Ex-Great Ormond Street Hospital porter admits 500 child sex offences over 35 years

A former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter has admitted abusing eight children hundreds of times over a 35-year span.

Paedophile Paul Farrell, 55, pleaded guilty to 69 sexual offence charges involving eight victims between 1985 and 2020.

The youngest child the “prolific sex attacker” abused was believed to be only five-years-old in the 1980s.

The charges include indecency with a child, causing a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, indecent assault, attempted rape and possessing indecent images.

They do not relate to any patients at the hospital at the time.

“Extremely calculating” and “devious” Farrell, from Camden, north London, was arrested in January last year after his victims came forward and spoke to police, Wood Green Crown Court heard as he appeared on Friday.

Some 25 counts have been left to lie on file and one count was vacated, the Met Police said.

During a search of Farrell’s home last year, police discovered a safe in his bedroom which contained numerous indecent DVDs and photographs of children.

Indecent images and extreme child abuse material were found in his mobile phone.

Farrell pleaded guilty to a further five counts of possessing indecent images and extreme child abuse material of children in relation to this at a previous hearing.

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, the court heard.

Officers from the Central North safeguarding team visited arrested Farrell at work.

Indecent images found on his electronic devices graded A, depicting the most serious child abuse, to C, said police.

Six further victims were identified after text messages retrieved from Farrell’s mobile phone led to enquiries about other young people who may have been abused.

Those six victims 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, said police.

The force said in a statement: “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 – a hospital in central London where he was employed as a porter – for a visit and abused them there. None of the victims reported being abused as patients at the hospital.”

Farrell will be sentenced on May 28.

Jane Ndeti, from the Crown Prosecution Service, 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.

“The CPS is committed to securing justice for victims of sexual crimes and will continue to work with the Metropolitan Police Service to prosecute these cases robustly.”

Detective Sergeant Jules Manock, of the Central North safeguarding team, 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, added: “Farrell was extremely calculating and devious in his targeting of children.”

“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.

“I would also like to praise the efforts of the investigation team who worked extremely hard to identify further victims and obtain statements. This is a good example of the Met’s commitment to safeguard the vulnerable and support survivors of sexual abuse.”

He said it is possible Farrell had abused other children, and urged anyone else to contact police.

Anyone who has been a victim of Farrell’s offending or who has concerns about his offending is asked to call a helpline set up by the NSPCC fon 0800 101 996, or email [email protected] Allegations of crime will be passed to police and reviewed.

After Friday’s hearing, a spokeswoman for 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.