A porter at Great Ormond Street Hospital who carried out thousands of sex attacks on children and gave his victims toys stolen from young patients at Great Ormond Street hospital was jailed for life today.
Vile Paul Farrell, 55, of Castle Road, Camden took two of his victims to his workplace and abused them in a linen cupboard.
Perverted Farrell was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 18 years at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday, 24 May.
The sentence comes after Farrell pleaded guilty to a total of 77 sexual offences when he appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, 12 March.
These offences included 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.
The offences relate to eight victims committed between 1985 and 2020.
Farrell did various jobs at the world-famous hospital and lured two of the children into parts of the building to which he had access.
Farrell was also charged with three counts of possessing an indecent photograph / pseudo-photo of a child, one count of making indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images.
He pleaded guilty to these charges at the same court on the same date.
Some 25 counts have been left to lie on file, and one count has been vacated.
The court heard that in November 2019, a victim reported an allegation of non-recent child abuse committed against two boys at an address in north London in the mid-1980s to police.
Officers from the Met’s Central North safeguarding team visited Farrell at his work address – Great Ormond Street Hospital where he worked as a Porter – and arrested him on suspicion of historic child abuse.
Several devices were seized from his home, and Farrell was released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.
Specialists analysed the devices, and indecent images of children were found. These were graded A – depicting the most severe child abuse – to C.
Upon returning from bail in May 2020, Farrell was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images.
Detectives would later find more indecent images and extreme pornography, and further charges brought.
Meanwhile, officers retrieved text messages from his mobile phone, which led to inquiries about other young victims who may have been abused.
Six further victims were identified, and they disclosed that Farrell sexually abused them 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 his victim’s families’ homes 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 Great Ormond Street Hospital for a visit and abused them there.
A spokesperson for Great Ormond Street Hospital said:
“The hearings last week have shown the devastating impact of these terrible crimes and our thoughts remain with the brave victims and their families whose stories have been shared in court.
“The sentence passed today speaks to the dreadful nature of the offences, which have led to so much suffering for so many people.
“While we have heard in court that Paul Farrell did not target children at GOSH, his association with our hospital is distressing for the hospital community. We are deeply sorry that he was able to exploit his position and use our hospital to commit some of his crimes.
“Our safeguarding practices will remain rigorous and under regular review and we are actively considering whether anything more can be done to prevent crimes like this.
“Although sentence has been passed, we are keeping open the helpline we have set up with the NSPCC for anyone who has concerns relating to the case
Judge Noel Lucas, QC, told Farrell:
‘For the whole of your adult life, you have pursued your predatory interest in committing intimate sexual acts with very young boys with all-consuming determination, irrespective of their attempts to make you desist.
‘It’s also clear from the facts that you have gone about your predatory interest in engaging sexual acts with very young boys with a great deal of planning and cunning.
‘It’s not the case that you didn’t realise the true wickedness of your offending.
‘Your phone shows planning with care, you ruthlessly exploited the vulnerability of your victims.
‘You insinuated yourself into their lives and family of the victims.
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 and lengthy sentence 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.
“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.
“Farrell admitting to what he did has spared these survivors the prospect of having to describe the abuse in a court, and he will now serve life in prison for his crimes.
“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. We urge any further victims to contact police right away – a specially trained team of detectives are ready to listen to your story and support you.”
Anyone who has either been a victim of Farrell’s offending, or who has concerns about Farrell’s offending should in the first instance call a helpline set up by the NSPCC for this case – 0800 101 996, or email email@example.com. Any allegations of crime will be passed to police and reviewed.
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