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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Project Management Support Assistant

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Railway Museum, the largest of its ...

Sauce Recruitment: FP&A Analyst -Home Entertainment

£250 - £300 per day: Sauce Recruitment: (Rolling) 3 month contractA global en...

Recruitment Genius: Sales and Account Manager - OTE £80,000+

£40000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - Kent - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project