A woman, who has accused an Australian rules football legend of long-term sexual abuse claims the alleged abuse has caused her an horrific emotional toll
The woman, whose identity is suppressed, took to the stand on Wednesday afternoon on the first day of the civil trial against Barry Cable in the West Australian District Court.
Referred to in court documents as ZYX, the woman alleges Mr Cable sexually abused and harassed her as an adolescent, starting in 1967, continuing on-and-off through to 1991. Mr Cable denies the claims.
She read a 68-page police statement made in 1998, which included details of the allegations already presented in court documents.
The alleged abuse involved Mr Cable exposing himself to the woman, who was a child at the time, fondling her breasts and genitalia, and forcing her to touch his genitalia.
“He told me ‘no one would believe you’,” ZYX read from her 1998 police statement, saying she went along with the abuse to save her sister the same fate.
“If I didn’t do it he’d say ”[her sister] will be my special girl’. I wished I was dead.
“He would always get what he wanted. It’s like he didn’t give a stuff about me.
“He would say I was useless, who would believe me, it’s all I was good for.
“I was very obese at this point, so I believed him.”
Under questioning from her lawyer Tim Hammond, the plaintiff detailed how the alleged abuse caused her to binge eat, before purging with laxatives, in behaviour that would eventually lead to bulimia.
The alleged abuse continued into her early 20s, when she claimed Mr Cable would show up unannounced wherever she was.
“He’d always find me and get angry, or make feel guilty and bad. I was afraid of Barry, afraid he’d hurt me if I didn’t comply,” she said.
“I worked out the best way to deal with Barry was to get it over and done with, since Barry never took no for an answer anyway.”
On multiple occasions towards the end of the 1970s, the woman said she even tried to stop the alleged abuse, but claims Mr Cable used gaslighting techniques to continue.
“I said I wasn’t a girl anymore, I was a woman, it has to stop, but he’d say things like: we live, we die, it’s what we do in between that matters; no one knows what we’re going so it can’t be wrong; we’re not hurting anyone; it’s good for you,” she said.
“I felt numb and powerless, I had no control. I felt like a frightened child, mocked and humiliated.”
It was an ABC Australian Story segment in 1996 that finally pushed her to make the statement to police, but it took another two years before she could do so.
Wednesday’s hearing is the first of a five-day civil case. Mr Cable denies all allegations made, and has never been charged.
The 79-year-old wasn’t present in the court, and it’s believed he will not personally be involved in the proceedings.
Judge Mark Herron taking the unusual step of proceeding without the defendant present.
Although the case was first filed in 2019, it was only on Tuesday that Judge Herron lifted a suppression order, allowing Mr Cable’s name to be published.
His alleged victim’s name is still not allowed to be published, nor any details which would cause her to be identified.
She will resume her testimony on the stand when the matter resumes on Thursday.
Story Credit: news.com.au