The eight members of an Australian family collectively accused of horrific crimes including incest, child sexual abuse and lying will stand trial in 2020.
The ‘Colt family’ were listed on Tuesday by Judge Kate Traill for an estimated three-month trial in the NSW District Court from February 10.
Judge Kate Traill also set a date in late 2019 for at least five child witnesses to pre-record their evidence.
Crown prosecutor Katharine Jeffreys said while the ‘substantial’ indictment is yet to be served on the Colts it will contain some 44 counts including a large number of alternative charges.
Not all charges relate to all of the accused, she said.
The eight Colts, aged between 30 and 52, were arrested and charged in April 2018 more than five years after 40 members of the same family were found living in squalor on a rural NSW property.
Police stumbled across the Colt family in 2012 after discovering the rundown camp at Boorowa, in western New South Wales.
DNA tests performed on all members of the family allegedly uncovered the evidence of long-standing incestuous relationships.
The farm where the family lived was lacking in hygiene and many of the children had difficulties with speech.
Few knew how to use toilet paper and many had ‘warped’ ideas about sex.
In April 2018, the matriarch Betty Colt was arrested alongside family members Rhonda and Martha, Charlie and Roderick, Rhonda’s son Cliff and Betty’s son Derek and daughter, Raylene.
Betty Colt is charged with five counts of making a false statement and perverting the course of justice.
Her sisters and daughter are charged with making a false statement amounting to perjury.
The four male Colts – Betty’s two brothers and two sons – who are all aged between 29 and 49, are charged with incest, indecent assault of a person under 16 and sexual intercourse with children under 14.
The family have been given court-appointed pseudonyms to protect the children’s identities.
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