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Former cathedral director of music jailed for child sex offences

14 Aug 2019

A former director of music for a number of cathedrals in England has been jailed for committing sexual offences against children.

William ‘Scott’ Farrell, 48, of High Street, Wouldham, near Rochester in Kent, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday, 13 August) after admitting the offences earlier this year.

He 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.

An investigation was 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 for 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, Farrell was working as the director of music at Rochester Cathedral in Kent. 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.

Detective Constable Claire Bamford, from Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s 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 received a total of five years in custodial sentences, however he will serve two-and-a-half years in prison and the remainder on licence. He has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 15 years following his release from prison.

For information and advice regarding sexual offences and child abuse visit To make a report about a concern you can do this online at or call 101 to speak with a member of staff.

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