On a quiet Saturday night in the outback town of Armidale, six students at the local university debuted their forthcoming all-girl country rock album at their favourite pub.
They had formed the girl band just six months earlier and marketed themselves as wholesome young women who were brought together by their mutual love of music.
But what the audience didn’t know was that the group was also in a consensual BDSM polyamorous relationship with James-Robert Davis and had signed contracts to be his ‘slave’ before moving into his home on the NSW Northern Tablelands.
In March 2021, 13 months after their debut at The Imperial Hotel, the women were thrust into the public eye when Davis, 40, was arrested outside the local Bunnings with one of his girlfriends.
That young woman has since left the house and is no longer in the relationship – or the band.
Davis’ ‘main’ girlfriend and the one who he owns a property with is six months pregnant with his child, and, in her social media announcement, she revealed the family would be sharing parental responsibilities.
Hunter, Sophie, Finlay, Charlotte and Hanna (all pictured) formed the country rock band in late 2019 and were scheduled to perform in their hometown of Armidale in early 2020 – a year before Davis’ arrest
Finlay (pictured with Davis) inspired the other women to embrace country music after she developed a relationship with Davis
Davis (centre) had allegedly been living with as many as six women he called ‘slaves’ at his home near Armidale in northern New South Wales
‘After three years, three surgeries, two types of hormone therapy and one round of IVF, baby Davis is due early September,’ Charlotte said. ‘I am so over-the-moon happy, as are we all, and I’m so grateful for the love, patience and care all my partners have shown me throughout this process.’ The newborn will wear a onesie home from the hospital which reads: ‘Six mums are better than one’
‘After three years, three surgeries, two types of hormone therapy and one round of IVF, baby Davis is due early September,’ Charlotte said.
‘I am so over-the-moon happy, as are we all, and I’m so grateful for the love, patience and care all my partners have shown me throughout this process.’
The newborn will wear a onesie home from the hospital which reads: ‘Six mums are better than one’.
Since having the onesie custom made, the family has broken up with one of their girlfriends.
In an affidavit tendered to the New South Wales Supreme Court on behalf of Davis’ girlfriends, the sixth woman appears to have been forgotten. There is no mention of a relationship breakdown, nor of the role she played in the family leading up to Davis’ arrest.
Each of the women appeared at Davis’ last court appearance to support him and prove to the court that they were in a consensual relationship
Lead singer Hunter (pictured), who is studying nursing, said each of the women were inspired by mandolin-player Finlay to embrace country music
Five highly educated, sexually adventurous women (pictured) stood by their man as he languishes in jail accused of keeping a sex slave when they arrived in court during his last appearance
The magistrate noted the apparent oversight, questioning Charlotte’s affidavit and whether there were still six girlfriends in the picture.
Defence barrister Ian Lloyd SC painted a picture of a ‘strange’ family dynamic which, while unusual, was perfectly legal and embraced by all the women in Davis’ life.
He said the three Commonwealth charges of possessing a slave, reducing a person to slavery and causing a person to remain in servitude would be strenuously denied. The maximum penalty for an offence of slavery is 25 years’ imprisonment.
Each of the five women who remain in a relationship with him told the court they’re in a consensual polyamorous BDSM relationship with each other.
They all signed some form of slavery and servitude contract in which the ‘submissive’ agrees to ‘forfeit elements of [their] body, mind and will’.
In the contract, the ‘submissive’ agrees to display affection whenever required and engage in ‘predetermined kink events, kink related domestic and social activities, play parties and special days’.
James-Robert Davis was denied bail in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday
The ‘slave’ signs over her sexuality and right to sexual gratification in the contract, which states that ‘all sexual gratification whether by myself or others is a privilege granted at the grace and pleasure of my Owner’.
In total there are 20 clauses that a prospective ‘submissive’ must sign in the contract, which is reviewed first after three months and then renewed every six months.
But Davis maintains each of the women know the contracts are in no way legally binding, and merely form part of a ‘play acting’ dynamic in which they mimic slavery as part of their BDSM kinks.
‘At no stage did my client exercise any real powers of ownership… There are aspects of play acting, affectations of slavery which do not amount to real slavery,’ Mr Lloyd said.
The women are all free to move as they please, and all five attend the University of New England, completing degrees ranging from law to nursing and mathematics.
Sophie, a law student who played the ukulele for their now-defunct band, The Quick & The Dead, told her local paper they formed the band in late 2019 after realising they all had a ‘history of music’.
‘We went ”wait a minute, if we all do this thing, why don’t we do it together”,’ she told The Armidale Express.
ALLEGED VICTIM’S CLAIMS AGAINST ‘SEX SLAVER’ DAVIS
According to a statement of facts tendered to the court, the alleged victim met Davis met in 2012 when he was in the army and the pair soon began living together at Maroubra in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
The woman allegedly initially consented when Davis began to introduce bondage, discipline sadism and masochism (BDSM) during sex because it did not intrude on their day-to-day lives.
But two months into the relationship Davis allegedly punched her to the ground. He allegedly began isolating the woman from her family and friends and took over handling her finances.
About a month later BDSM began to be incorporated into all aspects of the couple’s lifestyle, according to the tendered statement of facts.
Davis allegedly told the woman she had to wear a ‘submissive collar’, described as a thick stainless steel ring which was secured by an Allen key and worn around her neck at all times.
By the end of 2012 a second woman was allegedly introduced to the relationship, followed by a third. Davis allegedly told the victim she was being promoted to ‘slave’ and asked her to sign a ‘slave contract’ which had accompanying ‘slave protocols’.
‘The accused informed her that the contract was a legally binding contract and if she breached the contract she could be criminally charged in a court,’ the statement of facts said.
Davis allegedly told the woman she was ‘worthless’, ‘broken’ and useless each time she broke the rules.
The woman was allegedly forced to ask Davis for permission to perform everyday activities, including going to the toilet, or face punishment.
One of the punishments was allegedly being hit with a cane until she bled, which had led to permanent scarring.
The woman allegedly had to be naked at the front door when Davis returned home and remove his shoes so she could kiss his feet.
Police will allege Davis choked the woman to the point of unconsciousness multiple times and locked her in a cage for two nights and three days in a row.
‘While the victim was in the cage he would assault her by repeatedly ramming a pole through the bars of the cage and into the victim,’ the statement of facts said.
In 2014 the couple moved to Emerald in Queensland where Davis worked as a security guard for a strip club and the woman worked as the madam, allegedly without being paid.
‘The accused forced the victim to have her slave number tattooed on her body,’ the statement of facts said. ‘The victim recalls the slave number started with S/N 95, followed by a unique number.’
Davis is also accused of coercing the woman into prostitution without payment when the pair moved back to Sydney in 2015 and the woman began work in a Surry Hills brothel.
The woman allegedly worked at the brothel six nights a week and was paid cash which Davis allegedly collected from her each morning.
In 2015 the woman escaped and moved into share accommodation, according to the statement of facts.
None of the charges relate to his present girlfriends, and they all insist they are in a consensual and loving polyamorous relationship with the 40-year-old
Pictured is a supplied Australian Federal Police photo of their Thursday afternoon raid on the sprawling rural estate
Lead singer Hunter, who is studying nursing, said each of the women were inspired by mandolin-player Finlay to embrace country music.
‘I don’t think I realised how much other music is in country music,’ she said.
‘I come from a very blues background, not realising that a lot of the music that I previously listened to as a young person, was actually very inspired (by) and heavily country, which was a big realisation I’ve had over the last six months.’
Several of the women were originally from Sydney before moving to Armidale with Davis, six hours away from their families.
At his last court appearance, all five girlfriends made the trek to Sydney together, craning their necks in the court room to get a glimpse of their beau on the audiovisual link.
Daily Mail Australia understands at least three of his girlfriends were going to travel to Sydney from their home to attend his bail application on Monday before the city was thrust into the Covid lockdown.
Justice Mark Ierace refused bail, stating the proposed conditions did not satisfy the public’s need to assure the safety of any complainants or witnesses.
James Robert Davis (pictured), 40, has been charged with slavery offences
Four large wooden sandboxes with women’s names engraved on the side are pictured on Davis’ property
Davis is accused of making a woman sign a contract to enter into slavery, forcing her to wear a steel collar and locking her in a cage for up to three days over a period of two years between 2013 and 2015.
But Mr Lloyd argued that each of the women were given collars upon signing their ‘play’ contract, and that they had access to Allen keys to unlock the collars whenever they needed.
Police allege the woman was subjected to extreme violence and threatened with court action if she broke the contract for the most minor of indiscretions, like going to the toilet without permission.
It is further alleged the woman was forced to work as a prostitute at a brothel six nights a week and hand over every dollar she earned when Davis short of cash.
This allegation will also be ‘strenuously denied’, Mr Lloyd told the court.
The property where Davis and his girlfriend live contained a shed which had a barber’s chair and boxes filled with whips, collars and other sex instruments