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17th Nov 2023

MasterChef finalist sentenced to 24 years behind bars for sexually abusing children

Charlie Herbert

MasterChef finalist sentenced to 24 behind bars for sexually abusing children

The earliest he can be released is 2047

A former MasterChef finalist has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for sexually abusing children.

Paul Douglas Frost appeared in the final of the first season of MasterChef Australia back in 2009, but was arrested 10 years later on suspicion of child sexual offences.

The former swimming coach was found guilty of 43 offences over the abuse of children between 1996 and 2009, and was sentenced on Thursday.

It will be 24 years before Frost is eligible for parole, but he could spend up to 32 behind bars, reports.

The 43 charges include several counts of sexual intercourse with a child under his care, along with charges of aggravated indecent assault of a person under 16 and grooming children for sexual activity.

The Masterchef finalist will spend a minimum of 24 years behind bars (Ten)

Judge Sarah Huggett said Frost created a culture that facilitated his offending, with the teacher openly talking about sex during his lessons and encouraging sexual activity with and between his students.

As she delivered her verdict, she said: “He moved from one victim to the next as and when he so desired and in doing so corrupted their healthy and normal sexual development.

“It can only be hoped that the finalisation of the proceedings can offer some form of closure to each of the victims of these offences.”

Some of Frost’s victims issued statements against him in court, with one telling the court he became involved with him because he wanted to be one of the “cool kids.”

“Paul had built a culture of these types of things being normal,” the victim said in a statement provided to the court.

“I know they seem a bit horrifying and strange now.”

Judge Huggett found that Frost had made no effort to rehabilitate himself after his arrest.

“The offender has not acknowledged his wrongdoing at any point during the trial process and continues to maintain his innocence,” she said.

He has been diagnosed with paedophilic disorder, major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.