Drug-case actor jailed for breaking parole terms

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Robert Downey Jr, Oscar-nominated star of the film Chaplin, was jailed for six months by a court in Malibu, California, for violating his parole terms.

He was sentenced to three years' probation last November on drug and weapons charges. He was arrested in June 1996 after police who stopped him for speeding found cocaine, crack, heroin and a pistol.

A month later he entered a neighbour's home and passed out on a child's bed. Three days later he was arrested for leaving a recovery centre.

Downey's probation was revoked on 17 October, when his counsellor told authorities the actor violated a court order by using drugs and alcohol in September.

In a statement yesterday Downey threw himself on the mercy of the court: "I have no excuses. I find myself defenceless."