British backpacker 'raped and kept captive throughout Queensland for several weeks'

British backpacker 'raped and kept captive throughout Queensland for several weeks'

A young British woman who police say was held captive and repeatedly raped, bashed and choked during a nightmare two-month road trip through Outback Queensland has been saved by a routine traffic stop.

She appeared distressed when the vehicle was pulled over on the Warrego Highway at Mitchell, 560km (350 miles) north-west of Brisbane, police said.

A 22-year-old man from the Cairns suburb of Manunda was found hiding in a small alcove of the vehicle.

It is alleged that he held the woman against her will and assaulted her at various locations across Queensland between January 2 and March 5.

The man accused of assaulting her was found hiding in the back of the vehicle.

He subsequently damaged and invalidated her passport, possibly to prevent her escape, Queensland Police said.

"She did meet up with the alleged offender while up north so they had spent some time together, but subsequently that had obviously soured", Mr Hart said.

Inspector Hart said the damaged passport, plus the fact she was in completely unfamiliar territory, would have made it almost impossible for the woman to escape.

Police said the victim was treated for injuries including facial fractures, bruising and cuts to her body.

Detective Inspector Paul Hart said the pair had travelled extensively throughout the state.

He said the woman was considering returning to the UK.

They found her alleged attacker, also 22, from the Cairns suburb of Manunda, in the back.

What is the legal process?

He was arrested and 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.

He has been charged with rape, assault, strangulation, wilful damage, deprivation of liberty, possessing unsafe drugs and drug utensils, and obstructing police.

Police have urged anyone with information to come forward.

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