Incest nieces testify at uncles’ sex trial
Nieces in the Colt incest family are set to give evidence in a forthcoming trial about how their uncles allegedly preyed on them for inbred sex.
One of the young woman, Petra Colt, will reveal how her uncles Charlie, 45, and Frank, 48, allegedly sexually interfered with her on the squalid family farm at Boorowa, NSW.
The NSW Supreme Court heard on Tuesday that Petra and her sister Tammy - both daughters of Colt matriarch Betty, Charlie and Frank's older sister, will turn Crown witness in the cases against their uncles.
Frank Colt, it was alleged in court, drove 4000km from his Western Australian home across the Australian desert for a week's holiday in Boorowa where he allegedly committed the crime.
The dramatic turn in the Colt family incest case was revealed during a bail application by Frank Colt, who allegedly described his nieces as the "weak links" for police investigators.
Frank Colt, who is charged with having sexual intercourse with a child under 10, made the comments during a telephone call intercepted by police.
The two Colt nieces and other family members living in South Australia are due to give
evidence against eight members of the Colts in a lengthy trial late next year.
Justice Stephen Campbell described the case as "very, very shocking" after a lawyer for Frank Colt described his client as "consumed by the terrible taboo of intergenerational incest".
Frank Colt, his brother Charlie and nephews Derek and Cliff are charged with child sex offences.
Appearing in court via video link from prison, Frank Colt resembled other co-accused siblings, but appeared at least a foot taller than his diminutive brother Charlie.
His sisters Martha, Betty and Rhonda and niece Raylene face perjury allegations.
All the Colt family names are court-appointed pseudonyms to protect the children allegedly offended against.
The charges were laid in a three-state swoop in April, five years after police raided the filthy bush block to find 38 members of the Colt family living without electricity or running water.
The Colt had moved from state to state to avoid detection.
NSW DPP prosecutor Mardi Cartwright told Justice Campbell that Petra Colt would testify about an alleged assault by Frank Colt and was "very clear about what happened".
She said prosecutors were awaiting DNA evidence, but two of the eight co-accused Colts were "opposing forensic procedures" which would be fought out in court early in the new year.
Ms Cartwright said the Colt family Crown witnesses were "vulnerable" and fears were held about Frank Colt or others intimidating or offending against them.
Frank Colt's solicitor Robert Bucksath told the hearing that despite the taboo of alleged incest his client had "broken away" from the family's "nomadic lifestyle".
Mr Bucksath said before his arrest Mr Colt had lived in a Western Australian country town, held down a job in the cattle industry and patronised the local pub and the shops.
He had no children, but with his late wife he had bought "a normal house in a normal street.
"It's not some commune out of town that doesn't have running water or electricity connected," Mr Bucksath said.
Frank Colt had been a "hard worker" with handyman and carpentry skills, and needed to return to WA to earn money and pay his mortgage.
"He has had no contact with these family members for a number of years," Mr Bucksath said.
"He has no wish to contact them. We can't choose what circumstances we are born into (or) our family members."
Mr Bucksath said Frank Colt's comment about his nieces being the "weak link" had been in support of his sister after their children were removed from the Boorowa farm.
He described Petra's Colt's evidence against her uncle as being made during an interview in which she was led by police.
Justice Campbell reserved his decision on whether to grant bail to Frank Colt, pending advice on whether WA Police could supervise bail conditions imposed by a NSW court.