British backpacker out of hospital after alleged rape ordeal
Woman is recovering in Australia after apparently being held captive for over a month
A car is parked at the police station in Roma, Australia, after a British backpacker who was driving it was rescued by police. Photograph: AAP Image/APN Western Star via AP
The British backpacker who was allegedly held captive and repeatedly raped and beaten in an ordeal lasting more than a month in Australia has been released from hospital.
The 22-year-old woman is recovering with family and friends in Australia after receiving treatment for a host of injuries, including facial fractures.
Queensland’s department of justice identified Marcus Martin (22) as the man charged with kidnapping the UK tourist.
The woman faces a wait to return to the UK due to her passport allegedly being damaged by the suspect.
Queensland police said it is now believed that the alleged attacks took place between February 3rd and Sunday, when the woman was rescued in Mitchell.
She provoked alarm when she stumbled into a remote petrol station in the Australian outback, badly bruised and “almost zombie-like”.
She nodded when asked by staff if the abuse was suffered at the hands of her partner, before leaving without paying.
She was then pursued by the owner, according to reports.
Police were flagged down during the chase and officers pulled her over near Mitchell, finding her with injuries to her face and marks on her neck.
Queensland police said officers found her alleged tormentor stowed in the boot beneath a pile of clothing.
“I made the decision to follow her because I thought that if I could get the registration number I’d be able to file a report to the police,” shop owner Beverley Page told the Daily Mail.
The woman told police she had been held captive by a man she had met at a party in Cairns and had been travelling across the state in the car since January 2nd.
It is thought her passport was sabotaged as a means of invalidating it and possibly preventing her escape.
‘Deprived of her liberty’
Det Insp Paul Hart told a press conference on Tuesday: “It was established they had previously had a relationship but at some point it had soured and he basically deprived her of her liberty and committed a number of offences against her as they travelled around the state.
“What she has experienced is no doubt horrific and terrifying and we commend her for taking the opportunity to speak to our police.
“We have potentially saved this young girl’s life. Given what’s happened to her, the extent of what’s happened over the period of time, anything might have transpired.”
The victim is believed to have been in the country since 2015.
“She walked in, wearing a black summer dress and said she couldn’t pay for the fuel. Tears were running down her face,” Ms Page told The Daily Mail.
“But what struck me were her black eyes. She looked bad.”
Mr Martin, from the Manunda suburb of Cairns, appeared in court on Monday charged with a string of offences, including four counts of rape, eight counts of assault and four counts of strangulation.