Sat, 07 Dec 2019
A 92-year-old child rapist died of natural causes in custody, an inquest has heard.
Former nurse Terrence Galligan, who lived at Argyle Road, Newbury, was just weeks into a 12-year sentence.
He presented himself as a “harmless old buffer” when he was, in truth, a dangerous, predatory paedophile.
In March, he was convicted at Reading Crown Court of sexually abusing his victims and downloading child sex abuse images “on an almost industrial scale”, according to prosecutors.
As well as raping a young girl in the 1970s, Galligan would trawl round local village jumble sales where, in 2012, he groomed a nine-year-old, before sexually assaulting her and taking indecent photos of her.
Galligan would have been aged 104 years by the time he was released from Bullingdon prison, had he served his full term.
But at his inquest in Oxford, where HMP Bullingdon is situated, it was said that he spent the majority of his jail time in the prison health care unit and had long stints in the local John Radcliffe Hospital.
Consultant physician James Price told the inquest, held on Thursday: “It quickly became clear he was dying so the focus shifted to end-of-life care.”
Prison officer Nigel Mason, who guarded Galligan, told the inquest: “I found he had limited contact with other prisoners due to his age.
“On June 10, when I started my shift at the hospital, Terence Galligan had not been well for some time.
“I knew him from the health care unit at Bullingdon – he had breathing and coughing problems.
“I noticed his breathing was hard and short and then it stopped.
“I called a nurse and the nurse said he was gone, but we had to wait for a doctor to pronounce him deceased.”
The pensioner did not receive CPR compressions as he was registered as ‘do not resuscitate’.
Dr Zaamin Hussain declared him dead at 9.15am.
Senior Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said: “I am satisfied there were no concerns in relation to the care he received.
“It was equivalent to what he would have received in the community.
“He was a very elderly man with a number of medical conditions. This was a natural cause for death.
“The medical cause of death was bronchial pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis.”
Galligan was arrested on September 19, 2017, and subsequently charged in June last year.
At his trial he denied all nine charges against him, forcing victims to attend court and give evidence in person.
He was convicted unanimously by the jury following the nine-day hearing.