Langham launches appeal

Legal bid to cut his ten-month sentence

Chris Langham has launched an appeal against his ten-month sentence for downloading videos of child abuse.

His lawyers have applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge the sentence, handed down by Maidstone Crown Court last month.

At the time, Langham was told he should expect to serve half that, less the 43 days he had already spent in custody while awaiting trial.

The 58-year-old father-of-five was convicted of 15 offences, after police said the indecent images they wound on two computers and a spare hard drive were some of the worst they had seen.

Langham had claimed he was researching a character for the BBC2 comedy Help!, which his co-writer Paul Whitehouse denied any knowledge of, and said he had been abused himself as a child and wanted to ‘look into the eyes’ of the perpetrators.

At the time of his sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, from Kent Police’s public protection crime unit, said: ‘Langham doesn’t like the label, but I am satisfied that he is a paedophile. He was in possession of a 15-minute video with full sound of an eight-year-old girl being sadistically abused.’

It is not yet known on what grounds Langham’s lawyers intend to appeal.

But, despite their legal move, some observers thought the original sentence was actually too lenient. Victims of Crime Trust director Norman Brennan said: ‘This will act as absolutely no deterrent to someone who is obviously a very depraved individual

‘We cannot lose sight of how serious this man's crimes really are, and it is an outrage that he will be out so soon.

‘The Government and judiciary talk about how seriously they will treat these sickening crimes, but yet again they have handed out an unbelievably lenient sentence.’

Published: 3 Oct 2007

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