Great Britain

Former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter pleads guilty to 58 child sex offences carried out over 35 years

Paul Farrell, 55, pleaded guilty to 58 child sex offences carried out over 35 years between 1985 and 2020.

The offences include attempted rape, sexual assault of a child under 13 and making indecent photographs of children.

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

The youngest was aged between six and seven at the time he was abused in 1988.

Farrell held a number of positions, including working as a porter, at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, in central London, between 1994 and 2020.

Wood Green Crown Court heard at least two victims claimed they were sexually abused by Farrell at the hospital.

But Judge Noel Lucas said on Friday: "The prosecution have made it clear that 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."

The Metropolitan Police said Farrell was first arrested on 16 January and appeared at Highbury Magistrates' Court after being charged.

But according to the charges his alleged offending continued until June this year, with one boy under the age of 13 sexually assaulted "during lockdown".

Farrell appeared at Wood Green Crown Court, in north London, on Friday to plead guilty to 33 charges.

Asked by the judge why there were so many counts on the indictment, prosecutor Paul Douglas said: "In relation to (a complainant), the offending was frequent over a period of 10 years, there were different types of offending."

Farrell previously admitted 25 charges at an earlier hearing.

The 58 charges he has pleaded guilty to include: two counts of indecency with a child; 17 counts of indecent assault of a male; 14 counts of sexual assault of a child under 13; five counts of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity; four counts of sexual activity with a child under 13; eight counts of sexual activity with a child under 16; three counts of causing a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity; two counts of attempted rape; three counts of making indecent photographs of children.

Farrell has denied a further 21 charges, including: 11 counts of indecent assault of a male; one count of attempted rape of a child under 13; six counts of sexual assault of a child under 13; one count of sexual activity with a child under 16; one count of rape; one count of paying for sexual services of a child.

Great Ormond Street Hospital said in a statement on Wednesday: "These are truly awful charges and we know that our hospital community, including our patient families, will have concerns or questions.

"Due to the ongoing legal proceedings, we cannot go into the details of the case, but we can confirm that the individual who has been charged was dismissed from the Trust and we are continuing to work closely with the police.

"Safeguarding children is fundamental to the care we provide and our policies are in line with national best practice.

"If patients, their families or colleagues raise concerns about staff there is a clear and swift process to manage these concerns when they are raised. This includes involving the police where needed."

The next hearing will be on 5 February next year.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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