CamdenNewJournal

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Paul Farrell: Former Great Ormond Street hospital porter admits sex offences against children

Victims say they were taken to the hospital where they were abused by Mr Farrell

27 November, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Great Ormond Street Hospital

A FORMER Great Ormond Street Hospital porter accused of sexually abusing seven young boys over a period of more than three decades has today (Friday) appeared in court. 

Paul Farrell, from Kentish Town, is charged with a total of 84 offences including rape, attempted rape, sexual assault of children under 13, paying for sexual services of a child and possessing and making indecent photos of children.

The 55-year-old has pleaded guilty to 58 of the offences which were carried out between 1985 and 2018.

The youngest victim is said to have been five years old.

The victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are now aged between eight and 43. 

He was employed at the world-renowned children’s hospital in various posts for over 20.

Although none of the victims who have so far come forward were patients of the hospital, at least three of them have said they were taken by Farrell to the hospital where they were abused in areas he had keys to.

Judge Noel Lucas said in the hearing at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday: “This is not a case where it is alleged that Mr Farrell was targeting children at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, rather that children were abused in parts of the hospital in which he had access.”

Farrell was first arrested on January 16, according to the Met Police, and later appeared at Highbury Magistrates’ Court, although a charge sheet also includes an allegation of a sexual assault “during lockdown” in June.

At a hearing in October, he admitted to 25 counts and was remanded in custody. In court today he admitted to a further 32 charges.

He has denied 21 charges, including rape

There is an ongoing investigation being carried out by the Met’s Central North Command Unit safeguarding team, officers that work across Camden and Islington.

Prosecutor Stephen Douglas revealed enquiries were ongoing into potentially another 20 or more victims.

Some reporting of the case is not permitted due to a court order at this stage.

Farrell is due to appear before a judge again in February.

In a statement published earlier this week Great Ormond Street hospital said: “These charges relating to a former member of GOSH staff are awful.

“It is upsetting to hear in court today that some of the charges relate to the hospital site. It is important to stress, as stated by the judge today, that GOSH patients were not targeted.

“We will continue to support the police as they progress the case but we know many people will have concerns and questions.

“Due to the ongoing legal proceedings, we are really limited in what we can say, but we can confirm again that Paul Farrell was dismissed from the Trust.

“Safeguarding is fundamental to the care we provide. We review our safeguarding policies regularly and they are in line with national best practice and we have a dedicated safeguarding team who are the point of contact for all concerns and referrals. All our staff are required to carry out safeguarding training appropriate to their role.

The hospital’s spokesperson added: “If anyone is concerned by what they have read in the media, the NSPCC have a helpline available on 0800 101 996 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.”

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