Rescued backpacker tells how she survived alleged torture
A BRITISH backpacker allegedly repeatedly raped, held against her will and taken on a 1500km journey around outback Queensland, has broken her silence by posting a message to her supporters.
The Liverpool woman, 22, today took to social media to give the message, just over a week after she was rescued by police officers in western Queensland.
"I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me," the message said.
Police pulled the car over and found the terrified woman at the wheel after a fuel station drive-off at Mitchell on Sunday, March 5.
They questioned her about her injuries and also found a man, 22, hiding in the back of the car.
Police allege the backpacker and the man were in a relationship that soon soured, with him allegedly raping, bashing and threatening her.
They met on January 27 in north Queensland.
On March 1 the backpacker went to Cairns Hospital with a wound to her eyebrow and received stitches. Staff there asked her if it was related to domestic violence however she denied it and left.
The next day she and the man travelled to Gordonvale, before driving to Bowen and Rockhampton in the state's north and then on to Banana, Roma and Mitchell in the state's west.
On the last day of her horror trip, she stopped at a service station near Banana, in the state's west and allegedly told the attendant she was "running away from her abusive boyfriend" and could not pay for fuel.
The attendant took pity on her and paid for her fuel.
At Mitchell, she also went inside the service station and told an attendant she couldn't pay for fuel.
When she left in the Pajero without paying, police were contacted and officers pulled the car over on the Warrego Highway.
Officers allege the backpacker was held against her will inside a Cairns hotel room in February, in which she was gagged with a towel.
One rape charge was between February 3 and February 28 and three other rape offences and the deprivation of liberty charge relate to their road trip between March 1 and 5.
The man is accused of assaulting her multiple times including wounding her eyebrow that led to her going to hospital.
Police have also charged the man with drug offences after they allegedly seized a small amount of the drug MDMA and a pipe.
He has been charged with four counts of rape, eight counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, four counts of strangulation, two counts of wilful damage, two counts of deprivation of liberty and drug possession charges.
He is also charged with one count of obstruct police.
The man has been refused bail.
Detectives have appealed for anyone who saw the couple in Queensland to contact Crime Stoppers on: 1800 333 000