‘Disbelief’ at husband’s 57 child sex charges
WARNING: Graphic details
The wife of a Sydney swimming coach facing 57 charges over allegations he sexually abused 11 boys has said she is in "shock and utter disbelief" at the allegations levelled against her husband.
In an emotional affidavit tendered to Sutherland Local Court today Ivana Frost, who is a senior Australian executive with furniture retailer Ikea, pleaded that Paul Douglas Frost be allowed home while he awaits trial.
Mr Frost, 43, is a former MasterChef finalist and the son of renowned swimming coach Doug Frost who used to work with Olympian Ian Thorpe.
Dressed in prison greens, he appeared at court today on a video link from Silverwater jail.
He was arrested at his home in Sylvania, southern Sydney, last week and charged with 10 offences, including aggravated sexual assault of a child under 16 and aggravated indecent assault of a child under 16 between 1997 and 2001 while they were at the now-closed Doug Frost Swim School in Padstow.
Today, police said he was being charged with a further 47 additional grooming, aggravated indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault offences on boys aged between eight and 16, up to 2009.
Court documents seen by news.com.au detail the alleged abuse which included inducing a boy to take his shorts down and masturbating him and committing sexual intercourse without consent.
There were also letters from two former employers sacking Mr Frost following the charges.
Ms Frost is Ikea's high-profile national food manager for Australia, responsible for the iconic firm's restaurants and their menu including Swedish meatballs.
She has appeared in Ikea marketing material including YouTube videos where she is interviewed alongside former MasterChef host Matt Preston about minimising food waste.
In her affidavit, Ms Frost said she had been married since November 2001.
"I am in shock and utter disbelief at the charges bought against Paul," she wrote.
"Paul has no criminal record and has always been a loyal and caring husband."
She said he had a "gentle personality".
The family had been through financial strife when a food venture went sour.
Sebastian DeBrennan, Mr Frost's solicitor, said his client had tried, but ultimately failed, to capitalise on his TV profile.
"He was a finalist in MasterChef and had initial success in the restaurant and catering business," Mr DeBrennan told the court.
"But things deteriorated that culminated in him filing for bankruptcy in 2016.
"The last few years, he and his family have been clawing their way back from those debts."
Ms Frost said the loss of his income after he was sacked from his casual jobs would be a further blow.
"I don't know how I'll manage financially with the care of Paul's elderly mother when Paul is in custody," she said.
"Paul's mum has been beside herself with anxiety since his arrest".
Ms Frost travelled frequently abroard, she said. Not just to Ikea's Swedish head office but also to the UK, Italy, China, Denmark and Serbia in the past 18 months.
"I don't know how I will manage to meet the travel requirements of my job without Paul at home," she said.
In her affidavit, Ms Frost said she had been stressed by a recent phone call to her husband in prison.
"I'm concerned about Paul's mental health, physical health and welfare. He's putting on a brave face but I'm concerned about his emotional wellbeing," she said.
"When I spoke to him (in prison) I could hear yelling and screaming from other inmates as well as swearing as a fight had broken out."
News.com.au has seen a letter from the Head of the Education School at the University of New South Wales Kim Beswick where she terminated Mr Frost's employment.
"These charges, while unproven, are serious and incompatible with your casual employment with UNSW," Ms Beswick said.
He was also sacked by the NSW Education Department which banned him from working in any educational establishment in the state until a verdict.
Court documents detailed many of the allegations that Mr Frost now faces. These include sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated indecent assault.
On one occasion it's alleged he swam naked in a swimming pool with a 13-year old; another allegation is that he pulled down a 15-year-old boy's shorts and masturbated him.
He is also said to have masturbated a teen over his speedos and plied another child with alcohol to make sexual activity easier.
Mr DeBrennan today told Magistrate Chris McRobert that it was notable there was no CCTV, email or phone evidence of the assaults and instead the Crown were relying solely on statements from the alleged victims.
He also questioned why the 11 now adults had come forward more than a decade, in some cases far longer, after the assaults were alleged to have occurred and said that length of time meant there was a "possibility of concoction or contamination".
Magistrate McRobert said the lack of CCTV didn't diminish the overall strength of the case
"There is a strong prosecution case, we have 11 victim complainants with no evidence before court to show any level of concoction or corroboration between them," he said.
He granted Mr Frost $10,000 bail with strict conditions including that he surrenders his passport, not go near an airport and regularly report to police. His movements will also be severely restricted.
The magistrate cited the lack of any allegations against Mr Frost for over a decade and his clean criminal record for allowing him to await his trial in the community. He also said it could be 18 months before the case reaches trial which would be a severe burden on his family.
But he had a warning for Mr Frost: "In simple terms, don't push your luck."
Mr Frost will appear at Bankstown Court on October 9.