Chris Langham

The study here in this very angry piece is someone I know online. Thus at request I link.

Really not sure, don\’t know.

54 thoughts on “Chris Langham”

  1. I would have more sympathy with this woman’s comments if the law on storing pictures of child abuse didn’t extend to totally fabricated or even drawn images. While I hold no brief for paedophiles, it concerns me that a principle of a thought crime is being established here. Possibly that’s acceptable for something that most of us find vile and disgusting, but once the principle is established in law, what else might it extend to? That’s my chief concern. Today it’s paedophiles, in a few years it could be libertarians or global warming “deniers”.

  2. “..from the people who count: the broadsheet-reading, media movers and shakers who commission scripts and open doors, the line is softening.”

    Of course it is. He’s so talented.. One of us. He can’t be judged with the scummy proles…

    Sickening..

    “I would have more sympathy with this woman’s comments if the law on storing pictures of child abuse didn’t extend to totally fabricated or even drawn images.”

    Yes, that’s a nonsense. But there’s no indication that Langham was storing these kind of images. It was a while ago, but I think they were of the worst type, and real..?

  3. Fabricated? Not in the case of Langham.

    He had 15 movie clips downloaded in 1999 which he had held on his computer until the investigation started. These images were not drawn or fabricated. They featured real children being abused.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/sep/15/ukcrime.television

    Passing sentence, Judge Philip Statman said the children in the images Langham had accessed had been subjected to “horrifying sexual abuse”. One of the victims was about eight years old, while others were between 11 and 13.

    Judge Statman said: “Some of the children viewed are clearly prepubescent, others are fully developed, some of the children are clearly of Filipino [extraction]. All have had inflicted upon them horrifying sexual abuse and, I want to make this absolutely clear to you, I must think first of those children. They are too young to consent.

    “When one sees their faces, in my judgment, they are vacant and lacking in expression … you never ever see the faces of the perpetrators.

    —–

    Some of these videos included images or rape and sadistic torture.

  4. MarkS makes a very valid point – for example, I recently clicked on a blind link which took me to a site containing some clearly faked images of a well-known teenage film star. I immediately closed the browser. However, technically, I had already committed an offence, because all the images had been cached on my hard drive – therefore I had both “created” and “stored” them.

    Given that the police now routinely trawl the PC of every suspect or witness in any investigation – see Chris Langham and Shannon Matthews’ stepfather – I guess I’d better hope my family aren’t crime victims in the next few weeks.

  5. “Given that the police now routinely trawl the PC of every suspect or witness in any investigation…”

    I very much doubt the police have the technical resources to manage the former, unless there is some other indication they may find what they are looking for (Shannon Matthews stepfather is a good case in point).

    Whether they have the legal ruight to do so with the latter is also open to doubt.

    So I think you worry needlessly, though you raise a good point on the ‘creation’ and ‘storage’ aspect.

  6. Brilliant article – especially the dissection of Langham’s claim to have been abused.
    I have met many male child sex abuse survivors, and his behavior does not match any of them.
    He’s an actor and a paedophile – wake up people.

  7. “He’s an actor and a paedophile – wake up people.”

    Of course he is, and that’s the danger. His disgusting behaviour is shaping the clamour for control of our computers. Once the bureaucrats establish that electronic possession equals guilt, then the door is open for the persecution of any vilified minority. Today paedophiles… tomorrow EU refuseniks, ID Card protestors, global warming deniers. It’s already happening with muslims. Be afraid.

  8. The assumption that possession of certain items on your computer is prima facie evidence that you are guilty as charged.

  9. “The assumption that possession of certain items on your computer is prima facie evidence that you are guilty as charged.”

    These being bomb making manuals, execution videos, flight details, etc…?

    Good!

  10. Good. Yes, absolutely. THe problem is that government’s all suffer from mission creep. What is obviously good today will one day be extended to things that are less good. No one argues that a lower burden of proof in order to lock up paedophiles and muslim extremists seems like a good idea. But once the principle is established it will spread to other things. Innocent until proven guilty; that’s a cornerstone of English law that the EU’s Roman-based law is slowly eroding. That’s fine if you think you can trust your politicians to act in a benign way. I don’t share that view, however.

  11. “…once the principle is established it will spread to other things. Innocent until proven guilty; that’s a cornerstone of English law …”

    While I usually agree whole-heartedly with ‘slippery slope’ arguments, it’s worthwhile bearing in mind that, in the recent case of the so-called ‘Lyrical Terrorist’, she raised concerns not only because of her ‘poetry’ and the items found in her possession, but because of her links with other similarly-inclined people.

  12. That’s fine, but let’s hope no one is surprised when this starts to impact on innocent people, that’s all I’m saying. No one could disagree with the prosecution of paedophiles and terrorists; like motherhood and apple pie, we all support it. But the state doesn’t stop once it has some power and there’s a tendency to abuse. I dare say that the Nazis didn’t start out with the intention of being totally evil, but people tend to get carried away. When something works effectively, they apply it elsewhere, whether it’s appropriate or not.

  13. “But the state doesn’t stop once it has some power and there’s a tendency to abuse.”

    This is certainly true…

  14. Little Black Sambo

    Loathsome as Langham appears to me, having read the article, I still can’t agree that it should be a crime to look at pictures (or is it possessing them that is the crime?). The deeply unpleasant private preoccupations of strange people should not be in themselves a matter for legal investigation. We can see quite clearly where all this is tending, and how we are steadily becoming regarded as offenders until we have been cleared by the authorities. See, for instance, the extraordinary galloping child protection legislation and CRB checks.

  15. “I still can’t agree that it should be a crime to look at pictures (or is it possessing them that is the crime?). “

    Children were abused to provide those pictures for the likes of Langham. So this is hardly a victimless crime.

  16. His viewing the pictures had no causal impact on the children’s abuse, though – that’s like saying “people were enslaved to build those pyramids, so looking at them is hardly a victimless crime”.

  17. [for the avoidance of doubt, no, that doesn’t mean I think child abuse images should be legal – just that people shouldn’t make arguments that are clearly nonsense if you think about them for 10 seconds]

  18. No causal impact on children’s abuse?

    Really?

    Do you really believe that?

    Consider if your daughter was raped repeatedly while tied to a bed. Perhaps she’d get justice and was trying to live with the fallout. Only she finds out that images of her abuse had been distributed worldwide. She is then notified by police every time her image is found on a computer they investigate. Once an image is out on the net, it can never be deleted.

    You don’t think that is re-living that abuse? Knowing that people all over the world are masturbating and getting pleasure from your original abuse?

    It is NOT ok to look at images of child abuse. It fuels demand for images. While there is demand, there will be further demand for abuse.

    You have no idea the volumes that are found. each time an abuser is found to have images, it leads to a ring of people sharing those images, leading to another ring for each of those…etc

    It is like pyramid selling but dealing in child abuse.

    It is important that society understands that enjoying child abuse imagery is not acceptable or excusable. Everyone knows it is illegal. If you choose to download and store from illegal websites, then you must accept the consequences.

    The consequences need to be harsher. The police haven’t got the resources to investigate the volumes. Those who enjoy child abuse images and get their sexual kicks from them pose a possible danger to our community.

    Could you ever say that someone who downloads child abuse images would never abuse a child? Would you take that risk?

  19. She is then notified by police every time her image is found on a computer they investigate.

    That seems like pointlessly traumatising behaviour by the police. Do they really do this? If so, do they also phone the Lawrence family and tell them about it every time some bigot posts on a National Front website that their son had it coming?

    It is NOT ok to look at images of child abuse. It fuels demand for images. While there is demand, there will be further demand for abuse.

    And I never said it was OK. I think you’re making 2 claims here, the first of which is sensible and the second of which is rubbish:

    1) viewing images of child abuse makes people more likely to abuse children than if they’d never viewed them, *as well as* being an indicator that they were more likely than an average member of society to abuse children anyway. this is probably justification enough for banning them, on the same grounds that we ban heroin and rocket launchers.

    2) child abuse images involve a child being abused for the primary purpose of distributing the pictures to the Langhams of the world, rather than for the primary purpose that the abuser is someone who enjoys abusing children

    “Could you ever say that someone who downloads child abuse images would never abuse a child? Would you take that risk?”

    Clearly not, and silly question, respectively.

    People shouldn’t be locked up because we can’t say that they’d never do a thing. For example, on the basis of your posts on this and the other thread, I can’t say that you’d never carry out a Hard Candy-esque vigilante killing on a released sex offender. This doesn’t mean you should be locked up just in case you do….

    Tim adds: ” viewing images of child abuse makes people more likely to abuse children than if they’d never viewed them,”

    That would be an interesting thing to prove though. The research on the consumption of violent pornography indicates that the use of such makes sexual violence itself *less* likely. That’s academic research BTW, not just the observation that rape rates have dropped dramatically as the internet makes porn so readilt available.

    In economic jargon, the porn and the acts themselves are substitutes, not complements.

  20. Re-reading the last post and just in case it’s not clear, my perspective is that possession and distribution of child abuse images should be illegal for the same reason as the possession and distribution of machine guns and heroin: they make people much more likely to do actual, victim-causing crime, and hence are too dangerous to be allowed into circulation.

    I do understand the point about it also exacerbating the victim’s original abuse to have photos permanently circulating – but unless we start locking up everyone who derives entertainment from or gets off on true crime stories, that’s not a sensible grounds to treat the viewers as abusers. It is certainly sensible grounds to treat the actual abuser even more severely if they have distributed photos of the victim than if they have not.

    Finally, I’m more or less convinced, based on reading the evidence, that the point about passive viewers like Langham actually *causing* child abuse – ie the belief that people commit the abuse specificially in order to make the pictures – is utter rubbish. There are some examples of online child abuse rings where children have been abused-to-order, but the difference between that and Langham’s offence is the difference between looking at an Iraqi beheading video, and ordering someone to be beheaded for your amusement.

  21. John – whether the police inform a victim every time their image is found or not, the knowledge that images of their abuse exist, and that they continue to be used for the sexual gratification of strangers, must be deeply traumatic for the survivor. How must it feel to always wonder if, for example, that person looking at you oddly on the train is actually recognising you from some pictures that found on the internet? The fact that people still choose to seek out this material, that they get sexual pleasure from it, without a doubt contributes hugely to the ongoing suffering of the victims.

    And of course, all ths is before you even begin to think about supply and demand. Looking at child pornography is NOT like looking at the pyramids – it has a very real, direct impact on the children involved.

  22. Niki – not sure if you’ve seen my comment at 1624 – but yes, I can see how having photographs distributed makes the abuse worse, and yes, I think that distributing photos of the abuse should increase the severity of the original abuser’s punishment.

    But do you think that people who view images of other degrading physical assaults for their amusement should be locked up, and if not why are the cases different? My view is that there is no difference, that it would be a pretty terrible day for freedom if we criminalised all “prurient viewing of pictures of crimes”, and that therefore it doesn’t make sense to criminalise the possession of child abuse images on those grounds, although it does make sense to criminalise them on the grounds of their potential effects.

    That’s a genuine point by the way – the pyramids one was a flippant response to someone else’s really fatuous question upthread, and I shouldn’t have made it given the sensitive nature of the subject.

  23. “Could you ever say that someone who downloads child abuse images would never abuse a child? Would you take that risk?”

    Well in general I would say no Anna. I couldn’t say that about anyone, period. So why would we say it about someone of a suspicious disposition?

    In fact I can’t that you would never abuse a child. Well, I can’t say that can I? There could be something rather unwholesome about you, of which I know nothing.

    The point is, it is not incumbent upon any of us to prove our innocence.

    And as for conviction in the courts, I would have to be convinced of one over-riding criterion: that the images were downloaded deliberately, with prior knowledge of their content. I have minimal confidence in the ability of the Police and CPS to do that. They are way behind the technology curve. And they have a track record of bringing charges, occasionally against web-savvy people who were able to prove their own innocence.

    Whenever there is a crime committed against a child, we should be bringing the full weight of the law down on the head of the perpetrators. But the burden of proof must always be laid on the prosecution. And we must never submit to the mob mentality, of our aspiring Witchfinders General.

  24. @ Tim: “the research on the consumption of violent pornography indicates that the use of such makes sexual violence itself *less* likely.”

    AIUI, it’s different with child abuse images simply because they normalise the concept for the regular viewer (whereas the concept of sexual violence in adult male/female relationships is already normalised in society so doesn’t make a blind bit of difference). I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist and I haven’t read the latest literature on the subject, though, so I’m not sure whether this has been proven or whether it’s just a generally accepted view.

    @ Monty – just, amen on the “burden of proof” point. Child abusers and terrorists do horrible things, but that doesn’t mean that innocent people accused of child abuse or terrorism should have any less protection than innocent people accused of anything else wrong…

  25. “just that people shouldn’t make arguments that are clearly nonsense if you think about them for 10 seconds”

    Looks like ‘john b’ should have taken his own advice…

    “It is important that society understands that enjoying child abuse imagery is not acceptable or excusable. “

    Precisely.

  26. “I would have to be convinced of one over-riding criterion: that the images were downloaded deliberately, with prior knowledge of their content. I have minimal confidence in the ability of the Police and CPS to do that. They are way behind the technology curve. And they have a track record of bringing charges, occasionally against web-savvy people who were able to prove their own innocence.”

    That’s like saying that because Roy Meadow and David Southall turned out to be raving lunatics seeing child abuse under every rock, there is no point in prosecuting people for child abuse.

    If the regulations and guidelines need to be tightened to prevent this, they should be tightened.

  27. John B

    The second argument which you rubbish, is one that you created and not my words.

    You should consider that images of child abuse are created for many reasons. Firstly the abuser is recording his abuser role for enjoyment later on – to re-live the moment, or he may wish to share his joyous moment with his online community. An abuser with a load of new images is a very popular person indeed. Or they may wish to sell them and enjoyment is secondary.

    You would be surprised but you do not have to pay for child abuse images. A large proportion are free and accessible. This is because there is an active swapping and sharing community with no commercial involvement.

    While you may find it hard to accept that for a victim the idea of people downloading, swapping, sharing and masturbating over a recording of your original abuse is as bad as the original even, it is the case. It imprisons the abused in a victim’s web, where they get on with real life, yet remain trapped as the abused on the net.

    Langham downloaded images of the highest level, of rape and torture. The police work to identify the countries they were taken in and then the children. They see the same images over and over again, showing that once in circulation they stay in circulation.

    Langham is part of the distribution cycle. A cycle in which children are unable to break free of.

    It is the fact that we are dealing with children here, the vulnerable who are not independent, which this such a difficult yet important issues that does deserve harsh consequences.

  28. “That’s like saying that because Roy Meadow and David Southall turned out to be raving lunatics seeing child abuse under every rock, there is no point in prosecuting people for child abuse.”

    No it isn’t.
    I have made a case for reliable evidence, which is axiomatic to the entire criminal justice system.

    We have seen too many deeply flawed prosecutions which were fanned by the flames of fashionable pseudo-technology. (That same hysteria ruined the lives of children who were snatched from their families during the satanic abuse fiasco. )

    We have a pressing need to sort out our act, precisely so that we can bring sound prosecution and defence evidence to bear on these cases. Justice is never served by bias. It must depend on verifiable evidence. And if the CPS are no good at submitting verifiable evidence, maybe they need to be horsewhipped until they get it right.

    But we do not, ever, even the score by allowing the tide of popular sentiment to masquerade as evidence.

  29. But we do not, ever, even the score by allowing the tide of popular sentiment to masquerade as evidence.

    I completely agree with that. Especially in headline cases.

    However, that doesn’t mean I think celebrities with a “talent” should be allowed to carry on as before their conviction.

    Yes he has to make a living, but it doesn’t have to be in the public eye.

  30. “Yes he has to make a living, but it doesn’t have to be in the public eye.”

    Why not? What’s so different from the public eye? How is that any different from him working as a carpenter? Do you see not working in the public eye as some sort of punishment since that’s his stock in trade? Should a plumber caught with child abuse images on his PC be no longer allowed to perform plumbing services?

  31. “But we do not, ever, even the score by allowing the tide of popular sentiment to masquerade as evidence.”

    Agreed. But it was precisely the professional ‘for the chiiilllldrreeeen!’ grievance-mongers that led to the Meadows/Southall fiasco. Not popular sentiment is the sense of ‘Sun readers’. Pressure group sentiment instead.

  32. “What’s so different from the public eye? How is that any different from him working as a carpenter? “

    Who does a plumber influence? Other than his customers…?

    Yet this ghastly pervert is clamoring for a public audience to whine about how unfairly he is treated, and how different he is from other sex offenders.

  33. “However, that doesn’t mean I think celebrities with a “talent” should be allowed to carry on as before their conviction.”

    I agree with you there Anna. There is a serious problem, which I think is most blatantly manifest in the mainstream media, of selective forgiveness. I think of it as the “one of us” syndrome. It is the same mentality that drove Bernard Law to start playing switcheroo with his paedophile priests, and subsequently allowed him to retain his status in the Catholic church after his betrayal of trust was unmasked.

    But this double standard has become only too commonplace in our society. Celebrities have been convicted of murder, manslaughter, drunk driving, drugs, paedophilia, rape, neglect, speeding, assault, and firearms offences. Why should we let them off the hook of public scorn?

    The MSM never let Myra Hindley off the hook did they? ( Not that I would have it any other way, I hated her like stink.)

    But I don’t like seeing offenders “re-habilitated” just because some dork in Fleet Street wants to hang on to her “perils of Amy Winehouse ” mealticket.

    Apparently, common scum sinks to the bottom, but superscum rises to the top.

  34. Langham has repeatedly used the fact that he has a public voice to portray himself as the ‘innocent victim’. As much as anything else, it is the media’s collusion with this that really grates. Especially when you consider that even the stuff he has admitted/been found guilty of is way beyond inappropriate. Or does anyone really belive that a middle aged man taking a 14 year old girl for a weekend sharing a room in a hotel and ‘teaching her to kiss’ is ok?

  35. I don’t think anyone here is supporting Langham. He is, at best, a mediocre talent (except for his portrayal of George Orwell, which I thought masterly) and his behaviour in downloading child porn is really quite sickening. However, the establishment of this summary justice is a worrying development. We are getting perilously close to jailing people for their thoughts or vicarious actions. That makes me uneasy as I know that power-crazed individuals will extend this concept to far more benign practices.

  36. We would not even need to be having this conversation at all, if we had grounds for public confidence that child molesters, and their accessories, would be confined in prison. Would we?

    We need a much more rigorous justice system which tries people on the basis of their conduct. Not their thoughts, fantasies, or dreams.
    What did they do? is the question.

    We must steer clear of this “thoughtcrime” nonsense. Who the hell knows what is going on in someone else’s head?

  37. “Who the hell knows what is going on in someone else’s head?”

    Yes… Gordon Brown, for instance. Someone tell me what’s going on in that head!

  38. John B makes a fair point.

    When we were in Rome on holiday, we looked at all the lovely buildings (esp. Pantheon – highly recommened!) but I drew the line at the Colosseum, that’s a hideous building that was built in order to kill and torture people.

    It’s like rocking up at Auschwitz, looking at the gates and saying “Hmm! Nice wrought ironwork.”

  39. We must steer clear of this “thoughtcrime” nonsense. Who the hell knows what is going on in someone else’s head?

    You’re behind the times. The Lords voted against the strange thoughtcrime that HMG were trying to introduce to make almost all adverse comment on homosexual issues punishable, but in reading the debate I noticed that this little gem seems to have slipped through in front of it. If I have read what their Lordships are saying correctly, it would seem that you are now going to be able to be locked up for having an image of/looking at something that consenting ADULTS do (nothing to do with the child stuff on which this discussion majors) , that is in itself legal to do, and even if the image is of yourself and your partner doing it. Totally weird, especially if you read the whole thing. It makes the overful bin case conviction sound positively sane. Right out of left field, this one.

    The really funny side is that maybe Max Mosley can get the News of the Screws people locked up for having their pictures of him!

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80421-0015.htm

  40. I recall and interview on TV with Jonathan King, who behaved in exactly the same way as Langham. He seemed to think the whole thing was some kind of joke, and made references to his being “an astonishingly good looking and charismatic chap” to explain his sex with 14-year old boys. He came across as somebody who had spent so much time in showbiz that he was entirely divorced from reality, and he inhabited a world where is some kind of higher being who can do whatever he likes to his subjects without consequence. It was sickening.

  41. Or does anyone really belive that a middle aged man taking a 14 year old girl for a weekend sharing a room in a hotel and ‘teaching her to kiss’ is ok?

    Given that that would make him guilty of indecent assault in and of itself, either you’re misstating the facts as admitted by Langham or the prosecutors trying him were inept.

    However, I’m not a fan of “W has been acquitted of X, but he probably did Y, so we’re going to punish him for Z…”

  42. “We would not even need to be having this conversation at all, if we had grounds for public confidence that child molesters, and their accessories, would be confined in prison.”

    Sadly, no. We probably wouldn’t…

  43. John B, I don’t agree with all your points, but you’re clearly a man who understands the way liberty and the rule of law are supposed to work. Respect to you.

    Julia, I sympathise with your attitudes, but I think they’re based more on gut revulsion than dispassionate logic. It’s a subject that’s bound to provoke a strong emotional response. But the preservation of liberty and the values that underpin western civilisation depend on us being able to take a strictly rational approach.

    John’s is the more rational view.

  44. “John’s is the more rational view.”

    *shrugs* It’s also still very much a minority view. A tiny, tiny minority. Mostly confined to ‘Guardian’ readers and social workers.

    So unless you can somehow manage to persuade a majority of the population to ‘love the sex offender’ (not going too well, is it..?), we’ll keep locking them up, persecuting them and shaming them in the media.

  45. Why must it be hate or love? I don’t love sex offenders, they disgust me, but I won’t allow that revulsion to warp my fundamental views on liberty and the rule of law.

  46. “I won’t allow that revulsion to warp my fundamental views on liberty and the rule of law.”

    I haven’t allowed it to warp mine, either. I’ve suggested that, where guidelines need to be tightened, they should be tightened.

  47. I am very wary of the word guidelines. Do you really mean guidelines or do you mean laws? What exactly needs tightening?

  48. “Do you really mean guidelines or do you mean laws? “

    I mean guidelines. Guidelines for where to use the laws…

    Or did you think the police and CPS applied the pure law of the land honestly and without regard to other matters..? 🙂

  49. We do seem to live in a world of guidelines. I suppose that gives everyone more wiggle room. I particularly like the “guidelines” that HMRC uses when importing wine and spirits for personal use from within the EU. In theory you are entitled to import as much as you want for personal use, but there are guidelines. 🙂

  50. As someone convicted of possession of images I am grateful these discussions are going on. Once you have something like this on your record it means an incredibly lonely life of being rejected by friends, employers and never being able to be a good parent. I made a serious error of judgement whilst using file sharing and once i had chosen certain named files but unzipped them, they were not what they said they were. As stated earlier, the CPS is way behind the technology curve. Carelessness can lead to unwanted material that one then tries to delete but the fact of continuing to use file sharing for your mp3 collection etc will show the courts culpability and guilt. They do not understand because there are few tech savvy judges, in my opinion. This needs changing before the rights of more people are stamped on. And those who say that tighter controls are needed i say to you that it is more a case of needing better ones. I have severe restrictions on me because of maintaining my innocence. I cannot be a dad to my beautiful children because someone scrutinises every action as being perverted. I hope somethin changes because this is not a life anymore.

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