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  • 12 December 2013, 17:02

Australia: Details Emerge Of Farm Incest Case

A dozen children, some unable to read or write or brush their teeth, have been removed from a remote farm in Australia after suffering years of sexual abuse and incest.

The victims, all aged under 16, had been living in a group of around 40 people in New South Wales (NSW).

Social workers responded in July 2012 to complaints that the children were failing to attend school and that when they did attend, they were thin, dirty and suffering from a lack of even basic hygiene.

Genetic testing revealed only one of the removed children had parents who were not related.

The testing also revealed a range of disabilities among the children including deafness and blindness.

They also displayed sexualised behaviour towards one another and strangers, and had disturbing stories of sexual acts in the commune involving children.

Some were unable to wash themselves, use a toilet or brush their teeth. Others had developmental issues, were malnourished and unable to read or write.

The NSW Children's Court took the rare step of publishing its judgement - originally made in September - this week, saying "there is no realistic possibility of restoration of any of the children" to their parents.

Court documents said the victims were either developmentally delayed or cognitively impaired, with seven of the group "unable to speak intelligibly".

One child had died when she was two months old due to a genetic condition.

The commune lived in "very dirty and hazardous" conditions in two caravans, two sheds and two tents without running water or sewage.

Evidence pointed to "inter-generational incestuous relationships and intra-familial sexual abuse", the judgement said.

The children were ordered to remain in state care until they are 18 years old.

The abuse is believed to have taken place over three generations, with the victims later becoming abusers.

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