Retired teacher from Balcombe jailed for child sex offences ‘hid laptop in shed’

David Gallichan. Picture: Sussex Police
David Gallichan. Picture: Sussex Police

A retired teacher from Balcombe has been handed an 18-month prison sentence for online child sex offences, police said.

David Gallichan, 63, of Haywards Heath Road, Balcombe, appeared at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday, September 10, said police, after admitting at a previous hearing that he attempted to communicate with a young girl online, and two offences of failing to disclose holding a computer and using the computer without monitoring software.

Police said the 63-year-old had already been given a suspended sentence three years ago for making and possessing indecent images of children.

In 2016, he was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) prohibiting him from keeping computers without software to allow the police to monitor his activities, said a Sussex Police spokesman.

But Gallichan continued to use a laptop which he had hidden in a shed, said police, on which he discussed fantasies of sexual abuse with other adults and spoke to teenagers online.

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PC Louise Giles said: “Gallichan still attempted to speak with teenagers online even after his previous conviction.

“He kept a laptop without telling us, which did not have the necessary monitoring software installed.

“He expressed his fantasies about nudist camps with teenage boys, setting up profiles and characters for several years to engage with adults and young people in sexual conversations online.

“He imagined being a daughter or stepdaughter and would pretend to be people to get them to talk with him sexually.

“When we found about this, as a result of proactive police checks, we got a warrant and searched Gallichan’s home. He then admitted that he had hidden a laptop in an outdoor shed.

“There is no evidence that he had actually managed to engage in sexual activity with others, direct or online, but clearly Gallichan is a menace who seeks to exploit and manipulate others of all ages and draw them into his sexual fantasy world.”