Children’s bikes are piled up outside one of the properties.
Children’s bikes are piled up outside one of the properties.

‘The most disturbing things I’ve read in my 24 years in this job’

IT was supposed to be a place of joy for vulnerable youngsters, instead a Blue Mountains circus school allegedly became a hellhole of rape and torture for three young boys.

Police allege the sickening systematic abuse ­unleashed by the woman, 58, who ran the school, her 52-year-old brother and two daughters, 29 and 26, took place at its warehouse base, "The Shed", as well as a run-down property in rural Katoomba.

A rusted tricycle located on the property.
A rusted tricycle located on the property.

All four, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are linked to the circus school, which boasts a huge range of classes from juggling to acrobatics and "personal development" for disabled children, many of whom live with Down syndrome.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad began investigating claims of abuse, including "blood ­rituals" being performed on the boys, who are under the age of eight, last year and arrested the quartet on Monday.

Police have filed 69 charges over the alleged campaign of sadistic sexual and physical abuse from 2014-16. A law enforcement source involved in the investigation said the allegations were "the most disturbing things I've read in my 24 years in this job".

A two-level corrugated hut at the end of a long driveway.
A two-level corrugated hut at the end of a long driveway.

The residential property is a haunting hotchpotch of decaying buildings beset by the constant howl of dogs at the neighbouring RSPCA pound.

At the end of a long driveway a two-level corrugated hut makes a rusty home for someone, with ­bohemian drapes hanging through open windows and a half-eaten bowl of cereal still on a table yesterday.

Behind the shed and another layer of trees a main timber homestead looks barely lived-in with broken furniture outside in a courtyard overrun by grass and weeds.

The homestead looks barely lived in.
The homestead looks barely lived in.

Piles of books can be seen inside, where a child appears to have drawn a winged horse on the wall and a puzzle has been left half-done.

The circus school's "Shed" is also unkempt and mysterious - there is no signage on the building nor any indication of circus sports.

Inside the unremarkable brick and corrugated and iron box is a more inviting world for the innocent, with floor mats, hula-hoops and a trapeze.

The unremarkable brick and corrugated and iron box where circus training was held.
The unremarkable brick and corrugated and iron box where circus training was held.

Police stormed the property on Monday, ­arresting three of the ­accused. The 29-year-old was arrested in Canterbury.

They all pleaded not guilty in Penrith Local Court yesterday on charges ranging from rape of a child under 10 in company to producing child abuse material and kidnapping.

The 29-year-old is the eldest daughter of the circus boss.
The 29-year-old is the eldest daughter of the circus boss.

The circus boss and her eldest daughter are ­accused of having sex with two of the boys and inciting the youngsters to have sex with each other.

A photo on the circus’ Facebook page shows a training room at the facility. Picture: Facebook
A photo on the circus’ Facebook page shows a training room at the facility. Picture: Facebook


The court heard police had questioned the group about the vile claims last September.

Lawyer Bryan Wrench told the court his clients were innocent but did not apply for bail. "They simply say we didn't do this and there is another side to this story than is being por­trayed by the police and in the media," he said.

The matter will return to court today.

 

Children’s bikes can be seen around the property.
Children’s bikes can be seen around the property.
One of the properties at Katoomba where the alleged child sex abuse took place.
One of the properties at Katoomba where the alleged child sex abuse took place.
The 58-year-old circus boss.
The 58-year-old circus boss.


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