A South Australian farmer is accused of raping a backpacker at gunpoint. Picture: Brenton Edwards
A South Australian farmer is accused of raping a backpacker at gunpoint. Picture: Brenton Edwards

Backpacker’s pig farm ‘gunpoint rape’

A EUROPEAN backpacker has wept while recounting the moment a man allegedly shoved a gun into her back and threatened to shoot her in an old pig shed in regional South Australia.

The woman gave evidence in the trial of Gene Charles Bristow, 54, who is accused of kidnapping and raping her at Meningie, an hour and a half south of Adelaide, in February 2017.

The 26-year-old told the court Bristow answered an advertisement she had posted on Gumtree looking for temporary farm work.

She had arranged to meet him at Murray Bridge before he drove her "a few hours" to the property and took her to a disused pig shed.

 

Detectives wander the Meningie property. Picture: Brenton Edwards
Detectives wander the Meningie property. Picture: Brenton Edwards

 

Once inside, she said he asked to check her feet for needle marks to ensure she was not a drug user.

"He checked the feet and then he sat on my back and grabbed my arms," she said. "So then I was struggling, I didn't know what happened.

"He placed something on my back and said it was a gun, so then I didn't struggle any more because I was afraid that he would shoot me."

The woman said Bristow told her to "behave well" because he could shoot her, bound her hands and feet, and chained her to the ground.

"I was feeling like it wasn't real, you know, you wouldn't believe that something was happening like that," she said.

Prosecutors alleged in the opening of the trial that Bristow then told her he was "the nice one" working in collaboration with others, and that she must be good and love him.

They alleged he left her alone in the shed, before repeatedly returning to sexually assault her.

The woman eventually managed to break free and use her laptop to raise the alarm, but the court heard she re-shackled herself because Bristow had threatened to shoot her if she tried to escape.

 

The Meningie farm where the backpacker was allegedly raped. Picture: Brenton Edwards
The Meningie farm where the backpacker was allegedly raped. Picture: Brenton Edwards

Jurors heard she was released by Bristow the next day when he checked her into a motel, and she was later discovered by police.

Bristow has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and rape, and on Tuesday his lawyer called the woman's account "an invention that simply did not take place".

He said the she was never held against her will and there was no sexual contact between the pair.

The alleged victim, who has travelled back to Adelaide to give evidence, will return to the witness box on Friday.

The trial, before Judge Geraldine Davison and a jury, is expected to last another six days.