Paedophile hospital porter Paul Farrell jailed for life

Paul Farrell, who admitted a string of child sex offences

Paul Farrell, who admitted a string of child sex offences - Credit: Met Police

A Camden paedophile responsible for at least 500 instances of sexual abuse has been jailed for life.

Former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter Paul Farrell has been handed a life sentence - with a minimum term of 18 years before he could be eligible for parole - after admitting a string of sexual offences against young boys.

He admitted 69 offences against eight victims over a 35 year period.

A courtroom sketch of former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter Paul Farrell

A courtroom sketch of former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter Paul Farrell being sentenced for a string of child sex offences by Judge Noel Lucas QC at Wood Green Crown Court - Credit: PA

Farrell, 55, used an area of the hospital to abuse young boys but did not target patients there.

The crimes have been described as “multi-incident” by the prosecution and amount to at least 500 instances of abuse, although prosecutors said the true figure is “likely to be in the thousands”.

Kentish Town paedophile Paul Farrell

Kentish Town paedophile Paul Farrell was sentenced to life with a minimum of 18 years at Wood Green Crown Court - Credit: PA / Elizabeth Cook

Sentencing him at Wood Green Crown Court, Judge Noel Lucas QC told Farrell he had a “deep-seated fixation with sexual activity with very young boys” and that his victims “continue to carry the scars of what you did to them”.

“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,” the judge said.

“On the facts opened to me, 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."

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

In a statement read to the court by Mr Douglass, one of Farrell's victims said: “I now feel hopeless, lost and disgusted at my silence that has allowed you to ruin the lives of so many innocent children.

“Innocent children like me and my brother will be profoundly scarred by your actions for the rest of our lives.”

Other victims said they experienced hundreds of instances of abuse, including at Great Ormond Street.

The defendant 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.

Det Sgt Jules Manock, 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."

He added: "Today’s result means a predatory paedophile is now in custody where he can’t harm any more children.”

A Great Ormond Street Hospital spokesman 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, on 0800 101 996 or through the email help@nspcc.org.uk.”

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