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Barry Cable’s Court Hearing: What Really Happened?

Barry Cable is one of Australian Football’s leading ‘hall-of-famers’. However, current court proceedings mean he is facing allegations of three counts of sexual abuse during his playing and coaching career.

Owing to his status as a prominent ex-Aussie Rules footballer, Barry Cable’s name was kept suppressed during past trials, however, with the newest third victim coming forward with fresh abuse allegations, District Court Judge, Mark Herron, has ruled that Cable could be named.

The 79-year-old was the subject of a five-day trial that commenced Wednesday, 8 February. He was accused of sexually abusing women in 1968 with a woman in her early teens, as well as, in 1973 when she was in her later teens and Mr Cable was nearing his thirties.

Who is Barry Cable

Barry Cable is a triple Sandover Medal Winner – an Australian rules football prize that has been annually awarded since 1921. The award’s criteria are simple, the recipient must be the fairest and best player in the West Australian Football League.

His accomplishments within the sport go far and wide, having an illustrious career in both the Western Australian Football League and the Victorian Football League, later becoming a coach in both competitions.

What is Barry Cable accused of?

Currently, there have been three individuals that alleged abuse against Mr Cable. Court’s have heard two accounts of the most recent alleged incidents – both girls aged similar between 12 and 17 and described how Mr Cable abused them during his time as a player in the 1960s and 1970s.

Barry Cable categorically denies any wrongdoing from any of the victims that have come forward during the five-day district court trial, with his defence to the woman who brought the case arguing that he had a consensual relationship with her and that they were never alone together.

Who Brought The Case against Barry Cable?

The woman who brought the case forward – still not to be named – alleged that she was abused by Mr Cable during the 1960s when she was just 13.

She described how the abuse occurred throughout her childhood, especially during her teenage years, and progressed from sexual conversations to physical ‘unwanted’ touching. This progressed further to become what was described as ‘degrading’ sexual violence and unconsenting intercourse.

One of the incidents took place at Perth Football Club in 1971 when Cable was in a player/coach role, being in the position of captain simultaneously.

The abuse took place in many locations including:

  • Garden Shed
  • His car
  • Public Swimming Pool
  • His family home

According to reports, the abuse had continued into her adult life, where the alleged victim accuses Cable of stalking her and coercing her to have sex in hotel rooms and family homes.

She argued that it has had a categoric effect on her adult life and education, especially her mental and physical health which has hampered her marriage, relationships and ability to work.

Barry Cable’s Second Victim

One Victim, who will not be named during the trial, described the horrific incident in which Barry Cable approached her at a spa in the 1980s.

When asked why she didn’t report the incident at the time she said:

“…all of Australia loved him.”

His prominent stardom and adoration across the whole of Australia as a former star player and coach made it difficult for her to come forwards.

She told the district court, “he was so famous my father had stars in his eyes about him. He said all of Australia loved him.”

“I was probably scared and intimidated.”

During the District Court Civil Court Proceedings, it was heard that: “He got me to sit on his knee and I do remember feeling the erection on my backside,”

At just 11 years old, the victim mentioned how she was scared, embarrassed and shocked at the incident.

“He was holding my breasts and holding me onto his knee. It was really uncomfortable” she said whilst detailing how he had tried to penetrate her during this incident at the Spa.

The Third Victim of Barry Cable’s Abuse

The third woman who was heard during the proceedings alleged that he had sexually assaulted her during the late 1980s and 1990s. Here, she was slightly younger aged between eight and 14.

She was at his house in 1988 swimming when he allegedly asked her to have a shower with him and touch his penis. The second incident between the two was described in detail in 1994 when she was staying at his house at just 14 years of age

“He was rubbing my breasts and he had started to move his hands down south,’ she said as she detailed one of the alleged incidents.”

“It’s so weird, his face changed and I had never seen him like that before.”

The third incident between the pair happened when she asked Mr Cable for a loan, so she could pay for a dress. During the alleged conversation, Cable mentioned that she wouldn’t have to pay off the loan if they ‘finished what had started last summer’.

If you or someone you know would like to talk to one of our historical sexual abuse specialists, for free and in confidence, about your legal options, please feel free to either complete the form below with the best way and the best time to contact you, or you can call us on 02 9283 5599.

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