The wife of a MasterChef Australia finalist and swimming coach has been found guilty of 43 counts of sexually abusing 11 children she believed to be ‘a devoted and caring husband’.
Ivana Frost was the national food manager for furniture and homeware giant IKEA when Paul Douglas Frost was arrested in September 2019 at their Sylvania home, south of Sydney.
When told of the charges against him that day, Frost fell to the ground and told police: ‘This is disgusting’.
He was initially charged with ten offences, including sexually abusing a child under 16 at a swimming school in the city’s south-west.
The 47-year-old is the son of pedophile Doug Frost who coached swimming champion Ian Thorpe to three of his five Olympic gold medals.
Sydney swimming coach and MasterChef Australia finalist Paul Douglas Frost was found guilty on Wednesday of 43 counts of child sex abuse. His wife Ivana, a senior executive at IKEA believed him to be a ‘loyal and caring husband’. Photo of Frost outside the courthouse
Nine days after Frost’s arrest, an affidavit written by Frost’s wife was presented when she applied for bail in a local court in Sutherland.
Mrs Frost wrote the pair married in November 2001 and her husband was a ‘gentleman’.
‘I am shocked and in complete disbelief at the allegations against Paul,’ she wrote.
‘Paul has no criminal record and has always been a loyal and caring husband.’
Ms. Frost was responsible for IKEA’s restaurants, which include menus that feature the warehouse retailer’s famous meatballs.
He once appeared in a video promoting food waste reduction with former MasterChef judge Matt Preston.
Frost reached the final of the first series of the same televised cooking competition in 2009 but failed to capitalize on the attention the appearance brought him.
Frost’s wife Ivana (above) wrote an affidavit for her husband in September 2019 in support of his bail application. ‘I am shocked and in complete disbelief at the allegations against Paul,’ she wrote
Frost, who was a finalist on MasterChef Australia in 2014, is pictured with judge Gary Mehigan
Solicitor Sebastian Debrennan told Sutherland Local Court that the Frosts were in financial trouble after a food venture failed.
‘He was a finalist on MasterChef and had early success in the restaurant and catering business,’ Mr Debrennan said.
‘But things deteriorated causing him to file for bankruptcy in 2016. Over the past few years, he and his family have been trying to find a way back from that debt.’
After his arrest Frost was fired from casual employment at the University of NSW and the NSW Department of Education, further exacerbating the family’s financial situation, Ms Frost said in her affidavit.
She wrote, ‘I don’t know how I will financially manage the care of Paul’s elderly mother while Paul is in custody.
‘Paul’s mother has been worried since the arrest.’
Mrs. Frost was also worried about her husband coping in prison.
Frost was arrested in September 2019 at the home he shared with wife Ivana in Sylvania, south of Sydney (above). When told of the charges against him, he fell to the ground and told police: ‘It’s disgusting’
‘I am concerned for Paul’s mental health, physical health and welfare,’ she wrote. ‘He’s putting on a brave face but I’m worried about his mental well-being.
‘When I spoke to him I could hear the other inmates screaming and shouting and I swear a fight started as well.’
Ms Frost said her job at IKEA required regular international travel over the past 18 months, including to the company’s headquarters in Sweden, the UK, Italy, Denmark, Serbia and China.
She wrote, ‘I don’t know how I can meet my work travel requirements without Paul at home.
Frost was eventually granted $10,000 bail but is back in custody nearly four years later and faces a lengthy prison term.
He was convicted Wednesday afternoon of sexually abusing 11 former swimming students — ten boys and one girl — in the 1990s and 2000s.
Ms Frost was not present when a NSW District Court jury which had been instructed it could return a majority verdict found the teacher guilty on all counts.
Ms Frost once appeared as IKEA’s national food manager in a video (above) alongside former MasterChef judge Matt Preston.
Frost was convicted of 43 charges including having sex with a child under his authority or care, indecent assault on a person under 16 and grooming children for sexual activity.
A judge entered the witness box to tell the court they had not reached a unanimous verdict and were not going on Wednesday, before Judge Sarah Huggett said she would take a majority verdict.
‘It is desirable that your verdict be unanimous,’ said Judge Huggett, before the jury returned hours later with a guilty verdict.
Judge Huggett told the nine men and three women they would be able to request to have their names removed from the jury duty roll and would be offered counseling if needed.
Frost was handcuffed and taken into custody after the jury was discharged and will face a sentencing hearing in August.
A previous jury was dismissed after 16 days without a verdict, amid accusations of deliberate refusal that a judge worried would taint the trial’s outcome.
Frost reached the final of the first series of the same televised cookery competition in 2009 (above) but failed to capitalize on the attention the appearance brought her.
Read Full News Here