Latchford Barracks recruit allegedly tortured and filmed for entertainment

A Victorian recruit was allegedly ‘tortured’ for entertainment in a military barracks last year. A 21-minute video has since emerged.

The mother of a veteran who took his own life says she is disgusted by reports of ‘torture’ at a Victorian barracks.

Julie-Ann Finney, who lost her son David to suicide in 2018, says reports that a Victorian rookie was ‘tortured’ for entertainment in a 21-minute video is disturbing.

The ABC reports that former RAAF airman Alister French was allegedly subjected to horrific torture at Latchford Barracks in Victoria last year.

Victoria Police confirmed officers responded to reports of an incident at the barracks, but “a criminal offense could not be determined at the time”.

“At the time, the people I was living with thought it would be a joke, and I kind of thought at the time, I was mentally and physically tired, I thought it was better to get away with it. holding rather than arguing with it,” Mr. French told the ABC at 7:30 p.m. “I allowed them to bind my hands and feet. It escalated into me being completely restrained.”

His mother said a very different young man returned from the barracks than the one who enlisted.

“He’s broken, mentally and physically,” she said.

Defense Minister Peter Dutton shared his sympathy for Mr French, confirming that “processes are underway” to deal with the worrying issue.

Asked about potential culture issues within the Defense Force, Mr Dutton said ‘99.9% of people conduct themselves in a way that would make us proud’. He also said the matter would be dealt with “harshly”

“I will send a clear message to anyone within the Australian Defense Force that this behavior is completely unacceptable,” Mr Dutton said.

In the shocking footage released on Tuesday night, Mr French is seen with a rubbish bag around his neck and duct tape around his head and inside his mouth.

His hands, legs and arms are tightly bound with duct tape as another man stands above him.

The ABC 7:30 a.m. program, which got the vision, reports that lawyers for Mr. French are suing the Australian Defense Force.

“What happens in this video is Alister being tied up, gagged, strangled, strangled, set on fire, assaulted with different tools, sexually assaulted. It’s the full range, the full range of any kind of aggression you can imagine. It’s torture,” Mr. French’s attorney told the show.

The ABC reports that another rookie can be heard saying on video recording, “Today I’m torturing Frenchy.”

The alleged victim told the program that he accepted it at first, but it quickly escalated.

Ms Finney says she is disgusted by the allegations.

“It’s an absolutely acceptable culture at Defense and that’s why we need to avoid the next Royal Commission on Defense and Veterans Suicides being a mental health hearing,” she told

“He must go back to investigate bastardy, intimidation, rape and the aftermath of war. The defense is ignoring a standard of care that those who serve are entitled to.

“Instead, they fire members for medical reasons, while perpetrators are often promoted without any form of real justice. It’s interesting that the Defense says this case was handled in 2020 and then goes on to say that the video is new evidence. What type of investigation, if any, took place?

“There can be no more silence. Too many who serve or have served are thinking about, attempting or committing suicide.

“In my case, I gave my son to this country for 20 years and they returned him in a body bag. Alister was brave enough to speak up (I’m sure) with insults about his personal strength and /or threats against his person and/or his career.

“We take these men and women and train them to be available to fight our wars. When talking about these issues, and make no mistake, there are a lot of them, the first reaction is to cover it up.

“Alister is incredibly brave to tell his story and I personally thank him for his service. Top Defense brass are turning the very people they need to protect us all into psychologically wounded wreckage.

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