March 2019

Pervert entered the ‘dark and depraved world’ of child abuse images

A businessman’s descent into the ‘dark and depraved world’ of child abuse images

Damian Gallagher, 50, was caught with more than 350 indecent pictures of children and almost 2,000 extreme pornographic pictures

A lonely man descended into the “dark and depraved world” of child abuse images and extreme pornography after “gorging on” adult porn.

Damian Gallagher, 50, downloaded hundreds of vile pictures of children – some depicting rape – and almost 2,000 extreme porn images.

The one-time successful businessman was in the dock facing a possible prison sentence of up to three years.

But a Teesside Crown Court judge showed him mercy, saying prison could cost him his home and affect his elderly parents.

Cleveland Police officers forced their way into his home and seized devices on April 10 last year.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters said: “Images were recovered across the devices.”

A total of 348 indecent pictures of children – 17 in the most serious category – were discovered, showing children as young as seven.

Officers found 1,887 images of extreme pornography, though only seven of those were in accessible space on the devices.

He had accessed and downloaded the disturbing images between 2011 and 2018.

‘A competent, confident, contributing member of society’
Gallagher, of Falmouth Street, central Middlesbrough, admitted three charges of making indecent pictures of children and one of possessing extreme pornography.

His only previous convictions were for traffic offences.

Judge Deborah Sherwin told Gallagher: “Those images were downloaded over a number of years, a seven-year period.

“It would appear that most of the images had been deleted from the devices and weren’t accessible by you.

“I see from the pre-sentence report, were you to receive an immediate prison sentence you would lose your accommodation.

“And it would also have an impact upon your elderly parents who you offer support to.

“The public at large would be better protected by the sentence being suspended and the Probation Service having the opportunity to do work with you to prevent any kind of repetition of this behaviour.”

Gallagher was given a 10-month jail term suspended for two years with a treatment programme and 25 days’ rehabilitation activity.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both for 10 years.