Alleged sexual abuse of WA football character Barry Cable is ‘degrading’

Legendary Australian Rules footballer Barry Cable allegedly forced a Perth girl to have sex with him in the changing rooms at Perth Football Club, a court has been told

The alleged attack was one of several incidents involving the girl during years of repeated and “degrading” sexual abuse that left her with lifelong injuries.

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The now 79-year-old, who denies the claims, is also accused of assaulting the teenager at a public swimming pool more than 50 years ago.

The three-time Sandover Medalist, who has not been charged in connection with the alleged abuse incidents, is facing a civil lawsuit for damages.

The victim claims the attacks began in the late 1960s when Cable was at the height of his playing career.

“Barry has always complimented me on my body,” she said before the Western Australia District Court civil trial on Wednesday.

“Barry always talked about himself and how good he was. He always told me how lucky he was to know him.”

The woman, whose name cannot be released for legal reasons, says she was often at the Cable family home and the abuse began with the footballer exposing himself to her and asking questions about her sexual experiences.

“Barry went on to say he would teach me about life, the bird and bee stuff, so I would be a hit with the men,” she said in a statement to police in the late 1990s.

Cable, who was not in court, allegedly told his victim it would be good for her and that eventually she would thank him for the experience.

“He would comment on my large boobs,” she said.

“Finally he got me to touch his penis. He was always calling for his totem pole.”

Hall of Famer Barry Cable has been accused of sexually abusing a girl more than 50 years ago. Credit: AAP

The woman said the “second phase” of the abuse began in 1969, when Cable allegedly taught her how to masturbate.

“He was always sweating a lot and making moaning and grunting noises,” the woman said.

She also accused Cable of forcing her to give him oral sex in a car and said his breath smelled bad.

“He used to put my face in my armpit and say that’s what real men smell like,” she said.

The woman said Cable also forced her to have sex at a public pool where he worked.

“Barry always said it was our secret,” she said.

The woman said the abuse caused her to begin binge eating and the use of laxatives, which led to a lifelong illness.

She also said the interactions scared her and made her hate herself, but Cable made it sound like he was doing her a favor.

“Barry always said how good it was for me to have me as a coach,” she said.

Hall of Famer Barry Cable has denied the claims. Credit: AAP

She started sobbing as she recalled Cable threatening to “exploit” her sister if she didn’t cooperate with him.

Attorney Tim Hammond told the court that the abuse began when the woman was 12 or 13 and lasted about five years.

“The abuse was constant, it was pervasive, it was demeaning and circumstances when there was a complete imbalance of power,” he said.

He also said it left the woman with lifelong mental health issues, including chronic stress disorder caused by the abuse.

A ruling released on Tuesday found that Cable had recently been declared bankrupt and intended to take no further part in the defense of the case other than to rely on written material previously submitted.

Cable had made several unsuccessful attempts to permanently drop the case over the past few years.

One of football’s most accomplished players, Cable was born in Narrogin and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame with legend status in 2012.

He had a glittering playing career for Perth and East Perth in the WAFL and North Melbourne in the VFL and later coached both leagues.

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The Woolies shopper’s spooky broccolini find. Alleged sexual abuse of WA football character Barry Cable is ‘degrading’

James Brien

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