Monday, March 6, 2017

UK backpacker 'raped repeatedly' over two months in Australia

The 22-year-old woman was subjected to repeated attacks in locations across Queensland, police say.
The ordeal ended on Sunday when police made a routine stop of a vehicle being driven by the woman, and noticed she had serious facial injuries.
An Australian man who appeared to be "hiding from police" was arrested in the back of the vehicle, police said.

What do police allege happened?

Authorities allege the pair met three months ago in northern Queensland before agreeing to go on a road trip.
Police say the woman was then held against her will and repeatedly attacked between 2 January and 5 March.
She appeared distressed when the vehicle was pulled over on the Warrego Highway at Mitchell, 560km (350 miles) north-west of Brisbane, police said.
The 22-year-old man, from Cairns, is facing charges including four counts of rape, eight counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, four counts of strangulation and two counts of deprivation of liberty.
"During the course of their travels throughout the state then a number of very serious offences have occurred," Detective Inspector Paul Hart told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Police said the accused man was found in a storage alcove.
"We will allege that the male person was secreted in the back section of the vehicle which made it quite difficult to find him," Insp Hart said.

What support is the woman receiving?

Police said the victim was treated for injuries including facial fractures, bruising and cuts to her body.
Insp Hart said the "very prolonged" ordeal had also left her with psychological injuries. She appeared "terrified" when found, he said.
"We would certainly say that what's happened to this lady is quite catastrophic so there are numerous supports that are being put in place to help her out during through this period," Insp Hart said.
He said the woman was considering returning to the UK.

What is the legal process?

The man is also facing charges of causing wilful damage, possessing drugs and drug equipment, and obstructing police.
He faced the Roma Magistrates Court, about 80km from Mitchell, on Monday.
The man was refused bail to face court again on 23 May, according to Brisbane's Courier Mail.
Police have urged anyone with information to come forward.
BBC, March 07 2017

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