A man who sexually abused a number of children over a 35-year-period has been sentenced today.
Paul Farrell, 55 (01.10.65) of Castle Road, Camden, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 18 years at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday, 24 May.
This comes after he pleaded guilty to a total of 77 sexual offences when he appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, 12 March.
These offences included counts of indecency with a child, indecent assault, sexual assault of a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child, attempted rape and possessing indecent images.
The offences relate to eight victims, committed between 1985 and 2020.
Farrell was also charged with three counts of possessing an indecent photograph / pseudo-photo of a child, one count of making indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images, which were heard at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 3 July 2020. He pleaded guilty to these charges at the same court on the same date.
Some 25 counts have been left to lie on file and one count has been vacated.
The court heard that in November 2019, an allegation of non-recent child abuse committed against two boys at an address in north London in the mid-1980s was reported to police.
Officers from the Central North safeguarding team visited Farrell at his work address and arrested him on suspicion of historic child abuse.
A number of devices were seized from his home, and Farrell was released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.
The devices were analysed, and indecent images of children were found. These were graded A – depicting the most serious child abuse – to C.
Upon returning from bail in May 2020, Farrell was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images. More indecent images and extreme pornography would later be found, and further charges brought.
Meanwhile, text messages were retrieved from his mobile phone which led to enquiries being made about other young victims who may have been abused.
Six further victims were identified, and they disclosed that they were sexually abused by Farrell at different periods in the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s with the most recent offences in June 2020 while he was on bail.
In each case, Farrell was a lodger, or babysat, at the homes of his victim’s families, and befriended the parents before abusing the children. The victims were aged between five and 15 when they were abused, at different addresses in London.
Two victims told police that Farrell had taken them to his place of work – a hospital in central London where he was employed as a porter – for a visit and abused them there. None of the victims reported being abused as patients at the hospital.
Detective Sergeant Jules Manock, from the Central North safeguarding team who led the investigation, said: “The survivors who have come forward have shown incredible bravery and I hope now that Farrell’s guilty pleas and lengthy sentence can offer them some closure after years of suffering in silence.
“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.”
Detective Superintendent Dave Courcha, from the Central North area, said: “Farrell was extremely calculating and devious in his targeting of children – he lodged at the homes of accommodating families and won their trust, only to abuse their children under their noses over a prolonged period.
“Most of the victims lived with the trauma of what they were subjected to for decades, with two victims waiting more than 30 years before feeling ready to come forward to police.
“I would like to acknowledge the courage of each of the survivors in giving statements and reliving the horrors they went through to ensure that Farrell could be brought to justice.
“I would also like to praise the efforts of the investigation team who worked extremely hard to identify further victims and obtain statements. This is a good example of the Met’s commitment to safeguard the vulnerable and support survivors of sexual abuse.
“Farrell admitting to what he did has spared these survivors the prospect of having to describe the abuse in a court, and he will now serve life in prison for his crimes.
“Given the predatory nature of his offending over an extremely long period of time, there is a very real possibility that Farrell has abused other children. We urge any further victims to contact police right away – a specially trained team of detectives are ready to listen to your story and support you.”
Anyone who has either been a victim of Farrell’s offending, or who has concerns about Farrell’s offending should in the first instance call a helpline set up by the NSPCC for this case – 0800 101 996, or email [email protected] Any allegations of crime will be passed to police and reviewed.