The man responsible for the a notorious kidnapping says he has no remorse for the shocking crime – and he now wants to become an Australian citizen.
Bryan Wickham kidnapped young siblings Iddin, 9, and Shahira Bahrin, 7, with their father, Malaysian prince Raja Kamarul Bahrin, in July 1992 from their mother TV journalist Jacqueline Gillespie at Melbourne’s Victoria Hotel.
The children were driven 4000km to Weipa, Queensland, and put onto a small boat.
Bryan Wickham was jailed for nine months for the crime, and now, aged 80, he has been rejected in his application to become an Australian citizen
He kidnapped young siblings Iddin, 9, and Shahira Bahrin, 7, with their father, Malaysian prince Raja Kamarul Bahrin in July 1992
Wickham was jailed for nine months for the crime, and now, aged 80, he has been rejected in his application to become an Australian citizen.
He said he doesn’t have any remorse for his role in the kidnapping plot.
‘Remorse I don’t know… I did the job,’ he told A Current Affair.
While laughing, Wickham detailed how the plan to kidnap the children came about.
‘I said “if it was me, I’d just go and take them”,’ he said of his planning with Raja Kamarul Bahrin.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Wickham has been living in Australia since 1952, but he now faces deportation.
His bid for citizenship was rejected by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s office due to his ‘bad character’.
‘The convictions represent a pattern of criminal behaviour over a long period of time,’ Wickham’s rejection letter stated.
Wickham has served in the Australian army, saying that should be proof of his loyalty to the country – and he has received a letter from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thanking him for his service.
The children’s mother Jacqueline Gillespie said the kidnapping took place ‘under horrific and dangerous circumstances with my children drugged, abused and terrified’
He was one of Australia’s most wanted criminals after kidnapping the children, and was eventually arrested in Florida.
Raja Kamarul Bharin was recently elected to the Malaysian parliament, and said Australia should have compassion ‘for an old man like [Bryan]’.
Iddin Bahrin, who is now a filmmaker in Kuala Lumpur, said he has no anger towards Wickham.
‘He’s never done anything wrong to me. I always remember him as a very gentle, kind man,’ he said.
The children’s mother Jacqueline Gillespie said the kidnapping took place ‘under horrific and dangerous circumstances with [her] children drugged, abused and terrified’, and that the act ‘ripped [her] family apart’.
She was denied access to her children for 14 years, but is now in regular contact with them according to Malaysian media.
‘It is my hope that Mr Wickham leave us all in peace, stop with his callous, manipulative and cynical attempt at an additional fifteen minutes of fame,’ she said in a statement.