'Sadistic' kidnapper's son 'disgusted'
The son of backpacker kidnapper Gene Bristow has spoken out for the first time, telling 60 Minutes he had no doubt of his father's guilt in the kidnapping and assault of a 24-year-old Belgian backpacker.
Speaking exclusively with 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, 22-year-old David Bristow said he was “disgusted” by his father’s actions – taking a young woman hostage and keeping her in chains in a pig shed just 350 metres from his family home.
David , his girlfriend Shayne Gaskell and David’s mother were at home while backpacker Davine was shackled and abused by Gene Bristow on their regional property – but were completely oblivious to the horror going on in their own backyard.
"Rot in hell. You get what you deserve," David said of his father, in an exclusive interview that took enormous courage.
David helped prosecutors ensure a conviction by testifying against his father in court.
His evidence destroyed his father's claim that he needed to employ a backpacker to assist on the farm.
He also undermined his father's claim that the chains and cable ties used to shackle Davine were ever used to restrain animals on their hobby farm.
Helped by evidence given by David, a jury found 54-year-old hobby farmer Gene Bristow guilty of aggravated kidnapping, rape and indecent assault.
Bristow was sentenced to 18 years jail with a 12-and-a-half year non-parole period.
In February 2017, Belgian backpacker Davine had travelled to regional South Australia after posting an online job advertisement looking for farm work.
Her future employer ‘Max’ was in fact Gene Bristow – a farmer with an evil, calculated plan to hold a backpacker hostage for his own sadistic pleasure.
Davine was held prisoner in a filthy pig shed on Bristow’s property on the outskirts of Meningie, South Australia, where she was subjected to depraved abuse and sexual assault.
David says the thought of such depraved acts going on under their noses is “horrifying”.
“When someone like that in your life has been so normal, and then this happens, it really blows your mind and makes you wonder has it happened before,” David told Brown.
“It could have ended up being a murder… that’s the scary part.”
David said he had always been close to his father and the two had regularly worked together on the farm.
“He [was] someone that I always looked up to,” David told Brown.
But when news of his father’s offending reached David and his family, he says he stopped loving his father “straight away” – disgusted by what he had done and was, so shockingly, capable of.
“He’s dead to me,” David told Brown.
“I'm glad that I'll never have to look at him again.”
David was convinced of his father’s guilt, and knew it was only right to help police secure a conviction.
But it was the chains used to shackle Davine, custom-made into manacles by Gene Bristow, that revealed the true horror of his father’s deeds.
“There were things that had been constructed… chains and bolts and D shackles and all sorts of stuff,” he said.
“It's not something that you'd make in five minutes. It's something that has been planned.”
Davine, who returned to Australia for the court case against Bristow, says she is grateful for David’s testimony and strength to go against his father.
“I kind of feel very sad that he had to go through something for something that his father did,” Davine told Brown.
“I was like, 'Wow' You know? It was support knowing that even his own son was against these things.”
Gene Bristow will be eligible for parole in 2032. After serving his sentence, he will most likely be deported back to his native Britain.
To watch ‘Captive’ in full and for more information on 60 Minutes, visit the official website.
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