Paedophile Francis William Cable: Victims Speak out about Horrific Abuse at Marist Brothers Schools

By Paul Bibby
Sydney Morning Herald
June 18, 2015

From the top of the steps at Sydney's Downing Centre court complex the past two-and-a-half years seemed "like an eternity" to Terry Kippen.

Moments before he had watched as Francis William Cable one of the state's worst Catholic school paedophiles was slowly taken away by prison officers to serve a maximum 16-year prison term.

For decades Cable had quietly gone about his daily life as Mr Skippen and 18 other men struggled to cope with the consequences of the horrific abuse he had inflicted on them at Marist Brothers schools in Newcastle and Sydney between 1960 and 1974.

Paedophile Francis Cable, also known as Brother Romuald, has been jailed for 16 years for raping and abusing 17 boys. Photo: Darren Pateman

But at the beginning of 2013 Terry broke his silence and went to police.

"I had to do something," Terry said after Cable, 83, was sentenced on Thursday.

"I knew if I was going to have any recovery and enjoy the rest of my life I had to start if off."

John Dunn, right, who was abused by Cable, said of the paedophile's jailing: 'I needed to hear the door slam shut.' Photo: Brendan Esposito

"And then of course the victims grew. It started with myself and then one become two and two become eight, eight become twelve and so it went on and we ended up with 19."

Cable used his position as a technical drawing teacher and class master at the Marist Brothers Catholic school in Maitland and its sister school in the Sydney suburb of Pagewood to repeatedly rape, molest and physically abuse vulnerable students aged between 13 and 14.

He would threaten the students with physical violence, expulsion and social isolation if they reported his crimes, which he frequently justified by reference to quasi religious doctrine.

Abuse victims of Francis Cable with family members and other supporters outside the Downing Centre on Thursday. Photo: Brendan Esposito

"You have the mark of the devil on you and I need to get the devil out of you and this is how I have to do it," Cable told one of his victims after raping him.

He told another boy: "You'll do what you're told because I can do whatever I like you're not even a Catholic".

Mr Skippen's courage in coming forward led to a police investigation, a trial, and, in March this year, Cable's conviction on more than 25 child sex charges.

John Dunn and Terry Skippen, who were both abused by Cable, outside court on Thursday after the paedophile's sentencing. Photo: Brendan Esposito

The disgraced brother subsequently admitted to a further 11 indecent assaults which were taken into account by Judge Peter Whitford when sentencing, but this was more a reflection of the strength of the case against him than any sign of remorse.

On Thursday Judge Whitford described Cable's crimes as "abominable".

"The audacity of the conduct is frankly breathtaking," Judge Whitford said.

"The circumstances bespeak little concern about being detected and certainly no concern for the welfare of his victims."

Mr Skippen and John Dunn, another of Cable's victims, chose to waive their legal right to anonymity in a bid to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and to encourage others to come forward.

"It's a victory, but it's a battle in the war," Mr Dunn said.

"I needed to be here today I needed to hear the door slam shut."

"Today is basically the first day of the rest of my life."








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