Abuse victims anger at payout

VICTIMS of a former music teacher jailed for sexually abusing teenage boys have been offered just £3,000 each in compensation from the Government, it emerged last night.

By Danielle Nuttall

VICTIMS of a former music teacher jailed for sexually abusing teenage boys have been offered just £3,000 each in compensation from the Government, it emerged last night.

Former bandleader Derek Cable, 65, who previously taught music at Stowmarket Middle School, was jailed for four years in September 2003 after he was convicted of 10 offences of indecent assault and eight of gross indecency against five boys.

The abuse had occurred during the 1970s and 1980s while Cable, formerly of Edgecombe Road, Stowmarket, was music director and conductor of the Stowmarket School Concert Band, which he founded in 1961.

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At least two of the male witnesses who gave evidence against the disgraced bandleader during his trial have since applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a Government agency which provides compensation for victims of violent crime.

But one of the men - Antony Arnold - revealed last night how the pair had only been offered just over £3,000 in compensation for the ordeal they say they suffered at the hands of Cable.

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Mr Arnold, 38, who told the original trial how he had been forced to walk naked while staying with the former teacher as a child, said: “I'm a bit deflated. I couldn't believe how low it was for what we went through.

“People get more now for breaking their leg at work. It seems stupid. It's a shame I had to go through 20 years of anguish yet it counts for nothing.

“We might as well not have it. It will probably be enough to pay a couple of parking fines.”

Father of two Mr Arnold, who now lives in Norwich and works as an entertainer, said he was fully prepared to see a psychiatrist in London to prove the effect Cable has had on his life but it is not known yet whether this will be an option.

He said both have now refused the compensation offer and the matter is currently with their solicitors although Mr Arnold is anxious to move on.

“I have got to get on with my life now. I think about it on the hour but it's not as painful as it used to be,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the CICA said: “We cannot comment specifically on individual cases.

“If an applicant disagrees with the award we offer they are able to have their case looked at again by a different member of staff.

“If they also disagree with the reviewed decision, the next step would be to appeal against it to the independent Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP).”

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

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

The Friends Reunited website played a major role in helping to uncover Cable's sex crimes.

It was through the website that one of his victims contacted an old school friend which prompted him to tell the police.

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

A prosecution followed and Cable was finally charged.

Cable is thought to be approaching the end of his four-year jail sentence.

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