A man at the centre of Australia’s most shocking incest case has fled the country, sparking a global manhunt.
Charlie Colt (not his real name) boarded a flight to the UK from Melbourne last week. He had previously been hiding in Wodonga and Adelaide.
Investigators did not know of his escape until contacted by The Daily Telegraph last night.
He is accused of fathering three of the children in the infamous Colt family, sleeping regularly with his sister and engaging in sexual abuse too abhorrent for The Daily Telegraph to describe.
The NSW Child Abuse Squad has been searching for Colt, 41, since an arrest warrant was issued on June 6.
He failed to attend court that day for an application by police to take DNA evidence from him which they had hoped would prove he had engaged in incest, which is punishable by up to eight years in jail.
His overseas dash comes amid revelations his sister Betty Colt probably lodged a fake address in court when granted bail over kidnap charges, to which she has pleaded not guilty.
She is awaiting a verdict over allegations she tried to take back her children from foster carers.
Speaking exclusively with The Daily Telegraph from “just outside London”, Charlie Colt said he took the gamble of fleeing last week in the hope of researching his family history before he was arrested.
“I thought ‘bugger it’. When they arrest me I’ll be locked up for six to 12 months awaiting trial,” he said.
“I’ve never abused a child in my life, I’ve never abused another person.
“I love my whole family dearly, but not sexually. I think it’s absolutely disgusting, it’s wrong, it’s against everything we were brought up with.”
Despite genetic testing revealing at least 14 Colt children had parents who were related, Charlie claimed the notion that his family engaged in generations of incest was “absolute rubbish”.
“The only one I’m not sure about was (niece) Tammy. She was pretty close to her cousin but they could have just been good friends,” he said.
Charlie Colt claims the allegations of years of incest are rumours started by a bitter ex-neighbour who was knocked back by his sister.
“She told him straight out no and then he turned around and said ‘I suppose you’re f … ing your brothers aren’t you’. He was in the pub spreading it every night.”
The Colt family has scattered across the country since authorities pounced on their commune in southern NSW in July 2012. It was there that investigators discovered — in a clearing in the woods — a bizarre commune where sex between family members was allegedly accepted practice and the children had severe deformities.
Police removed 12 children and the court later found there was “no realistic possibility of restoration of any child to any mother”. But Charlie Colt claims life was joyful for the family: “It was happy, the kids were happy all the time. Everybody laughed and talked and chipped in with everything.”
He said he had thought about handing himself in to police but feared he would not be given a fair trial.