HMA v Gary Gallagher aka Watson

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 20 July 2016, Lady Scott imposed an order for lifelong restriction on Gary Gallagher with a punishment part of five years after the accused was convicted of rape and physical and sexual assaults against three female partners.

On sentencing, Lady Scott made the following statement in court:

“Gary Gallagher, you have been convicted of 25 charges involving three victims which constitutes a very serious and sustained course of conduct consisting of physical and sexual violence against your female partners. I treat the further assault conviction against another victim in charge 67 separately.

The course of conduct in these charges is sustained over a period between 1995 to 2012 and includes numerous assaults, two assaults to severe injury and danger to life; four assaults to severe injury and permanent disfigurement; one assault to injury and permanent disfigurement; two assaults to severe injury; one indecent assault and three rapes. Your violence included the use of a knife on at least five occasions and biting your victims on a number of occasions.

One victim gave evidence of being raped on numerous occasions. It did not matter if your victim was pregnant or the violence was in the presence of a child. Throughout these relationships you controlled dominated and violently abused your victims.

You have two previous convictions for assault to severe injury permanent disfigurement and danger to life and assault to severe in jury.

I have taken into account what your solicitor advocate has said on your behalf and the letters of support submitted by family members. I take into account your difficulties you report from your childhood and the negative influence of your family and the difficulties you face rom the muscle wasting disease which have struggled with from a young age. 

I recognise you self-harm and have low self-esteem and will need assistance in prison if you accept it. I take into account that at the time of some of these early charges you were a child.

Whilst I accept that you have had a period without offending since 2012, it is clear from the risk assessment report your propensity to violence and attitude to your conduct has not diminished.

I do not consider the fact that you tendered pleas to some charges at the end of the evidence is of any significant value. Beyond this there is no mitigation present.

You have no remorse. You blame your victims and do not care about the harm you have inflicted. You take no responsibility.

You have no wish to change and you have consistently refused to engage with the support offered to help you address your conduct. You lack any insight or self-awareness and you are only concerned with yourself.

All of these features have existed since you were very young and they considerably underline the potential danger you pose to women and the public generally.

All of those involved in investigating your mental health over many years, since you were three years of age, have concluded you do not have a mental illness and the psychiatric consensus is you have a borderline anti-social and personality disorder.

The detailed risk assessment report which I have considered, assesses you as presenting a high risk of re-offending against women with sexual and physical violence and against men with physical violence.

I am satisfied, on the basis of the offences of which you have been convicted and the risk assessment report, that the risk criteria are met in your case.

I therefore make an order for lifelong restriction in respect of you on all charges of which you were convicted, except charge 67, on which you are admonished. That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period.

I must also fix the punishment part of your sentence, which is the period which you must spend, in full in prison before you can apply to the Parole Board for Scotland to be released on licence. I consider that the appropriate period under section 2A(1)(a) of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 is 10 years, which, in terms of section 2B of that Act, results in a punishment part of five years.

You must not assume that you will automatically be released at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is considered no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison.

Your sentence will run from 14th May 2015.

As a result of that sentence you now become subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”