A porter at Great Ormond Street Hospital has been charged with scores of child sex offences alleged to have been carried out over the course of three decades.
Paul Farrell, who has reportedly worked at the world-renowned children’s hospital in London since the 1980s, is accused of 84 sex offences, 52 of them relating to children.
These include 20 counts of sexually assaulting a child younger than 13, paying for sexual activities with a child, and creating indecent images of children, Scotland Yard said.
The 55-year-old, of Castle Road in Camden, is alleged to have committed these offences against seven individuals between 1985 and 2018.
A spokesperson for Great Ormond Street Hospital — which cares for children from across the UK and overseas — said that Mr Farrell had been dismissed and that they were working closely with the Metropolitan Police.
An ongoing investigation is being led by officers from the Met’s Central North Command Unit safeguarding team.
“These are truly awful charges and we know that our hospital community, including our patient families, will have concerns or questions,” a spokesperson for the hospital said.
“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. Our policies are in line with national best practice and include swift processes for managing concerns about staff when they are raised.”
Mr Farrell was arrested on 16 January, and first appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court upon charge, the Met said.
He is next due to appear at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday for a plea and directions hearing.
An associate of Mr Farrell is reported as telling The Sun: “This has come as a big shock. Paul was always a popular character.
“He was a likeable and friendly chap. This news has shocked people to their core. He was living a modest life. He went to work and then he spent time with his family.
“Work was a big part of his life. He started out in the laundry and then he became a porter. He worked really hard.
“He was well liked at work. His role there had a fair bit of responsibility. People will be horrified by these charges.”
Mr Farrell is charged with:
Two counts of indecency with a child; 28 counts of indecent assault on a male; 20 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; one count of attempted rape of a child under 13; nine 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; and one count of rape.
He is also accused of one count of paying for sexual services of a child; three counts of possessing and four counts of making an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child; and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images.
The hospital’s spokesperson said: “If anyone is concerned by what they have read in the media, the NSPCC have a helpline available on 0800 101 996 or email [email protected]”