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Langham wins early jail release

Story from BBC NEWS, 14/11/2007.


Actor Chris Langham is to be freed from jail after his 10-month prison sentence for downloading child pornography was reduced by the Court of Appeal.

The Bafta award-winner was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court in September after he was convicted on 15 counts of downloading images of children.

Langham was expected to be freed from Elmley Prison, Kent, on Wednesday after the sentence was cut by four months.

At his trial the 58-year-old actor had denied all the charges.

He claimed he viewed the images as research for a paedophile character.

The father-of-five, from Golford, near Cranbrook, Kent, had been due for release early in the New Year, when he would have served about half his sentence.

'Not a paedophile'

The comedy actor is well known for his starring role in the television drama The Thick Of It.

At his trial, he admitted viewing the images but said he was not a paedophile.

He said he was preparing for a role in the TV series Help and trying to make sense of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

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

Langham was arrested in November 2005 when video files of child abuse were found on a computer, a laptop and an external hard disk drive at his home.

His appeal was allowed by Lord Justice Gage, Mr Justice Openshaw and Dame Heather Steel.

An earlier written application for permission to appeal against the sentence was rejected in October.

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