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Children’s hospital porter jailed for sex abuse crimes

A former porter at Great Ormond Street Hospital has been jailed for at least 18 years after he admitted sexual offences against young boys.

Posted on 25 May 2021

Paul Farrell, aged 55, who worked at the London children’s hospital between 1994 and 2020, admitted 69 offences against eight victims over 35 years and was given a life sentence.

The crimes include least 500 instances of abuse, Wood Green Crown Court was told, although prosecutors said the true figure is “likely to be in the thousands”.

Farrell, of Castle Road in Camden, north London, used an area of the hospital for abuse and befriended parents then was a babysitter and abused children at their homes.

Judge Noel Lucas QC said:

“It is difficult to fully comprehend the fear, confusion and vulnerabilities your young victims must have suffered as you repeatedly used and abused them to satisfy your sexual desires,” reported Press Association.

“I find for the whole of your adult life you have pursued your predatory interest in committing intimate sexual acts with very young boys with an all-consuming determination, irrespective of their attempts to make you desist.”

Paul Douglass, prosecuting, earlier told the court Farrell had “ruthlessly exploited the vulnerabilities of his victims”.

Mr Douglass alleged that Farrell had taken toys donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and given them to the two younger brothers, who were abused in the bedroom that they shared together.

Another of Farrell’s victims said he experienced hundreds of instances of abuse between the ages of five and 14.

The victim had recalled being taken into the linen room at GOSH on “numerous occasions”, with Farrell then locking the door before sexually abusing him, said Mr Douglass.

He was arrested for the first time in January last year after one of the victims saw a picture of the defendant on Facebook, which showed him to be around children.

The offences, carried out between 1985 and 2020, include attempted rape, sexual assault of a child under 13 and making indecent photographs of children.

A Great Ormond Street Hospital spokesman said:

“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.”

Alison Millar leads Leigh Day’s abuse team. Along with Andrew Lord and Catriona Rubens she has many years’ experience handling abuse claims.

Alison said:

“It will be a relief to survivors of Farrell’s abuse that he had finally been jailed for his crimes against them. However, his case shows the lengths that calculating abusers will go to to entrap young people.

“Abusers target children in places where children are to be found and safeguarding policies must be increasingly stringent to keep these kinds of criminals out of such places.

“We can be grateful that Farrell’s victims did not include patients at the children’s hospital.”

Alison Millar
Abuse claims Human rights

Alison Millar

Alison Millar works in the human rights department at Leigh Day, where she is the head of abuse claims

Andrew Lord
Abuse claims Human rights

Andrew Lord

Andrew Lord is a senior associate solicitor in the abuse claims team.

Cat Rubens
Abuse claims Human rights

Catriona Rubens

Catriona Rubens is a senior associate solicitor in the abuse team.

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