Rock-star dad backs son's humour

By Kristin Macfarlane

Tristan Barker is wanted by authorities in Australia over comments made on the internet. Photo / Kerry Grant
Tristan Barker is wanted by authorities in Australia over comments made on the internet. Photo / Kerry Grant

The son of the former drummer for Split Enz wanted in Australia for alleged cyber bullying has been defended by his father - who says his son's satirical sense of humour is often misunderstood.

Tristan Barker, 18, is living in Rotorua with his father, Michael Barker.

The teenager is wanted by Melbourne police for questioning over encouraging Facebook users to ridicule victims of murder and people who had committed suicide. Many of his comments were posted while he was living in Australia.

Yesterday, Mr Barker said his son had been misquoted and his comments taken out of context many times, which included his comedy being taken as fact.

He said Tristan was an articulate young man who was very honest too.

"He says things I think a lot of people would like to say but probably wouldn't say."

Tristan was due to release a song and a music video, which Mr Barker said was a tongue-and-cheek song called I'm a Dickhead.

"It's just a bit of fun," Mr Barker said of the music video.

"He's sort of talking about not being taken too seriously," he said.

In one of his posts, the 18-year-old called the Colorado theatre shooting last year, in which 12 people died, a "social experiment".

"I don't give a f*** about the victims, I don't give a f*** about their families, I don't care, no one should care," he wrote on Facebook. He went on to request Americans "end themselves".

"I wanted to see if you could create disgust," he said this week.

Barker gained notoriety early last year after trolling the Facebook page of pop star Nicki Minaj with an abusive rant.

Melbourne Detective Senior Constable Rodney Andrew said Barker's absence had stalled the inquiry.

Read more: Son of former Split Enz drummer wanted by Oz police


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