Care home worker raped boy, court told

A FORMER schoolboy at a Barnardo’s care home has told a court he suffered three years of abuse at the hands of a residential social worker.

The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims he was abused by Richard Gallacher who now lives in Marina, St Leonards.

Gallacher, 58, is on trial at Maidstone Crown Court where he faces 13 indecent assault charges and to two others involving serious sexual offences.

The offences are alleged by seven boys during the 1980s and 1990s at Knotley Hall near Tonbridge and another home in Croydon.

The court heard the alleged victim was later convicted himself of raping a 15-year-old boy.

Gallacher, he claimed, started working at the school some months after he had arrived there which is when the abuse began.

He described Gallacher as a ‘father figure’.

In an interview filmed in February last year and shown in court he said: “He waited for people to sleep and would then come and get me and take me in the bedroom. He groomed me and touched me up. I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. I was a little boy then.”

Gallacher, he said, was the sort of man who got on with everybody. He said he had felt at ease with Gallacher but that he had undressed him and played around with him. After leaving Barnardo’s he said he burgled Gallacher’s home in south west London and that while he was there he had seen pictures of Gallacher having sex with another boy.

Cross-examined by Kalyani Kaul QC, for Gallacher, he admitted that when he was a child he was ‘a menace’ and that he had escaped from all the children’s homes he had ever been in.

He said that staff at Knotley House knew what was going on but added: “They just didn’t do anything. You don’t forget what a man has done to you, sexually abused and raped you. Rape is what it felt like, what he done to me. Sexual grooming, isn’t it?” The trial continues.