Francis William Cable - Photo4

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2957438/former-marist-brother-admits-sexual-abuse/?cs=305

Former Marist Brother Francis William Cable, aka Brother Romuald, admits sexual abuse

By JOANNE McCARTHY

March 19, 2015, 10 p.m.

A FORMER Hunter Marist Brother who called a 12-year-old student ‘‘the anti-Christ’’ before raping him half a century ago is in custody after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 17 boys and teenagers, and being found guilty of offences against two others.

Trials against Francis William Cable, 82, known as Brother Romuald when he taught at Marist Brothers schools at Hamilton, Maitland and Pagewood in the 1960s, were expected to run for several months after he pleaded not guilty to nearly 60 indecent assault and buggery offences in the 1960s and 1970s.

But he entered guilty pleas to multiple offences in Sydney District Court on Thursday after a jury in the first trial found him guilty of 13 offences against two boys, including buggery, on Tuesday.

Men cried with relief and outrage after the guilty pleas were confirmed. One victim, who was called ‘‘the anti-Christ’’, beaten on the head and digitally and orally raped by Romuald at the age of 12, cried as he said: ‘‘I don’t trust any man.’’

‘‘He was violent. He used me for sex. He was a mongrel of a bloke and I was just a child.’’

Three of his victims who cried while recounting the terror they experienced at school because of Romuald said they had no time for anyone who expressed sympathy for him because of his age, or the likelihood that he would die in jail.

‘‘He sexually abused me more than 50 years ago and I’ve had to live with that for most of my life,’’ said one of his former students, 67.

‘‘He’s been able to live his life without anyone knowing what he did. He probably thought that at 82, ‘I’m fine. I’ll get away with this’, but that’s not right. Child sexual abuse has a devastating impact on your life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how old they are, the silence that allowed this to happen has to end.’’

Romuald sexually abused a number of children who had suffered deaths in their families, or where family members were known drinkers, or where the children had physical problems.

He sexually abused children behind his desk in classrooms at Maitland, Hamilton and Pagewood while other students were in the room. He gained access to boys and teenagers outside school by coaching sports, taking them on Duke of Edinburgh Award camps and activities, running army cadet groups, and organising father-and-son weekend camps where the fathers brought kegs of beer.

At one of the father-and-son weekends, Romuald indecently assaulted a 13-year-old boy while they were swimming in Myall Lakes.

An agreed statement of facts tendered to the court said the boy told his father on the trip home.

‘‘His father did not believe him and told him he was lying,’’ the facts said.

Romuald committed multiple offences at Newcastle, Merewether and Maitland baths, and Heffron Park baths in Sydney while swimming with boys and teenagers.

Other offences occurred at Bar Beach, also while swimming.

In 1972 Romuald took a form 2 Hamilton Marist Brothers class to Merewether Baths, where they used the change rooms.

‘‘The offender was walking around in the change rooms with an erection. He was encouraging the boys to remove their clothes, telling them to take their swimmers off,’’ the statement of facts said.

Romuald indecently assaulted boys at the Hamilton and Maitland schools while teaching them sex education, which he taught in one-on-one sessions. He also befriended women who were alone because their husbands had died, or left, or worked for long periods away from home, and indecently assaulted their sons during regular visits.

Romuald indecently assaulted one boy in his mother’s laundry, telling him it was ‘‘sex education’’.

One of his victims, 58, said his life had ‘‘gone completely pear-shaped’’ because of the abuse he experienced at Hamilton Marist Brothers.

‘‘I was going to be an engineer but after the abuse I just couldn’t stay at school. I got out,’’ he said.

‘‘I hate the Marist Brothers. I can’t understand how they did all that stuff. The Brothers at that school were friends of my parents. I look back and see what a mess my life has been and I realise, I was running away.’’

Francis Cable (Brother Romuald) will be sentenced at a later date.

‘He’s an old man, he can’t hurt me any more’

A MAN sobbed on Thursday when told he would not have to give evidence against Francis William Cable, the man he knew as Brother Romuald at Marist Brothers Hamilton.

‘‘I feel cheated,’’ he said, while apologising for not being able to control his sobs.

‘‘I’ve lost my chance to say: ‘You hurt me’. I’m really beaten up. I’ve got to get this bear off my back because it’s been 40 bloody years.’’

The man was 13 when Romuald repeatedly indecently assaulted him in class, and left him terrified  of  when the next incident would occur.

‘‘For all this time, I’ve pictured myself as three feet tall, and he’s six feet four, and I’m powerless. I need to look at his face and know he’s a bent-up old man and he can’t hurt me any more. I need to be able to tell him that: ‘You can’t hurt me any more’.’’

The man, who cannot be identified, said Romuald was a ‘‘big, evil, scary man who used to turn up out of nowhere’’ for many former students.

‘‘There are more victims … who wouldn’t make statements to police. I personally approached four. They said he had abused them but they just couldn’t make a statement. That’s the power this stuff has over you.

‘‘You cap it and seal it away and think you’re OK, and then it hits you.’’

The man said his family had not supported him. When he rang them in distress after the guilty pleas on Thursday, his parents tried to change the subject.

Another victim who was 13 when he was repeatedly assaulted by Romuald said he was staggered by the failings of the Catholic Church and the Marist Brothers to protect children at the Hamilton and Maitland schools.

‘‘Of course I hate the bastards for it.’’

 

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Comments
  1. Robbo says:

    Gee what is the % of priests still alive that are pedo’s. All the old ones thought they were going to die with their secrets…Filth

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