Eight persons from one family have been charged with multiple child sexual and perjury offences in relation to alleged historical abuse in NSW.
Eight members of the infamous “Colt” clan have been arrested and charged, six years after stories of alleged neglect, incest and pedophilia on a NSW farm shocked the world.
Some 40 members of the clan were discovered in 2012 living in squalor on a rural property in the state’s south.
The children had speech difficulties, bad hygiene, slept in tents and later revealed alleged sexual abuse by family members.
Genetic testing suggested 11 of the 12 children removed from the farm had parents who were related.
Family members were given pseudonyms by the NSW courts including the surname “Colt”.
Eight senior members of the clan were arrested on Thursday in NSW, South Australia and Western Australia, NSW Police said in a statement on Friday.
Detectives say it’s taken six years to gather the DNA, forensic and witness evidence required to charge the core members.
The family matriarch, Betty Colt, is one of the alleged ringleaders to be flown into Sydney from Adelaide on Friday evening after NSW Police successfully sought the extradition of all six interstate suspects.
Police footage of the NSW arrests near Griffith showed officers handcuffing a diminutive man wearing high-vis workwear next to a tractor.
He kneels in the red Riverina dirt – still holding a cigarette – while a police detective stands over him writing in a notepad.
The 45-year-old was subsequently charged with more than a dozen offences including six counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10, indecent assault and common assault.
A 38-year-old woman is shown in the footage being escorted to Griffith Police Station with her hands in her pockets. She’s been charged with perjury.
The pair appeared in Griffith Local Court on Friday and were refused bail. They’d due to appear in a Sydney court on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a man and two women were arrested in the Riverland region of South Australia on a NSW warrant.
A 29-year-old man was charged with two counts of incest with a person under the age of 16 while the women – a 34-year-old and Betty Colt – were charged with perjury.
Two more men and another woman were also arrested in the Northam area of Western Australia.
A 36-year-old man was charged with four counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10, two counts of indecent assault and having sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14.
A 48-year-old man was charged with sexual intercourse with a child under 10 while a 51-year-old woman was charged with perjury.
The NSW child abuse squad chief on Friday told reporters the investigation had “tested the resilience” of detectives as they waded through the accusations of “horrific” abuse.