Suffolk child abuse victims hopes dashed

VICTIMS of a jailed Suffolk child sex abuser today spoke of their disappointment after their hopes of winning compensation were dashed.The group of six former Stowmarket High School pupils had planned to sue ex-band leader Derek Cable, ensuring he "leaves prison with nothing but a paper bag".

VICTIMS of a jailed Suffolk child sex abuser today spoke of their disappointment after their hopes of winning compensation were dashed.

The group of six former Stowmarket High School pupils had planned to sue ex-band leader Derek Cable, ensuring he "leaves prison with nothing but a paper bag".

The 64-year-old - jailed for four years last September - was found guilty of ten offences of indecent assault and eight of gross indecency against five boys.

The abuse was inflicted in the 1970s and 1980s during a period when the boys, now all adults, were part of the Stowmarket Concert Band.

Following Cable's conviction, the victims were advised they might be able to recover damages.

An Exeter-based solicitor was instructed to prepare the case, but the group has now been told they risk a legal bill of thousands of pounds if they continue their claim.

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Antony Arnold, 36, of Guernsey Road, Norwich, said he had hoped to pursue the damages as a matter of principle.

He said: "It was not a case of us having the money, more one of him not having it.

"We wanted to make sure he left prison with nothing but a paper bag. Our solicitor told us he would be willing to do it on a no-win no-fee basis but the barrister wasn't.

"It could've cost us thousands of pounds to take this forward and we haven't got that type of money."

He added that the case had also hit a brick wall because the allegations made against Cable were historical.

Potential claimants only have a three-year-period to make a personal injury claim after the time when they were allegedly injured.

Mr Arnold, who lives near Norwich Prison, where Cable is serving his sentence, said he still takes a great deal of satisfaction knowing he is behind bars.

As a boy, Cable had forced him to walk naked around his house after his parents had trusted him into his care while they were on holiday.

Another of Cable's victims, now in his 40s, said the fact the former music teacher is behind bars is compensation enough for him.

He said: "All I wanted was the word guilty after the trial. Anything else would've been a bonus.

"Taking him for everything he's got was an afterthought that we believed was a good one at the time. But with the legal system as it is, it was never going to be easy. Hopefully he'll never be able to do this type of thing again."

Cable, formerly of Edgecomb Road, Stowmarket, was arrested in April 2002 when he returned to Suffolk from his home in Singapore for a band reunion.

His trial at Norwich Crown Court heard he had a "dark side" and plied boys with money, drink and cigarettes.

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