Rapist jailed for life for campaign of abuse against women in Bishopbriggs

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A violent serial sex attacker has been given a life sentence after raping his first schoolgirl victim as a teenager.

Knife-carrying Gary Gallagher, who began a campaign of abuse against females in Bishopbriggs more than 20 years ago, told the girl to take off her school tie. He then bound her hands with it before subjecting her to rape, despite his victim protesting that she was too young to have sex.

Gallagher (34) was aged 13 and 14 when he first brought fear into a victim’s life through his violence and abuse but persisted in targeting others as an adult.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You have been convicted on 25 charges, involving three victims, which constituted a very serious and sustained course of conduct consisting of physical and sexual violence.”

Lady Scott said: “You have no remorse. You blame your victims and you do not care about the harm you have inflicted. You take no responsibility. You have apparently no wish to change.”

The judge said that Gallagher was only concerned with himself and had been assessed as posing a high risk of re-offending.

Lady Scott imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction on the rapist and warned him he faced imprisonment for an indefinite period.

The judge ordered he must serve at least five years in jail, but told him not to assume he would be automatically released at the end of that period.

She said he would only be freed when it was considered it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public that he be confined in prison.

Lady Scott told Gallagher that she had taken into account that the earliest charges he was convicted on occurred when he was a child and that he suffered from a muscle wasting disease.

The judge said that he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Gallagher, who has previous convictions for violence, began his campaign of abuse and degradation against females in 1995 in Bishopbriggs and continued to offend against victims up until 2012 at flats in the city and houses in Ayrshire.

Three women were raped by him and all were also physically assaulted with some still bearing the scars.

One victim said in a statement that when police contacted her over her earlier involvement with Gallagher that she felt the fear come flooding back to her and had to go to her family doctor for support and medication. She said she had felt she was 14 years old again and “a terrified, tormented young girl”.

Advocate depute Ian Wallace said an earlier trial had heard evidence from victims of Gallagher’s controlling and abusive behaviour.

His first victim described how she was regularly assaulted by the teenager who frequently squeezed her breasts leaving them bruised “all the time”. During one assault she could hear her hair being ripped out.

During one incident he held a knife to her jaw and told her she was his and drew the weapon down to her private parts.

When the 14-year-old girl decided to split with him he came at her “like a bold of lightening” swiping at her with a knife and she was only able to flee after a relative pulled him off her.

Gallagher, also known as Watson, later moved onto another victim who was young and naive but quickly found out that he was controlling and then violent. She was slapped, punched, kicked, stamped on and pulled by the hair.

Following one assault she had to eat throw a straw but told hospital staff that she had fallen and hit her head.

He also brandished a knife at her and repeatedly struck her with the weapon, leaving her with scars. Gallagher also bit the woman and beat her with a roll of wallpaper which she said was like a baseball bat.

Gallagher also savagely attacked her with a piggy bank leaving the woman screaming hysterically. he also raped her on various occasions.

He also attacked and raped a third woman, first assaulting her on her 17th birthday when she remembered being slapped on the face, but could not recall anything after that.

She was also bitten and throttled during assaults by Gallagher and on one occasion he forced a knife inside her mouth and threatened to cut and scar her after she rejected his proposal that they take part in a threesome. Gallagher told her he would “make her smile for the rest of her life”.

Gallagher also raped the victim after biting her on the back of the neck, breaking her skin, and left her bruised following the ordeal.