Pictured: Great Ormond St hospital porter who abused boys for 35 years

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·4-min read
Paul Farrell faces a lengthy jail term after admitting a string of sexual offences. (PA/Met Police)
Paul Farrell faces a lengthy jail term after admitting a string of sexual offences. (PA/Met Police)

A former Great Ormond Street Hospital porter who admitted a string of sex offences, including abusing boys over decades, can be pictured for the first time.

"Predatory paedophile" Paul Farrell pleaded guilty to 69 offences against eight victims, including rape, indecent assault and sexual assault of a child under 13 in February.

Wood Green Crown Court heard on Friday that many of the charges were "multi-incident", with prosecutors believing they amount to "several hundred" acts of sexual abuse over a 35-year span against boys aged as young as five or six.

The 55-year-old did not target children at the hospital but at least two alleged victims said he sexually abused them in a linen room he had access to.

He had worked as a babysitter and befriended parents before abusing their children and the Metropolitan Police has warned there is a "very real possibility" he abused more, urging any other victims to come forward.

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Paul Farrell, facing a judge, depicted at a previous hearing at Wood Green Crown Court. (PA/Elizabeth Cook)
Paul Farrell, facing a judge, depicted at a previous hearing at Wood Green Crown Court. (PA/Elizabeth Cook)

Farrell, who worked for the children's hospital between 1994 and 2020, can be pictured for the first time after a judge lifted restrictions preventing his image being published.

Limits to reporting where some of the offending is said to have occurred within the hospital were also lifted.

Prosecutor Paul Douglass said of the charges: "We are looking at several hundred discrete acts of sexual abuse over a period of 35 years against boys aged between five or six and 16."

Patients at the hospital were not being abused, he said.

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General view of Great Ormond Street Hospital in central London.
Farrell did not target children at Great Ormond Street but did use the location to carry out crimes, a court heard. (PA)

"He had a key for (the linen room) and he locked the door and abused two boys (in there)," Douglass said.

Farrell's crimes include indecent assault of a boy aged between five and seven between April 1985 and April 1987, and 12 counts of indecent assault against another boy aged between six and 11 between 1992 and 1998.

He has also admitted offences against six other people now aged between eight and 43, including making indecent photographs of children, which took place between 1985 and 2020.

The defendant was due to face trial of five counts of indecency with a child but they were left to lie on file alongside 20 other charges.

David Osborne, for Farrell's, said he accepts his client will be given either a life sentence or an extended sentence.

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital said they were "deeply sorry that he was able to abuse his position and use our hospital to commit some of his offences".

Paul Farrell can now be pictured after a judge lifted restrictions. (PA/Elizabeth Cook)
Paul Farrell can now be pictured after a judge lifted restrictions. (PA/Elizabeth Cook)

She said their thoughts were with all the victims of "this horrendous abuse" and that Farrell had "admitted to a catalogue of truly awful crimes".

He will be sentenced from 21 May, and Judge Noel Lucas QC has ordered him to attend in person.

Detective Sergeant Jules Manock, from the safeguarding team who led the investigation, paid tribute to the "incredible bravey" of the survivors and said: "The accounts they gave to police of the abuse they suffered at the hand of Paul Farrell, and how their childhoods were stolen from them, were nothing short of harrowing, and today’s result means a predatory paedophile is now in custody where he can’t harm any more children."

The Great Ormond Street Hospital spokeswoman added: "His actions are in direct contrast to everything we stand for as a children’s hospital.

"We regularly review our safeguarding processes to ensure they are in line with national guidance and strive for best practice.

"We will continue to work with the police to understand more about his crimes and consider whether there is anything more we can do to prevent cases like this.

"We know that the crimes he committed and his association with the hospital may cause alarm and distress among our patients, their families and our wider hospital community. 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."