Langham gets ten months

Downloads showed 'sadistic brutalisation'

Chris Langham has been jailed for ten months for downloading child pornography.

He has spent the last month in custody since being found guilty of 15 charges, some of them relating to the worst level of child abuse, last month.

Langham will serve five months in prison, less those 43 days he has already spent behind bars.

He wept as Maidstone Crown Court handed down the sentence late this afternoon, after hearing pre-sentence reports.

Judge Philip Statman told the comedian: ‘Some of the children viewed are clearly prepubescent, others are fully developed.

‘All have had inflicted on them horrifying sexual abuse and, I want to make this absolutely clear to you, I must first thin of those children. They are too young to consent.’

During his trial he 58-year-old star of The Thick Of It admitted downloading the images and video, but pleaded not guilty as he said he did not want to be branded a paedophile.

He also said the material would help him in research for the BBC Two comedy Help,which he co-wrote with Paul Whitehouse, although his co-star refused to back him up in court.

And he said he was abused as a child himself and wanted to get inside the mind of perpetrators.

Langham was arrested at his Kent home in November 2005. Police said the files on his computer demonstrated the worst levels of abuse and torture of children as young as eight.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham today told BBC News that 15 files was a ‘reasonably low’ number of images, compared to some offenders who would download hundreds of thousands of files.

He added: ‘The worst video was 15 minutes long and it showed in quite graphic detail the sadistic brutalisation of an eight-year-old girl in the UK, with some serious sexual offences against her.’

He was also accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he befriended a decade ago, but was cleared after the jury heard she had a history of making allegations against older men.

Published: 14 Sep 2007

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