Serial paedo who worked at kids’ hospital jailed for life for 35-year sex spree

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A former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter has been handed a life sentence after admitting a string of sexual offences against young boys.

Paul Farrell, 55, was sentenced to a minimum term of 18 years at Wood Green Crown Court.

His campaign of abuse stretched over 35 years as he admitted 76 offences against eight victims between 1985 and 2020, but police fear the true scale of his sickening crimes may be much larger.

Prosecutors think the true figure of abuse instances could number in the thousands.

None of his victims were patients at the famous children's hospital, where he worked between 1994 and 2020, but Farrell used a linen storage room to molest two of his victims.

The sicko stole toys from the wards to use as bribes for his victims, and "ruthlessly exploited" vulnerable boys. He put them in fear of dire repercussions if they tried to report him.

Handing down a life sentence, Judge Noel Lucas QC said Farrell has caused "utter devastation" to his victims and their parents.

He said: "For the whole of your adult life, you have pursued your predatory interest in committing intimate sexual activity with very young boys, with an all-consuming determination irrespective of their attempts to make you desist.

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"You have gone about your predatory interest in sexual activity with young boys with a great deal of cunning and planning. You are clever."

The judge concluded Farrell has a "deep-seated fixation with sexual activity with very young boys", and had "instilled in them a real fear of what might happened if they disclosed what was happening to them".

He added: "It is clear you have gone about your predatory interest in engaging in intimate sexual activity with very young boys with a very great deal of cunning and planning."

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Judge Lucas QC finished by saying that he is unsure whether Farrell's obsession with young boys will ever diminish and he will only be released from prison by the Parole Board if it is safe to do so.

Farrell was sacked by Great Ormond Street when his sickening offending came to light last year.

The court heard how the paedophile targeted children after offering to babysit for their parents, abusing groups of brothers after integrating himself into the families.

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The mother of three boys who were groomed and sexually abused by Farrell said she had been left with feelings of guilt and shame.

But she vowed: "I will not allow this man to destroy my family."

Farrell kept a diary of tips for himself to keep one family “under control”, noting down the type of presents the children liked and leaving messages for himself on his phone as aide memories.

His victims, now aged between nine and 43, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

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Farrell 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.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said its thoughts were with all the victims of "this horrendous abuse" and that Farrell had "admitted to a catalogue of truly awful crimes" in an earlier statement.

She added: "His actions are in direct contrast to everything we stand for as a children's hospital.

"We would like to reiterate what has been said in court; that Paul Farrell did not target children at GOSH.

"We urge anyone who has concerns about this case to call the helpline that we have set up with the NSPCC on 0800 101 996."

  • Crime
  • Courts

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