Band leader jailed for child sex abuse

By Danielle NuttallCrime CorrespondentA FORMER band member has told of how his life has been damaged forever through the humiliation he faced at the hands of child abuser Derek Cable.

By Danielle Nuttall

Crime Correspondent

A FORMER band member has told of how his life has been damaged forever through the humiliation he faced at the hands of child abuser Derek Cable.

Father-of-two Antony Arnold spoke last night of the fear and degradation he suffered while in the care of the former Stowmarket band leader and teacher.

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Cable, 63, of Edgecombe Road, Stowmarket, was jailed yesterday for four years at Norwich Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of indecent assault and indecency against five boys over a 13-year period.

Mr Arnold, 35, from Norwich, who had been a percussionist in the band as a teenager, gave evidence against Cable during his trial.

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He told the jury how the music teacher had forced him to walk about naked at his home while he stayed there when his parents were in Australia.

Speaking after the case, Mr Arnold said: “It will never be put behind me. The memory will still be there, but it will be less painful because I will know that something has been done about it.

“It's always been in the forefront of my mind. I have always had to think about it everyday.

“I was subjected to two days of humiliation of wearing no clothes. I just wanted to see him put away. It is a great relief for other witnesses in the case.”

Mr Arnold, who lives with his partner of 11 years, said he had arrived at Cable's home when he was a teenager for what was supposed to be a month's stay while his parents were on holiday in Australia.

But Mr Arnold, who works as an entertainer, said immediately after he arrived, Cable instructed him to strip naked and he did the same.

“At that moment I decided I was leaving as soon as I could. He never touched me. I managed to get away the next night,” he said.

“I told him I was going to bed early. I waited until he had gone to bed and left the house in the middle of the night.”

As he left, Mr Arnold took a bottle of Barcardi with him and got drunk. Later on in the evening he was hit by a car, which resulted in him being hospitalised for more than two months and spending two weeks in a coma.

Mr Arnold said he had thought about the nights he had spent at Cable's home every day since and it had affected his relationships.

He first decided to contact police about Cable 10 years ago, but at the time he claimed he was told unless more people came forward, it was only his word against the teacher's.

Mr Arnold said he contacted the police again when he had heard Cable was returning to England from his home in Singapore for a band reunion.

“This time I was more determined. I had heard he was coming back into the country as a friend's mother told me there was a reunion. I said 'I'm going to make this a reunion he'll never forget',” he added.

“I went straight to the police. When he was arrested and it went on the front page, several people came forward.”

Despite his terrible experience, Mr Arnold said he was not angry with Cable and did not hold any malice towards him.

“I have bounced back now. It seems like it was yesterday, even though certain details I remember and certain details I don't. What I do remember is very clear. I only remember the horrible bits,” he added.

“I am not angry with him. I have no emotions towards him at all. For the past year or so it has felt so good I think that he is going to go inside.

“He taught me a lot and was a very good teacher. Unfortunately, he took all that away from me again.”

Cable had denied 21 offences of indecent assault and indecency with children involving five boys.

The jury found him guilty of 10 offences of indecent assault and eight of gross indecency against the five boys.

Two offences of indecency against a boy were withdrawn and no evidence offered, while one offence of indecent assault against a boy was left to lie on the file.

Cable was jailed for four years, put on the sex offenders' register for life and disqualified from working with children for the rest of his life.

over 13 years from 1970 to 1983.

Cable had founded the Stowmarket Schools Band in 1961 and was its musical director and conductor.

But the court heard he had a “dark side” to him and had plied boys with money, drink and cigarettes and left naturist magazines lying about with pictures of naked men and women.

Cable showed no emotion as the verdicts were given. Jailing him, Judge Paul Downes said: “I am satisfied you groomed your victims with cash, cigarettes and alcohol.

“This is aggravated by the fact that parents trusted you with their children. They expected their children to be looked after properly, but you took advantage of their trust and I regard that as very serious matter.

“Parents ought to know if people abuse that trust, they will be dealt with seriously”.

Three of Cable's victims sat in court throughout the eight-day trial. One of them wept when he heard the verdict and was comforted by his wife. “I am just glad it's all over now,” he said.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Jim Gidney, of Suffolk police, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome. It has been an involved and emotional case.”

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