Stowmarket teacher denies sex offences

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Court report
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A former Stowmarket music teacher and school band leader sexually assaulted a boy during private lessons, a court has heard.

Derek Cable, 74, is accused of carrying out assaults in ‘strikingly similar circumstances’ to those which saw him convicted of child sex offences 11 years ago.

Cable, formerly of Edgecombe Road, Stowmarket, and now of Robertson Terrace, Hastings, this week went on trial at Ipswich Crown Court, where he pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecently assaulting a boy aged under 13 between 1975 and 1976.

The allegations have been made by a former pupil who said when he was about 11 he received private music tuition from Cable, who was a teacher at Stowmarket Middle School.

Prosecuting, Mark Halsey said the boy, now a man in his 50s, had been a talented musician and had received individual lessons from Cable, who ran a band in which the boy had played.

It was during one of those lessons, while going into a storeroom to collect some music, the boy alleges he was followed and sexually assaulted by Cable.

He said Cable, who was in his 30s at the time, touched him on the groin and forced him to perform a sex act on him.

A witness told the jury: “I was confused. I don’t recall him saying anything - he carried on with the rest of the music lesson.”

It was claimed similar incidents had occurred during two more lessons.

“He said nobody else needed to know about it and, if I said anything, it would be a shame if I had to leave the band for any reason,” said the alleged victim.

Giving evidence, the man denied defence suggestions that he had levelled the claims of abuse against Cable in order to gain financially from compensation.

He was adamant the incidents had taken place as he described.

The man said what Cable allegedly did had helped put him ‘on the wrong path in life’, taking drugs, drinking and committing offences which led to him being jailed.

He said: “I wasn’t the nicest of children but what happened didn’t help my cause much.”

The last time he was arrested, the man said he had been drinking and taking drugs and was threatening suicide using a sawn-off shotgun.

He said he had not revealed the alleged abuse during his previous court cases because, although it could have resulted in lower sentences, he had been too embarrassed.

He said: “It would have led to me feeling incredibly embarrassed in front of a lot of people.”

The allegations against Cable emerged when he was contacted by police officers investigating another matter, said the man.

While being cross examined, the man told defence barrister Tanya Robinson: “You are suggesting that I am making it all up to get some money. You are wrong. You don’t know how wrong you are.”

Ms Robinson said Cable had no recollection of having taught the boy music and completely denied the allegations.

The court heard that in 2003 Cable was convicted at Norwich Crown Court of indecency offences against five boys who had been members of a concert band run by Cable, who had also provided them with private music lessons.

Mr Halsey told the jury those offences were committed in ‘strikingly similar circumstances’ to those alleged during the current trial.

The trial continues.