Rent-boy Jailed for Extorting ?3,000 from Priest

By Victoria Weldon

September 20, 2008

A RENT-BOY who tormented a gay Catholic priest by threatening to expose his sexuality was jailed for three years yesterday.

John Gallagher forced the priest to pay ?3,000 over two years for his silence.

The pair met in a park in Glasgow's West End. Gallagher, 30, began extorting money from the priest, threatening to go to the press if he refused to pay.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, Gallagher, of the Talbot Association, Paisley Road, Glasgow, admitted menacing the priest, threatening to expose him as gay and demanding money from him on various dates between 1 January 2005 and 16 September 2007.

The court heard the priest paid him to perform sex acts on two occasions but regularly spoke to him and gave him money when he was at the park using other prostitutes because he "felt sorry for him".

Prosecutor Judith Hutchinson said: "Around 2005 the accused's attitude towards the complainer changed. It became apparent that the accused was aware that he was a priest, he started to call him 'father'.

"The complainer became worried that his activities would be uncovered and a short time after that the accused began to demand money from him.

"The accused repeatedly threatened to expose the complainer as a practising homosexual and told him that if he didn't give him money he would go to the press."

The cleric carried on giving Gallagher cash when he saw him at the park until July last year. Gallagher followed him in his car and managed to find out where the priest lived.

Over the next few months he appeared there at least once a week to get cash, and forced his way into the house when he was refused.

On 2 September last year, Gallagher turned up at 7.30am and barged his way into the house. He threatened the priest and forced him to write a cheque for ?2,220.

He also demanded his victim write a letter stating that he was gay and used male prostitutes, the court heard.


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