A WIFE has spoken of her “utter disbelief” at her swim coach husband’s 57 child sex charges for allegedly abusing boys in his care.
Paul Douglas Frost, 43, is a former MasterChef finalist in Australia and the son of renowned swimming coach Doug Frost who used to work with Olympian Ian Thorpe.
Paul Douglas Frost is facing 57 child sex charges[/caption]
In an emotional affidavit to Sutherland Local Court in New South Wales today Ivana Frost, who is a senior Australian executive with furniture retailer Ikea, pleaded for her husband to be allowed to return home while he awaits trial.
Dressed in prison greens, he appeared via 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 47 additional grooming, aggravated indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault offences on boys aged between eight and 16, up to 2009.
Ivana 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, she said she had been married since November 2001, and wrote: “I am in shock and utter disbelief at the charges bought against Paul.
“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, 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.”
Ivana Frost said the loss of his income after he was sacked from his casual jobs would be a further blow.
The NSW Education Department has banned him from working in any educational establishment in the state until a verdict.
She said: “I don’t know how I’ll manage financially with the care of Paul’s elderly mother when Paul is in custody.
“Paul’s mum has been beside herself with anxiety since his arrest”
Mr DeBrennan today told Magistrate Chris McRobert there was no CCTV, email or phone evidence of the assaults and that the Crown was relying solely on statements from the alleged victims.
He alleged that length of time meant there was a “possibility of concoction or contamination”.
Magistrate McRobert said the lack of CCTV footage didn’t diminish the overall strength of the case.
He said: “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 granted Frost £5,500 (AUD$10,000) bail with strict conditions including that he surrenders his passport, is banned from going near an airport and must regularly report to police.
Frost’s 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.
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He also said it could be 18 months before the case reaches trial, which would place 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.
A version of this article first appeared in News.com.au
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