EXCLUSIVE: Twist in saga of Bushells Tea heiress as her pop star lover is charged with assaulting her at 3.30am before disappearing with her two children
- R&B star Dennis Dowlut is charged with assaulting mother of his two children
- Police allege incident occurred when Dowlut took off with family on April 1
- Claim he assaulted, intimidated Bushells tea heiress Alisha Oxley about 3.30am
- Dowlut, 47, sparked a statewide alert after briefly disappearing with his children
- Has been bailed to Western Australia to live with his mum, banned from drinking
A pop star has been charged with assaulting and intimidating his lover – the heiress of the Bushells tea fortune – during a bizarre car trip with his family in the early hours of the morning.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal Sydney music figure Dennis Dowlut, of R&B outfits Electric Empire and Disco Montego, could face two years’ imprisonment if found guilty of an alleged attack on the mother of his two children Alisha Oxley on April 1.
Ms Oxley is the mother of the couple’s two children and is a descendant of the legendary 1900s English tea merchant, Philip Bushell, who founded the popular tea and coffee brand.
Police alleged that Dowlut, 47, took off in a white van from the family’s $4.5million Darling Point home in the city’s east about 2.30am that morning, accompanied by his wife and kids.
Court documents alleged he then assaulted and intimidated his wife about 3.30am, in Alexandria, to the city’s south.
Police claim Dowlut dumped his wife in the suburb and then disappeared with their two children, sparking an emergency statewide alert.
Dennis Dowlut (right) has been charged with assaulting the mother of his children, Alisha Oxley, an heiress of the Bushells tea fortune
Dowlut allegedly took off in a white van with his family and then disappeared with the couple’s two children for several hours
Police allege Dowlut drove dangerously or recklessly in the same area of town about 4.30am.
The children were safely recovered at about 9am after Dowlut was spotted by a member of the public near Panania railway station.
He was hospitalised for weeks and appeared in court on Tuesday to plead not guilty to the string of charges.
Dowlut’s lawyer, Steven Mercael, confirmed the musician had been bailed to live with his mother on the other side of the country in North Beach, Western Australia.
As part of his bail conditions, Dowlut had to cough up a $2,000 surety, was banned from drinking alcohol or taking drugs and faces regular testing by police.
Dowlut is best known for the hit Beautiful with the outfit Disco Montego, which consisted of himself and his late brother Darren. That song featured Bardot singer Katie Underwood and hit number nine on the ARIA charts in 2002.
Dubbed a leading light of the Australian R&B scene, Dowlut has recently been involved in outfits Electric Empire and Deutsch Duke, and worked with the likes of Flight Facilities and Gypsy and the Cat.
Dowlut (at back in left photo, with his late brother Darren), was one half of the dance and R&B outfit Disco Montego, which remixed tracks by Elton John and Mariah Carey. More recently, Dowlut (right) has played for the band Electric Empire, touring through Europe and performing at the Glastonbury music festival
Ms Oxley’s family has owned the harbourfront Gothic Revival style mansion Carthona at Darling Point for generations
Ms Oxley’s family have a long association with the Darling Point area, one of the city’s most affluent.
The clan’s Gothic Revival-style mansion, Carthona, has been in the family for three generations.
The couple are understood to have been living next door to the iconic property before these alleged events.
Dowlut has been hit with an apprehended violence order on behalf of Ms Oxley earlier this month.
That restraining order banned him from assaulting, threatening, stalking or harrassing her.
It put him on notice not to go within 500m of her home or various locations in Sydney’s east. Dowlut’s case will return to court for a hearing in August.