovell said of Sizemore, who is expected to appear in a new reality series.

Sizemore is free on bail pending his appeal in a separate case, in which he was sentenced to 17 months in jail and four months rehabilitation for domestic violence, criminal threats, vandalism and making obscene and harassing phone calls against ex-girlfriend, former Hollywood madam, Heidi Fleiss.

First Published: Oct 18, 2005 18:26 IST