The wife of a MasterChef Australia finalist and swimming coach who has been found guilty of 43 counts of sexual abuse against 11 children thought he was ‘a loyal 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 in south Sydney.
When told of the allegations against him that day, Frost fell to the ground and told police, “That’s disgusting.”
He was initially charged with ten felonies, including aggravated assault against a child under the age of 16 committed at a swimming school in the city’s southwest.
The 47-year-old pedophile is the son of Doug Frost who led swimming champion Ian Thorpe to three of his five Olympic gold medals.
Paul Douglas Frost, Sydney swim coach and MasterChef Australia finalist, was convicted on Wednesday of 43 counts of child sexual abuse. His wife Ivana, a senior executive at IKEA, had thought him a “loyal and caring husband.” Frost is pictured outside of court
Nine days after Frost’s arrest, an affidavit written by his wife was filed when he applied for bail at Sutherland’s local court.
Ms Frost wrote that the couple married in November 2001 and that her husband had a ‘gentle personality’.
“I am shocked and in disbelief at the allegations leveled against Paul,” she wrote.
“Paul has no criminal record and has always been a loyal and caring husband.”
Mrs. Frost was responsible for IKEA’s restaurants, including menus featuring the department store vendor’s famous meatballs.
She once appeared in a video promoting food waste reduction alongside former MasterChef judge Matt Preston.
Frost made it to the final of the first series of the same television cooking competition in 2009, but had been unable to capitalize on the attention his performance earned him.
Frost’s wife Ivana (above) wrote an affidavit for her husband in September 2019 in support of his request for bail. “I am shocked and in disbelief at the allegations leveled against Paul,” she wrote
Frost, who was a finalist on Masterchef Australia in 2014, is pictured with judge Gary Mehigan
Attorney Sebastian DeBrennan told Sutherland’s local court that the Frosts then ran into financial trouble when a food venture failed.
“He was a MasterChef finalist and had initial success in the restaurant and catering industry,” said Mr. DeBrennan.
But things went so bad that he filed for bankruptcy in 2016. In recent years, he and his family have worked their way out of those debts.”
Following his arrest, Frost had been fired from his casual jobs at the University of NSW and the NSW Department of Education, which had made the family’s financial circumstances even worse, Ms Frost said in her affidavit.
“I don’t know how I will manage financially with the care of Paul’s elderly mother while Paul is in custody,” she wrote.
“Paul’s mother has been beside herself with fear since his arrest.”
Mrs. Frost was also concerned that her husband would make it in prison.
Frost was arrested in September 2019 at the home he shared with his wife Ivana in South Sydney’s Sylvania (above). When told about the allegations against him, he fell to the ground and told police: ‘That’s disgusting’
“I am concerned for Paul’s mental health, physical health and well-being,” she wrote. “He has a brave face, but I am concerned about his emotional well-being.
“When I spoke to him, I heard yelling and screaming from other prisoners, as well as swearing because a fight had broken out.”
Ms Frost said her job at IKEA over the past 18 months has required regular international travel, including to the company’s headquarters in Sweden, the UK, Italy, Denmark, Serbia and China.
“I don’t know how I will manage to meet the travel requirements of my job without Paul at home,” she wrote.
Frost was eventually granted $10,000 bail, but is back in custody nearly four years later, facing a lengthy prison sentence.
He was convicted Wednesday afternoon of sexually assaulting 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 appointed to give majority verdicts found the teacher guilty on all counts.
Ms. Frost once appeared as IKEA’s national food manager in a video (above) promoting food waste reduction alongside former MasterChef judge Matt Preston
The 43 charges Frost was convicted of committing sexual intercourse with a child under his authority or care, aggravated assault of a person under 16, and grooming children for sexual activity.
A juror entered the witness stand to tell the court that they had not reached unanimous verdicts and would not do so on Wednesday, before Judge Sarah Huggett said she would take majority verdicts.
“It is preferable that your verdict be unanimous,” Judge Huggett said, before the jury returned with guilty verdicts hours later.
Judge Huggett told the nine men and three women that they could petition to have their names removed from the jury list and would receive counsel if needed.
Frost was handcuffed and taken into custody following the jury’s dismissal and will hear a sentencing in August.
A previous jury was dismissed without a verdict after 16 days over allegations of bullying and refusal to deliberate, which a judge feared would affect the outcome of the trial.
Frost made it to the final of the first series of the same televised cooking competition in 2009 (above), but had been unable to capitalize on the attention his appearance had brought him