Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding

Hardly any were capable of intelligible speech and many were deaf and blind

The filthy and severely deformed offspring of a horrifying incest cult whose members bred together for generations have been discovered in a remote farming community in Australia.

Apparently unknown to the 2,000 people with whom they shared their fertile valley township in New South Wales, at least 40 members of the reclusive Colt family raised four generations of inbred children in one of the country’s worst ever cases of child abuse.

According to the Sydney Daily Telegraph - which published details of New South Wales Children’s Court’s judgement on the family - the case only came to light when authorities were informed that children living in a network of huts in the valley did not attend school.

The subsequent New South Wales Police and Community Services investigation found deformed and disabled children living in squalor; unable to take care of themselves and lacking knowledge of basic hygiene, such as how to clean their teeth or use toilet paper.

Many of the children were suffering from severe health problems brought on by inbreeding, with a number diagnosed with homozygosity deformations – mutations caused by inheriting identical genes from both parents.

Hardly any were capable of intelligible speech, many were deaf and/or blind, and those that could understand what investigators were saying were painfully shy due to spending their entire lives without communicating with anyone other their immediate family members.

The name of the valley in which the family lived has been kept secret to avoid identifying the victims of child abuse, and the members have been given pseudonyms for the same reason. The surname Colt is not the real family name.

Despite this, New South Wales Children’s Court is understood to have released details of the case as it felt the world had to hear about one of Australia’s worst ever instances of incest.

The family is believed to trace back to the children’s great-grandparents, who were brother and sister. The incestuous siblings had a number of children, with these children raising another generation children of offspring among themselves. This third generation also chose to inbreed, giving birth to the children recently found living in squalor in the valley.

In total, at least 40 inbred people were believed to have been born in the network of huts – which were not served with any electricity or running water.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions