The woman at the centre of the Barry Cable civil sex abuse trial has told a court the former footy star would allegedly touch her inappropriately while she was seated next to her younger sister.
The woman, given the pseudonym ZYX by the court, alleges Mr Cable sexually abused and harassed her as a teenager from 1967 well into her adulthood. Mr Cable has denied the allegations and has never been charged.
She told the Western Australia District Court on Thursday that on more than one occasion, her sister had been next to her on a couch at the Cable home when Mr Cable allegedly touched her surreptitiously, or waited for the woman’s sister to fall asleep to continue.
While babysitting for the Cable family when they lived in the Perth suburb of Thornlie in the late 1960s, “at least twice a month during the [WAFL] season,” the woman would be forced to watch television with Mr Cable after his wife Helen had gone to bed, the court heard.
The woman told the court during this time, Mr Cable would allegedly force her to lie on the floor because it was “more comfy”, before touching her breasts and genitalia, both over and under her pyjamas.
The woman, responding to questions from her lawyer Tim Hammond on the second day of the civil hearing, said she would have been “15 going on 16 at the time.”
“It felt like forever, but was probably between five-10 minutes,” she said. “I’d try to remove myself, try to say I needed to use the toilet, I was thirsty, I was tired and needed to go to bed.
“He‘d say ‘no, you’re not tired’.”
The woman also detailed in court the binge eating and purging behaviours she exhibited after having contact with Mr Cable.
“I‘d pull out my hair … pull out my pub hair with tweezers, and sometimes they’d get infected and I’d scratch,” she said.
“I‘d eat two litres of ice cream, bread, spaghetti … I’d skol two glasses of red wine so I’d vomit.
“I was 16-17 when I started [purging with laxatives] … every time he’d been around or I felt agitated, feeling fat, and after bingeing.
“I’d do that for three-to-four days, then when I’d settled down it could be some weeks [before bingeing and purging again.].”
ZYX also told Mr Hammond her self-destructive behaviour could also be triggered by something as simple as seeing Mr Cable in the newspaper.
Defendant Barry Cable, 79, did not appear for the second day of the civil trial, with Judge Mark Herron taking the unusual step of allowing the matter to proceed in his absence.
Judge Herron has asked for diaries kept by the alleged victim to be tabled as evidence.
Mr Cable denies all allegations made against him, and has never been charged by police. The court heard on Wednesday ZYX made a 68-page statement outlining her allegations to officers in 1998.
In court documents tabled since the case first went to court in 2019, Mr Cable’s defence claims some of the alleged abuse could not have happened because the dates coincide with times when he would have been playing Australian rules football.
Other times he claims he was not in WA at all.
Over coming days, the trial is also expected to hear from one of the woman’s family members, a police officer who helped take her statement in 1998, and an overseas witness who will provide similar-fact, or propensity, evidence.
The trial continues.
Story Credit: news.com.au