West Sussex child sex offender jailed ‘highlights risks young people face online’

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

The UK’s leading children’s charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has responded to news that a West Sussex child sex offender has been brought to justice.

David Gallichan, a retired teacher, of Haywards Heath Road, Balcombe, was jailed for 18 months when he appeared at Hove Crown Court on September 10.

The 63-year-old admitted 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 he had already been given a suspended sentence three years ago for making and possessing indecent images of children.

Read more here: Retired teacher from Balcombe jailed for child sex offences ‘hid laptop in shed’

The NSPCC said Gallichan being put behind bars ‘highlighted the risks young people face online from predators’.

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A spokesman said: “This case highlights the risks young people face online from predators like Gallichan who use the internet as a smokescreen to abuse and prey on children.

“It is now paramount that legislation is brought in to ensure keeping young people safe on online platforms is a priority for tech companies.”

The NSPCC works to prevent abuse and helps those affected to recover.

Its Wild West Web campaign is calling for the Government to bring its Online Harms White Paper into law as soon as possible and introduce an independent regulator to enforce a legal duty of care on tech companies to keep users safe on their platforms.

The charity handed the petition to Downing Street on July 1.

It was signed by 46,000 people and called for statutory regulation so that social networks have a legal duty of care to protect every child.

The charity said it was calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘act quickly and bring in this important legislation’.

Anyone concerned about an adult engaging inappropriately with a young person online can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.