British backpacker 'raped and kept captive' for nine weeks in Australian Outback

Queensland police praise 22-year-old woman's 'great courage' as her alleged attacker is charged with four counts of rape

070317-wd-qld-outback.jpg
(Image credit: 2011 Getty Images)

A 22-year-old British backpacker was allegedly repeatedly raped, choked and assaulted during a nine-week ordeal in Queensland, Australia.

Police say she was held against her will from 2 January until the arrest of the suspect on 5 March, during which time "a number of very serious offences" occurred, said police. The couple had travelled extensively around Queensland, they added.

The woman was found near the town of Mitchell, about 350 miles west of the state capital Brisbane, after staff at a service station contacted police when she "pumped petrol into a car... but drove away without paying", ABC News says.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

According to reports, she had facial fractures, as well as cuts and bruises, and was visibly distressed. Police found her alleged attacker hiding in the back.

Detective Inspector Paul Hart said she had been through a "catastrophic" experience, adding: "It has taken great courage for the victim to provide the details she has."

A 22-year-old man from the northern Queensland town of Cairns is now facing charges including four counts of rape, four counts of strangulation, eight counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and two counts of deprivation of liberty.

He was refused bail at a court in the town of Roma and will appear again on 23 May.

A spokesperson for the British High Commission said: "We are supporting a British woman following an incident in Queensland and remain in contact with the local authorities."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.