Child abuse victims to sue

A GROUP of child sex abuse victims is threatening to sue jailed a music teacher and Suffolk County Council for the suffering he caused them.The men are pledging to ensure former band leader Derek Cable "leaves prison with nothing but a paper bag" following the abuse he inflicted on them during the 1970s and 1980s.

A GROUP of child sex abuse victims is threatening to sue jailed a music teacher and Suffolk County Council for the suffering he caused them.

The men are pledging to ensure former band leader Derek Cable "leaves prison with nothing but a paper bag" following the abuse he inflicted on them during the 1970s and 1980s.

Cable, 63, who previously taught music at Stowmarket Middle School, was jailed for four years in September after a jury convicted him of ten offences of indecent assault and eight of gross indecency against five boys.

At least six people claiming to be among Cable's victims have contacted an Exeter-based solicitor, who is taking up the case.


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The victims are hoping to sue both the former teacher and Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for Stowmarket Middle School, for an undecided sum.

The case is at an early stage and paperwork is now being gathered in preparation for a civil action.

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Tony Mills, of Tozers Solicitors, which is representing the victims, said: "Instructions have been given and we're now looking at a case against both Mr Cable and whoever took responsibility for Stowmarket Middle School."

The abuse took place while Cable was music director and conductor of the Stowmarket School Concert Band, a band that he had founded in 1961.

Former band member Antony Arnold, who was forced to walk naked at Cable's home as a child and who is among those planning to sue the former teacher, said he had ruined many lives.

"It's not just the humiliation, it's the damage that was caused. It's completely ruined my life and I need some sort of compensation for that," he said.

"We want to make sure he leaves prison with nothing but a paper bag. It's small compensation really."

Mr Arnold, 35, from Norwich, said he understood it might be a long wait before a civil case was resolved but added: "It's worth it."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: "We are not aware of any correspondence or legal action but any claim will be thoroughly investigated."

Cable's band played throughout Europe and the US and gained a prestigious reputation.

But his trial at Norwich Crown Court heard Cable had a "dark side" and plied boys with money, drink and cigarettes and left magazines about with pictures of naked men and women.

Cable was arrested in April 2002 when he returned to Suffolk from his home in Singapore for a band reunion.

The beginnings of a prosecution then followed, and Cable, 63, of Edgecombe Road, Stowmarket, was charged with two allegations of indecency on a boy under 16.

As more victims came forward to report abuse to the police, Cable was finally charged with 21 offences of indecent assault and indecency with children involving five boys, all of which he denied.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court found him guilty of ten offences of indecent assault and eight of gross indecency against the boys.

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