November 2002

Man jailed for rape of boy, aged 10

A man described by police as a “dangerous paedophile” has begun a six-year prison sentence for the “vile and disgusting” rape of a 10-year-old boy.

The family of the victim wept as the jury returned majority guilty verdicts yesterday against Vincent Gallagher after more than nine hours of deliberation.

Gallagher, aged 54, formerly of Gordon Street, Earlsdon, but latterly of Peterborough, was found guilty of two charges of raping the Coventry boy, who is now a teenager. A third charge of rape was dropped by the prosecution and he was found not guilty on three charges of indecently assaulting another boy.

The prosecution at Coventry Crown Court described how Gallagher had befriended the victim, who gave evidence via a video link in the week-long trial.

Sentencing Gallagher, Judge James Pyke told him he had known the boy was “vulnerable” and added, “you encouraged him to become emotionally dependent on you.”

He described the offences, which date to 1999 as “vile and degrading sexual acts.” Gallagher was sentenced to six years for each rape, the sentences to run concurrently.

The court was told Gallagher served a four-month sentence last year after admitting taking indecent photographs of children.

After the case, child protection officer Det Con Terry Morris said: “This case could only have been brought through the courage of witnesses.

“A dangerous, predatory paedophile has been taken off the streets for a number of years.”