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Paul Farrell: Former hospital porter guilty of more than 70 child sex offences

Paul Farrell from Kentish Town carried out a "campaign of sexual abuse" over four decades

12 March, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Paul Farrell

A FORMER Great Ormond Street Hospital porter has been called “extremely calculating and devious” after pleading guilty to more than 70 sexual offences against children.

Paul Farrell, 55, of Kentish Town, has admitted 69 offences relating the abuse of eight children over a 35 year period, the youngest of which was five years old.

He is believed to have carried out at least 500 instances of abuse.

He also pleaded guilty to a further five counts of possessing indecent images and extreme pornographic material of children.

His crimes include multiple counts of indecency with a child, indecent assault, sexual assault of a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child, attempted rape and possessing indecent images.

One of the leading investigators on the case Detective Superintendent Dave Courcha said: “Given the predatory nature of his offending over an extremely long period of time, there is a very real possibility that Farrell has abused other children.”

Any victims are urged to contact the police, and the NSPCC has set up a helpline for dedicated to the case.

Farrell appeared at Wood Green Crown Court today (Friday) where 25 other charges were left on file.

The court heard that in November 2019, an allegation of non-recent child abuse committed against two boys at an address in north London in the mid-1980s was reported to police.


Farrell worked at the world-renowned children’s hospital Great Ormond Street

Officers from the Central North safeguarding team visited Farrell at his work address and arrested him on suspicion of historic child abuse.

A search of Farrell’s home address in 2020 discovered a safe in his bedroom which contained numerous indecent DVDs and photographs of children. A number of devices were also seized from his home, and Farrell was released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.

The devices were analysed, and indecent images of children were found. These were graded A – depicting the most serious child abuse – to C.

Upon returning from bail in May 2020, Farrell was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images. More indecent images and extreme pornography were later be found, and further charges brought.

Meanwhile, text messages were retrieved from his mobile phone which led to enquiries being made about other young victims who may have been abused.

Six further victims were identified, and they disclosed that they were sexually abused by Farrell at different periods in the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s with the most recent offences in June 2020 while he was on bail.

In each case, Farrell was a lodger, or babysat at the homes of his victim’s families, and befriended the parents before abusing the children. The victims were aged between five and 15 when they were abused, at different addresses in London.

Two victims told police that Farrell had taken them to his place of work – Great Ormond Street Hospital – for a visit and abused them there. None of the victims reported being abused as patients at the hospital.

Detective Sergeant Jules Manock, from the Central North safeguarding team who led the investigation, said: “The survivors who have come forward have shown incredible bravery and I hope now that Farrell’s guilty pleas can offer them some closure after years of suffering in silence.

“The accounts they gave to police of the abuse they suffered at the hand of Paul Farrell, and how their childhoods were stolen from them, were nothing short of harrowing, and today’s result means a predatory paedophile is now in custody where he can’t harm any more children.”

Detective Superintendent Dave Courcha, from the Central North area, said: “Farrell was extremely calculating and devious in his targeting of children – he lodged at the homes of accommodating families and won their trust, only to abuse their children under their noses over a prolonged period.

“Most of the victims lived with the trauma of what they were subjected to for decades, with two victims waiting more than 30 years before feeling ready to come forward to police.

“I would like to acknowledge the courage of each of the survivors in giving statements and reliving the horrors they went through to ensure that Farrell could be brought to justice.”

Jane Ndeti, from the CPS’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit, said: “Paul Farrell carried out an appalling campaign of sexual abuse against eight young children over a period of 35 years.

“He was a prolific sex attacker who presented himself as a loving family man with a stable job in London’s biggest children’s hospital for nearly three decades.

“Sexual offences against children are abhorrent crimes. These guilty pleas mean that Farrell’s victims will now be spared the ordeal of giving evidence in court.”

In a statement today, a spokesperson for the Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with all the victims of this horrendous abuse.

Paul Farrell has admitted to a catalogue of truly awful crimes and we are deeply sorry that he was able to abuse his position and use our hospital to commit some of his offences. His actions are in direct contrast to everything we stand for as a children’s hospital.

“We regularly review our safeguarding processes to ensure they are in line with national guidance and strive for best practice. We will continue to work with the police to understand more about his crimes and consider whether there is anything more we can do to prevent cases like this.

“We know that the crimes he committed and his association with the hospital may cause alarm and distress among our patients, their families and our wider hospital community. We would like to reiterate what has been said in court; that Paul Farrell did not target children at GOSH.

“We urge anyone who has concerns about this case to call the helpline that we have set up with the NSPCC on 0800 101 996.”

Farrell will be sentenced on May 28 at Wood Green Crown Court.

Anyone who has either been a victim of Paul Farrell’s offending, or who has concerns about Farrell’s offending should call a helpline set up by the NSPCC for this case – 0800 101 996, or email help@nspcc.org.uk. Any allegations of crime will be passed to police and reviewed.

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