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Legal, Sport Recreation


Rightside Legal 3 mins read

Friday June 16 2023




Former football champion Barry Cable has been ordered to pay $818,700 to a woman he repeatedly sexually abused when she was a child.


The ruling in the WA district Court ends a five-year legal process during which Cable fought to have the claim thrown out of court and then declared bankruptcy on the eve of trial.


During the trial, the woman, identified as ZYX during the trial, described years of abuse starting in 1968 when she was 13 years old and lived next door to the Cable family. Four other women gave evidence that they had also been sexually abused by Cable as children, three of them while Cable was coach of North Melbourne in the then-VFL.


Michael Magazanik, a partner with Rightside Legal, who represented the woman said: “My client is a person of immense courage and integrity who has pursued the truth for decades. 


“Cable is a child abuser, a liar and a coward.


“He's a paedophile because that’s what the court has found, and that’s what five women he molested as children have said under oath at trial. 


“He's a liar because he lied about it for years, denying all of it. 


“And he's a coward because he spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to stop the case. And when that failed, he declared bankruptcy to try to avoid the trial and then refused to turn up to court.”


Magazanik said Cable should be stripped of his honours immediately. “He should be expelled from the AFL’s Hall of Fame today and his MBE cancelled. 


“If you sexually abuse children in your spare time, and molest them in a spa in your backyard while you are coach of an AFL team, then you’re not fit for a sporting Hall of Fame or any other sort of honour.


"It’s time for everyone who has glorified Cable to face the sickening truth and act accordingly.”


  • The WA Institute of Sport which inducted him in 1985.
  • Sport Australia which added him to their Hall of Fame in 1986.
  • The AFL which named him to the Hall of Fame in 1996 and as an AFL Legend in 2012.
  • The WA Football Hall of Fame, of which Cable became a member in 2004.
  • The North Melbourne Football Club where Cable is a Life Member and was named to the North Melbourne Football Club Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Cable’s MBE (Member of the British Empire), awarded in 1978 for services to Australian Rules Football.


Magazanik said his client was going to consider the judgment carefully before deciding whether to speak publicly about the case. 


“My client first went to the police in 1998 but the DPP refused to prosecute despite two of the investigating police officers wanting to lay charges. This has been a long and painful journey for her, so she is pleased that Cable has finally been publicly unmasked as a child abuser.”



Michael Magazanik, partner, Rightside Legal               0403 367 608

Andrew Taylor       0411 156 797


Friday June 16 2023




Today’s decision clears a giant obstacle from my road to recovery.


Finally, the truth is confirmed by the Court.  And I am recognised for having told the truth for decades.


The past 50 plus years have taken their toll because so much was taken from me as a child.


As a child, I was unlucky enough to live next door to a paedophile, Barry Cable. 


As is the case for so many abuse survivors, it took me decades to go to the police. And as is so common, the system failed me. 


But today is also vindication for four brave WA police officers who believed me and fought in vain in the 1990s to see the abuser face justice. Those police officer were Cris Italiano, Jo Connelly, Bill Manners and Mick Miller. 


Today I no longer feel shame for the crimes committed against me.


It’s his turn to feel the burning shame. The world now knows the real person – the paedophile, not the football star – but nobody should ever forget that he spent decades enjoying the limelight and spent vast sums of money fighting to hide the truth.


And to those who knew or suspected that he was a serial paedophile, shame on you.


And to the brave women who came to trial and gave evidence for me, thank you, thank you, thank you.




About us:


Rightside Legal has unique expertise in litigating child abuse cases in Australia despite the challenges presented by institutions and churches, and the passing of time.

In recent years Rightside Legal has set legal precedents: winning the first trial for a survivor of sexual abuse in Western Australia; the first trial win against the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne; and the first cases in Western Australia and Victoria to overturn previous settlements in sexual abuse cases. After decades of being denied justice, survivors are now being properly supported late in their lives. 

Rightside Legal has also set records, with multi-million dollar settlements for former students in private and government schools and orphanages. 

Not all cases set records, not every case is a first, but every case matters.

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