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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 13:05 GMT
Langham paid price, his wife says
Chris Langham
Langham was jailed on 15 counts of downloading indecent images
The wife of actor Chris Langham says her husband paid "a monumental price" for downloading footage of child abuse.

He spent three months in prison last year after he "tried to look at four images" online, Christine Langham said.

"This is not someone who has hundreds and thousands of them saved into little compartments on the computer."

The couple spoke to the Observer ahead of next week's screening on More4 of an interview with the Thick Of It star by psychologist Pamela Stephenson.

Langham was released on appeal in November, having been given a 10-month sentence in September.

He was convicted of 15 charges of downloading indecent images of children from the internet.

When he was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court, Judge Philip Statman told him the youngsters in question had endured "horrifying sexual abuse".

Police also specifically mentioned a 15-minute video which "showed in quite graphic detail the sadistic brutalisation of an eight-year-old girl in the UK".

'Stupid and arrogant'

Mrs Langham told the Observer she was standing by her husband but acknowledged she and their two children now had "a lot of adjustment to do".

She said she had been "angry" at her husband's actions and at one point she had asked him: "For someone so intelligent, why were you so stupid?"

But she said he was still paying a "monumental price" because the stigma of his conviction remained.

Chris Langham in Help
Langham said he viewed the files as research for TV show Help
The newspaper reported that Langham was not still allowed to have an e-mail address or to own a mobile phone with access to the internet.

Elsewhere in the article, the actor said it was "absolutely clear" to him that he had been in the wrong by downloading the images, and he was "sorry for that".

However, he said he had set out to write about the abuse he suffered as a child and had sought to look at the footage of other victims "to be able to tell their story and experience my own problems with it".

Langham said he had looked only at the opening seconds of four of the 15 files he downloaded, but acknowledged it was "really stupid and arrogant" to believe that was within the law.

Rather embarrassed

After Langham's sentencing, Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham of Kent Police had stressed there was "no excuse for downloading and viewing images of child sex abuse".

These were "a high-quality reproduction of real children in real abusive situations", he said.

And he warned that those who downloaded such footage would continue to be targeted by police as "paedophiles viewing images creates a demand which encourages others to continue abusing and hurting children".

In More4's Shrink Rap, to be shown next Tuesday, Langham speaks about abuse he says he suffered as a child, earlier struggles with addictions and his trial and subsequent prison sentence.

He told the Observer he was now "rather embarrassed" by the interview.

"I did it two days after my release and was very emotional," he added.

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