Child sex abuse claims ‘may have been fabricated’
A LAWYER for four of the seven people charged over the Blue Mountains circus training school child abuse case has told a Sydney court that allegations against them may have been fabricated.
Solicitor Bryan Wrench told Penrith Local Court today there was no DNA or video evidence of the child sexual assaults allegedly committed by his clients.
He also said there was in fact video which showed that nothing had occurred.
A bail application for Therese Ann Cook, 58, her brother Paul Cook, 42, Ms Cook's daughter Yyani Cook-Williams and Clarissa Meredith, 23, who Mr Wrench referred to as Clarissa Cook-Williams, was today adjourned to April 6 by Magistrate Stephen Corry.
The four accused, who are all related, are members of a group who are charged with repeatedly raping and abusing three boys aged as young as three and seven years old.
Three others who cannot be identified have also been charged.
Offences allegedly committed against the young boys include sex acts and "rituals". Charges also relate to allegations the boys were deprived of their liberty or threatened so that they feared physical or mental harm.
In one of the most depraved allegations, the matriarch of the circus, Therese Cook, allegedly choked one of the boys before an alleged sex act occurred.
The alleged offences occurred in the Blue Mountains and at Parramatta in western Sydney between 2014 and 2016.
Therese Ann Cook, Paul Cook, Yyani Cook-Williams and Clarissa Meredith and three others who cannot be identified have been charged.
They collectively face 127 charges including kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault of a child and making child abuse material by filming child sexual assaults on a phone.
Court documents allege Therese Cook allegedly abused two of the boys when they were aged three and seven, and was then joined at a later date by her co-accused in further alleged offences against the boys.
Ms Cook is charged with 43 offences, Paul Cook with six offences, Yyani Cook-Williams with five offences and Clarissa Meredith with 13 offences.
Three people, now aged 20, 18 and 17 years old were all under the age of 18 years at the time of the alleged offences and have faced the NSW Children's Court.
An 18-year-old man is charged with 42 of the 127 total offences.
The four named accused have been in custody in prison since their dramatic arrest last week.
Therese Cook, Paul Cook and Clarissa Meredith were living in the same Katoomba house, while Yyani Cook-Williams was arrested at Canterbury in southwestern Sydney.