Former Hospital Worker Charged With Dozens of Child Sexual Offenses

A former hospital porter has been charged with over 80 sex offenses against children.

Paul Farrell, a 55-year-old man from Camden, north London, is faced with 84 charges, the Metropolitan Police said, including rape, attempted rape, sexual assault of a child under 13 and indecent assault on a male.

The alleged offenses took place between 1985 and 2018 and relate to seven victims, police said. Farrell will appear at Wood Green crown court on Friday, November 27 for a plea and directions hearing.

Farrell had been working as a porter at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He was arrested on January 16 and appeared first at Highbury magistrates court once he was charged. An ongoing investigation is being led by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Central North Command Unit safeguarding team.

Great Ormond Street hospital said: "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."

A former associate of Farrell is reported by the Sun as saying: "This has come as a big shock. Paul was always a popular character."

Separately, Great Ormond Street Hospital has been accused of a cover-up of a child's death. Conservative member of Parliament (MP) Steve Barclay, the chief secretary to the Treasury, told the Independent newspaper that he would be seeking answers for the family of Jasmine Hughes, who died at Great Ormond Street in 2011. Barclay will be writing to the health secretary in the hopes that he will commission an investigation into the issue.

Great Ormond Street has said that medical evidence about Jasmine's condition on hospital admission was not provided to a coroner's inquest but has denied any intention to cover-up this information.

Doctors said that Jasmine's death was caused by complications with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare kind of inflammation that affects the brain and spinal cord. Analysis of hospital records showed that blood pressure was mismanaged and, experts say, led to catastrophic brain damage and her death.