The living conditions of the Colt family.
The living conditions of the Colt family.

Frank Colt ‘broke away’ after alleged incest, court told

A man extradited from Western Australia over the alleged sexual assault of young family members in rural NSW has "broken away" from his off-the-grid lifestyle and wants to get his life back on track, a judge has been told.

The 49-year-old, given the pseudonym Frank Colt, was arrested in April and appeared via video link in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday for a bail hearing before Justice Stephen Campbell.

He's one of eight family members apprehended by police, and is charged with four counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged under 10 and one of sexual intercourse without consent involving an 18-year-old woman.

 

Inside the farm property of the Colt family.
Inside the farm property of the Colt family.

Charges were laid more than five years after 40 family members were allegedly found living in squalor in 2012.

Colt's solicitor submitted the "main difficulty" he faces in regards to bail is the overall context he finds himself in.

"The applicant is in a situation where he is basically consumed by the terrible taboo of intergenerational incest," Robert Bucksath said.

He said Colt could demonstrate he'd "broken away from what's been termed the 'nomadic lifestyle' or the 'living off-the-grid lifestyle' attributed to him", and he hadn't contacted "those" family members for a number of years.

 

A male family member of the Colt family.
A male family member of the Colt family.

 

A female Colt member being led away by police.
A female Colt member being led away by police.

 

"We don't choose what circumstances we're born into and we certainly don't choose who our family are," Mr Bucksath said.

He said Colt would be "an absolute fool" to contact associated family if granted bail.

"He's got no desire to go down that path. He just wants to get his life back on track as best as he can … and try to salvage something that's quickly eroded over the last several months," Mr Bucksath said.

The lawyer said Colt had no job back in WA but had a mortgage that had gone unpaid for almost eight months on "a normal house" that is "not some commune out of town" without running water and electricity.

Crown prosecutor Mardi Cartwright said Colt had breached bail before in other states and belonged to a family "known to travel long distances to see each other".

 

Tents at the farm property of the Colt family.
Tents at the farm property of the Colt family.

 

She said Colt was not living at the rural NSW property when the alleged offences were committed but visiting on a one-week holiday.

If bail is granted, she submitted Colt be subject to conditions including non- contact with witnesses and reporting twice daily to police, but expressed concerns over the ability to monitor compliance in WA from NSW.

Ms Cartwright said the Crown's current intention was that the eight Colt trials would run together "given the commonality of the evidence" but it would be lengthy and difficult and was unlikely to happen for at least six months. Two Colts - both females facing charges of perjury - have successfully applied for bail.

Justice Campbell has reserved his decision until next week.

 

The farm property of the Colt family.
The farm property of the Colt family.


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