After being allegedly raped, beaten and held captive for more than a month in the Australian outback, British backpacker is discharged from hospital.
The woman, 22, has not been identified. She is recovering with family and friends and awaiting return to the UK.
Under Queensland law, the man accused cannot be identified until he is committed to trial. He appeared in court on Monday on more than 20 charges, including four counts of rape, eight counts of assault, four of strangulation and two of deprivation of liberty. He is also facing drug charges.
According to the police, the pair had briefly been in a relationship before the woman was allegedly repeatedly attacked and held against her will.
The alleged attacks took place between 3 February and 8 March before the woman was rescued in Mitchell, Queensland police stated, when she walked confused and badly bruised into a remote petrol station in the Australian outback.
Shop owner Beverley Page, asked her if the abuse was suffered at the hands of her partner, the woman nodded. She then left without paying and was pursued by Page. Police were flagged down during the chase and officers stopped near Mitchell. They found she had suffered injuries to her face and marks on her neck. The woman’s alleged attacker was found in the boot of the car beneath a pile of clothing.
Page said that she made the decision to follow her to be able to get the registration number to file a report to the police. “She was in a state of shock when she came in, almost zombie-like,” Page added.
The victim told police that a man she had met at a party in Cairns held her captive. The couple had been travelling around the state in the car since 2 January.
On Tuesday Insp. Paul Hart, who is leading the investigation, said: “It was established they had previously had a relationship but at some point it had soured.” Hart stated that the suspect “deprived her of her liberty and committed a number of offenses 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,” Hart added.
The woman has been in the country since 2015.