July 2016

Paisley pervert hoarded 3,000 images and videos of kids being abused


A Paisley internet paedophile who hoarded almost 3,000 images and videos of children as young as three being sexually abused, is facing a prison sentence.

Douglas Gallacher, 28, was snared with the vile cache of extreme child sexual abuse images at his parents’ house at Gallowhill following a tip-off from the police public protection unit

Paisley Sheriff Court was told bespectacled Gallagher had used secretive web software to amass the collection of offensive material on two external hard disks and a laptop computer at his bedroom at the property at Bargarron Drive.

And when police placed him under arrest, in front of his shocked parents and grandmother in the operation last November, the pervert claimed: “I am the one most at risk from downloading stuff like this because I download movies and I don’t what else is coming with it.”

He also lied to officers, claiming: “I have been against child abuse since I was old enough to know what it was.”

Fiscal Keri Marshall told the court a search warrant was granted following intelligence from public protection officers, “which was executed at 8am on November 18, 2015, where the accused was present, so were his parents and his grandmother.”

She said: “The search recovered a Toshiba external hard disk from the accused’s bedroom, a SATA hard disk was found in the same room, and an Acer laptop was recovered from a cupboard.

“A preview examination was carried out at the premises of the equipment and it confirmed the presence of images of young children.

“Officers asked the accused’s father if there was other ownership of the devices.

“He stated his son was the sole owner and user of the equipment.

“No other people at the house had accessed the equipment. The accused was detained and taken to Greenock Police Station where he was interviewed but made ‘no comment’ replies.”

The court was told his computer equipment was sent away for forensic analysis, where the stash of 1,956 still images and 702 “moving images” or movie files was recovered.

And using the Sexual Offences Definitive guidelines, Ms Marshall explained that 413 of the images were ‘Category A’ – the worst possible level, and involved the horrific abuse of children as young as three.

Ms Marshall said: “The Cyber Crime Unit who analysed the equipment confirmed that peer to peer file sharing applications had been installed on the laptop computer and that hard disks had been in contact with these peer to peer file sharing applications.”

Defence agent Paul Lynch asked the court to continue his client’s bail conditions, barring him from using the internet and having contact with children, in preparation for background reports before he is sentenced.

Sheriff Seith Ireland placed the accused on the Sexual Offenders Register for five years and warned him he faces jail when he
returns to court for his punishment.

He said: “There is no doubt that these are serious matters and you should be aware that all options including a custodial sentence are open to the court.

“I will call for criminal justice social work reports in preparation for sentencing and given the nature of these charges, you will be referred to the Pathways Project, involving people convicted of sexual offences.”

He added his five years registration as a sex offender may be extended at his sentencing.

Gallacher was released on special conditions of bail and he will reappear for sentence in September.