From an article in The Australian News: ““BETTY Colt”, the mum at the centre of an alleged multi-generational incest family, has been found guilty of plotting to kidnap her children back from foster care.
Hers is the first criminal conviction to stem from a widespread investigation into one of the most shocking case of alleged child abuse in Australia’s history. Colt’s sons “Billy” and “Bobby” were removed from her care in the winter of 2012 after authorities investigated the family’s rural compound.
During a complex hearing magistrate Mary Ryan was told by the prosecution that Betty Colt smuggled her children, then in foster care, a mobile phone and charger by hiding them in jackets handed over at contact meetings.
They alleged the mother-of-13 opened up a secret line of communication by scribbling her number on magazines and iPods she gave her sons as gifts. Her two sons discussed the “runaway plan” in soft voices and behind closed doors, concealing the mobile phone in a waterproof bag in the back garden of their foster home. Betty Colt was present in court today with daughter “Raylene”, who is also accused of allegedly mothering a child with her relative.
Magistrate Ryan found Betty Colt guilty on all three counts she was facing. She will be sentenced on November 3. She is guilty of recruiting her elder son Bobby to kidnap his brother Billy and two counts of removing them from the care of foster parents.
“Betty Colt took advantage of her sons,” magistrate Ryan said. “Betty Colt continued assertion that they could leave (their foster carers) when they were 16 was an act of willful blindness. She persisted in the lie.
“She had absolutely no regard the findings of the Children’s Court.” Magistrate Ryan found that Colt wanted to restore the “status quo of her family that existed prior to the findings of the Children’s Court.”
The court heard how in 2013 generations of Colt children, many born to parents who were closely related, were routinely sexually abused, assaulted and malnourished. Transcripts of telephone intercepts tendered in court by the prosecution between Betty and Bobby Colt “lays bare a relationship with her son that was overbearing, immature and claustrophobic.”
She faces up to two years in prison and fines of more than $4000.
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