Court hears of teacher's 'dark secret'

A FORMER music teacher and band-leader groomed several of his pupils to be his 'sexual playthings' by plying them with alcohol and cigarettes, a court heard.

A FORMER music teacher and band-leader groomed several of his pupils to be his 'sexual playthings' by plying them with alcohol and cigarettes, a court heard.

Derek Cable, an ex-teacher at Stowmarket Middle School, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterdayto face a total of 21 charges of indecency and indecent assault on five young boys.

The 63-year-old stands accused of ten counts of indecency with a child and a further 11 of indecent assault, with the offences alleged to have been committed in the 1970s and 1980s.

Cable, of Edgecomb Road, Stowmarket, who denies all the charges, appeared in court dressed in a blue suit and carrying a black briefcase.

He sat impassively as the court heard evidence from one of his alleged victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The 35-year-old man, a former pupil at Stowmarket Middle School and a member of the Stowmarket Schools Concert Band which Cable formed, told the court he had not reported the abuse at the time it happened because he was scared and had forced it to the back of his mind.

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But he said a conversation he had with an old school friend he met on the website 'friendsreunited' prompted him to come forward and tell the police.

He told the court how Cable had abused him around five times, mostly at his former home in Rattlesden, when he was a teenager.

"I would go round there in the evenings after school or sometimes on a Saturday," he said.

"We would talk about music and watch television, and I was offered alcohol and cigarettes by Derek Cable."

Describing one instance of the abuse, the man said: "I was sitting next to him on his sofa when he exposed himself to me and asked me to touch him.

"It took some persuasion. He offered me £5, which I accepted. He said to me 'don't do it for the money, do it for love' – I knew I didn't love him, but I was scared to say anything back.

"I knew something was wrong but I was too young to realise what. I never told anyone about it – I felt physically sick."

Charles Kellett, prosecuting, told the court how Cable had founded the concert band in 1961, and it had gone on to be very successful over the years, while he was highly respected in the community.

"The defendant was the founding father, as well as the musical director and conductor," he added.

"However, there was a dark side to Mr Cable. He was, in fact, grooming some of his young male pupils to be his sexual playthings.

"Mr Cable, while having started the band with the best will in the world, exploited his position as the years went by. It hid a dark secret that he was corrupting and abusing some of his pupils."

Cable, who is homosexual, denies the abuse ever took place. The trial continues.

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