Sensational allegations about what an accused incest NSW family did on their filthy secret farm have emerged as its matriarch was granted release on bail after spending 14 months in women's prisons.

Betty Colt is one of eight family members who will face a historic three-month trial of charges relating to incest and sex between related children on a squalid family property in the hills behind a NSW country town.

During the 52-year-old's bail application, the NSW Supreme Court heard that Colt family "adults engaged in encouraging children who were related to one another to engage in sexual acts".

Prosecutor Mardi Cartwright told the court Betty Colt had told "lies ... to retain five children in her care where there was clear evidence of incest, sexual or physical abuse or neglect".

The siblings Martha and Charlie slept openly in a
The siblings Martha and Charlie slept openly in a "marital bed" in a tent on the Colt's farm. Photo /

Ms Colt let out a tiny sob and nodded her head rapidly as Justice Des Fagan said he was going to release her and denied one of prosecutor's requested bail conditions, saying it was "unduly onerous".

The mammoth trial of a total 44 charges against the eight Colts — a court-appointed pseudonym to protect the identity of the clan's children — is due to start in February next year.

Many of the offences were allegedly committed on the family's filthy bush block, where 38 adults and children were discovered living without electricity, running water or toilets in 2012.

A publicly released NSW Children's Court judgment said DNA tests later proved 14 children of the Colt family were the product of parents who were related.

Test results of some of the children's "consanguinity" showed they were closely related to one another, in other words their parents could have been father and daughter, mother and son or brother and sister.

Ms Cartwright told the court Betty Colt had "maintained the lie" about incest despite DNA proof of the fact.

Betty Colt, who looked tired and tense as she sat in a video booth in Wellington Correctional Centre, has been charged with five counts of making a false statement on oath amounting to perjury, and one of perverting the course of justice.

The court heard Ms Colt had refused to accept documents in prison for fear fellow inmates would learn of the reason why she was in jail and attack her.


Opposing Ms Colt's release on bail, Ms Cartwright said there was a risk she would interfere with witnesses in the forthcoming trial, five of whom are Colt children who lived on the property.

She named one Colt boy who will give "evidence about who his father is" and three other Colt boys who will "evidence ... (of) the sexual assault allegations".

Ms Cartwright said the prosecution feared Betty Colt would contact family members via a sister who was not one of the accused.

She said the sister lived with Betty's daughter Raylene, who is one of the co-accused, and had visited relatives in three different NSW prisons.

Charlie Colt, Martha's brother, was arrested with her at Griffith where they were living together in April this year. Photo /
Charlie Colt, Martha's brother, was arrested with her at Griffith where they were living together in April this year. Photo /

The court heard a telephone intercept of Betty telling one of her female relatives not to speak with authorities investigating the Colts, and the risk of future interference if she was out on bail was great.

But Justice Fagan said: "I'm sorry it's just going to have to be managed, I am going to grant bail."

He said he "cannot justify" keeping Ms Colt in custody when it could mean she will have been behind bars for two years before the trial ends.

He said that period was longer than she might expect if she were convicted of the charges against her.

Justice Fagan imposed conditions of Ms Colt not contacting her co-accused or any witnesses, and reporting daily to police, refusing Ms Cartwright's request the accused reported twice daily.

Told that Ms Colt could easily contact the sister who "travelled between locations frequently" where family members lived, Justice Fagan said, "going twice a day into a ... police station is unduly onerous. We can't have perfection".

The eight accused Colt family members are due to be arraigned in the Sydney District Court soon on charges including incest and child abuse, almost seven years after police and welfare authorities raided their bush block home.

Betty's two sisters and daughter also are facing a charge of making a false statement amounting to perjury.

The four male Colts, aged between 29 and 49, are accused of charges including incest, indecent assault of a person under 16 and sexual intercourse with children aged under 14.

Their arrests in April 2018 came more than five years after 40 members of the same family were found living in squalor on a rural NSW property.

The farm was a squalid camp and the children were malformed and devoid of hygiene.

Some children spoke in unintelligible speech, walked in a shuffling fashion, didn't know how to bathe or clean their rotting teeth and used the bush as their only toilet.

Many of them had avoided school, had developmental delays, cognitive impairments and physical deformities associated with inbreeding such as low slung ears and misaligned facial features.

But that all came to a halt when police and welfare authorities found 38 Colt family members living on a squalid NSW farm where it's alleged sex among the interrelated children was rampant.

Police say DNA tests proved that 14 of the Colt children had been fathered by a relative of their mother, and the interrelated children themselves were allegedly involved in rampant sexual activity.

Five of the Colts facing charges are the grandchildren of a brother and sister who it's alleged were the parents of the Betty's mother June Colt.

Three are the great grandchildren.

Betty Colt, brothers Charlie and Roderick, sisters Martha and Rhonda, daughter Raylene and nephew Cliff will stand trial in the Sydney District Court in February next year.