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Scott Farrell, former Rochester Cathedral director of music, admits child sex offences

A former director of music at Rochester Cathedral has admitted committing sexual offences against children.

Scott Farrell, of High Street, Wouldham, appeared at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court this morning.

The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16, two counts of voyeurism, and one count of taking indecent images of a child.

Scott Farrell, former director of music at Rochester Cathedral (11331006)
Scott Farrell, former director of music at Rochester Cathedral (11331006)

An investigation was first launched by Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (CAISU) in November 2017 after they received allegations against Farrell.

It was alleged during his time as assistant organist at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire between 1999 and 2001, he befriended some of the children under his supervision and, on occasions, invited them back to his flat.

Police were told how Farrell would show the children pornographic images and videos before carrying out sexual acts.

At the time police were made aware of these allegations, he was working as the director of music at Rochester Cathedral.

He was arrested and immediately suspended from his role while an investigation was carried out.

Farrell’s electronic devices were seized, which uncovered voyeuristic images and videos believed to have been taken on hidden cameras in bathrooms and bedrooms, some at his own flat, others at different homes.

In addition to this, 135 category C indecent images – category A being the most severe – were found which Farrell had taken himself.

Rochester Cathedral,Rochester.
Stock shot.
Byline - Picture by Peter Still(11283004)
Rochester Cathedral,Rochester. Stock shot. Byline - Picture by Peter Still(11283004)

Detective constable Claire Bamford, from CAISU, said: “This has been a lengthy investigation spanning several counties and involved tracking down a number of victims and witnesses.

“I would like to thank the victims for coming forward and showing great bravery in speaking out about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Farrell.

"Hopefully this result will provide them with some level of closure and they can begin to put this part of their lives behind them.”

Farrell, a former pupil at Dover Grammar School for Boys,has been released on bail while he awaits a date for sentencing at crown court.

A spokesman for children's charity NSPCC said: “Farrell groomed children who trusted him to develop their musical talent but were instead sickeningly abused by a sexual predator.

“Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim and this conviction shows it’s never too late for survivors of abuse to come forward in the knowledge they’ll be listened to and supported.

"The NSPCC Helpline is open to all victims of non-recent abuse to call for advice on 0808 800 5000 or via email at help@nspcc.org.uk."

Yesterday we reported how a year after being ordered to re-do a Past Case Review into allegations of child abuse Rochester diocese was yet to be told what to include.

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