The matriarch of an alleged incest family has denied raping children but told her sons to keep quiet when it comes to who their father is.
Betty Colt, a pseudonym provided by the Children’s Court, was sentenced on Monday to at least nine months in jail for trying to kidnap her sons out of foster care.
The 48-year-old was one of 40 adults and children living in tents and caravans among horrific squalor on a remote southwest NSW property in 2012.
Twelve children, 11 of whom had parents that were related or closely related, were taken from the filth and placed in state care.
Children living on the farm near Yass showed signs of neglect, lacked basic personal hygiene and had developmental problems, a Children’s Court judgment released last year revealed.
Some told counsellors they had sex with siblings and relatives on the rural property.
Colt cried and hugged her daughter, who supported her in court after she was sentenced to a maximum of 12 months in jail.
She cooked a plan last year to get her two sons, aged 14 and 15, out of foster care in the Southern Highlands.
She was convicted of recruiting a young person to commit an offence and procuring a young person out of care in Moss Vale Local Court in September.
In sentencing, Magistrate Mary Ryan said Colt “has no insight into the damage she has caused them (her sons) in the past”.
Colt’s plan to get her eldest son to run away with his brother from care last October came undone when detectives heard the plan over phone intercepts.
On a contact visit, Colt gave her eldest son a mobile phone to sneak into foster care, court documents reveal.
They used it to discuss a plan despite the son’s hesitation to leave care before he was 18.
A transcript of phone intercepts tendered in court detailed Colt’s view of the allegations against her.
Colt told her eldest son “I’m meant to have raped you all, they reckon I’ve had sex with all of you … sick f***s”.
“I’m meant to have put the girls in a tent and tell all you boys who to have sex with,” she said in a conversation last year.
Her son asked her if they had proof.
“Well it never happened, so they don’t have s***,” Colt replied.
In another conversation, her son says “they found out who my father is, didn’t they?”
Colt, who told her teenage son his voice sounded “sexy”, replied authorities were just bluffing and instructed him and his brother not to talk to anyone.
The court heard Colt wanted to take her sons out of care and skip the border to South Australia to work fruit picking.
Defence lawyer Philip Carey said the mother-son relationship may be a little “unusual and difficult” for people to understand.
He has lodged an appeal to be heard later this month.
The NSW Police Child Abuse Squad is still investigating the Colt family.