NSW, Crime Sentencing begins for depraved couple who filmed years-long child abuse on NSW Central Coast

A depraved couple who lured a cognitively impaired child into their home with illicit drugs and filmed themselves sexually abusing him over the course of years will be sentenced in court.

Julia Ann Bamforth, 49, and husband Paul Robert Bamforth, 50, faced the first day of sentencing at Gosford District Court on Wednesday over dozens of vile charges.

The couple, who resided on the NSW Central Coast, lured the neurodivergent boy in with free illicit drugs before filming the depraved acts committed against the child.

In sentencing, Justice David Wilson warned there was evidence that had the pair not been charged they would have likely continued to commit child sex offences.

Justice Wilson went on to tell the court he could not make any favourable findings about “remorse, rehabilitation, or risk of reoffending” in regard to Mr Bamforth.

The court was told the campaign of abuse lasted more than three years, with videos of the acts taken by Mr Bamforth even on Christmas Eve and the child’s 15th birthday.

The 50-year-old was largely responsible for filming the abuse which the court was told was stored on laptops and hard drives, and in a folder named: “My little c**k lover”.

The court was told one video, which lasted about 23 minutes, was a complication depicting “various videos and slide shows of Julia, Robert, and the victim in various sexual acts”.

In some of the footage, the pair were seen handing the victim an ice pipe after using it themselves. In others, the child was seen apparently under the influence of an illicit substance.

In addition to the vile footage, Justice Wilson told the court police had also uncovered hundreds of notes and stories written by the couple dating back as early as 2016.

The stories, most too graphic to be retold, amount to more than 2500 words and include fantasies detailing both real and imagined child sexual abuse and necrophilia.

“These stories show Mr and Mrs Bamforth have a predisposition to having sex with children and the lengths they would go to to satisfy their needs,” Justice Wilson said.

“She stated she cannot wait to reoffend in the company of her husband … the stories suggest had they not been arrested, they would have continued to offend.”

Ms Bamforth gave brief evidence on Wednesday about the recent completion of her chemotherapy treatment having entered into remission following a battle with cancer.

Pictured sporting rainbow-coloured hair from Dillwynia Correctional Centre in Windsor, Ms Bamfroth was seen with her head in her hands as Justice Wilson detailed her crimes.

As for Mr Bamforth, Justice Wilson told the court he did not accept his assertions, and those of some experts, that he was dependent on, or influenced by, his wife.

Instead, Justice Wilson said that, in most cases, Mr Bamforth provided encouragement to his wife and the victim, and engaged in sex acts with the boy on his own.

“Significantly, he was responsible for the filming of the sexual acts and (collating of) videos … which Ms Bamforth later reviewed for sexual gratification,” he said.

“Mr and Mrs Bamforth are equally culpable for the criminal conduct. If either of them was the dominant actor, I find that it would have been Mr Bamforth.”

The court was told Mr Bamforth said he had been abused as a child but that it “did not appear to be a reoccurring issue”, and became a regular drug user.

He had not worked since 1997 when he received a disability pension and during pre-sentence hearings faced allegations he had been violent towards his wife.

The court was told after making disclosures about the abuse, the victim was savagely beaten and threatened with a blowtorch in the presence of Mr Bamforth.

The child was later stripped to his underwear by other young persons and photographed before he claimed Mr Bamforth attempted to stab him with a screwdriver, the court heard.

Awaking after being knocked out, the child said he fled from a car containing Mr Bamforth to his father’s home where he confided he had been “beaten by five men”.

The sentencing will continue on Thursday.

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