Langham freed after child porn sentence cut

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The Independent Online

Actor Chris Langham today won a four-month cut in his sentence for downloading child pornography - resulting in his release from prison.

The 58-year-old Bafta award-winner, who denied the charges, was sent to prison for 10 months in September 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.

Langham, from Golford, near Cranbrook, Kent, was not present for the hearing.

Without a sentence reduction he would have been due to be released in six weeks time.

It is expected he will now be released later today from Elmley prison in Kent.

Langham's sentence appeal was allowed by Lord Justice Gage, Mr Justice Openshaw and Dame Heather Steel.

Langham denied the charges at Maidstone Crown Court, claiming he viewed the images because he was researching a paedophile character for a television drama.

He said he was also trying to make sense of sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

The jury cleared him of having sex with an under-age girl.

Last month, a judge rejected a written application for permission to appeal against his sentence.

But today, the Court of Appeal reduced his total sentence to one of six months.

Without a sentence cut, Langham would have had to serve five months from the date of sentencing on September 14, less the 43 days he had already spent in custody.

Langham had admitted looking at child porn but pleaded not guilty to the charges against him because, he said, he wanted to make a public declaration that he was not a paedophile.

His defence was that he was conducting research for the BBC television series Help.

The father of five is well known for his starring role in the television drama The Thick Of It.