Langham freed after appeal over sentence

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The Independent Online

The actor Chris Langham left prison last night after winning a four-month reduction in his sentence, which he got for downloading child pornography, and said: "My life has been ruined but my conscience is clear."

Mr Langham, 58, was sent to prison in September for 10 months after being found guilty of 15 counts of making an indecent photograph of a child.

His second application for a sentence reduction was successful at a hearing before three judges at the Court of Appeal in London. Without the reduction, the comic actor, and star of The Thick of It, was due for release in six weeks' time.

Mr Langham, from Golford, near Cranbrook in Kent, had denied the charges during his initial trial that took place at Maidstone Crown Court.

During the appeal hearing, Mr Langham's counsel, David Whitehouse QC, said a sentence of 10 months on a man of good character was "very tough".

Mr Whitehouse argued that the actor's case was exceptional and that a custodial sentence in his case was "quite wrong in principle". He said Langham was not looking at the images for erotic reasons, but "because he was writing about child abuse with admirable motives".