Australia

Australian admits kidnap and rape of Briton in outback ordeal

The white vehicle which belonged to Marcus Martin Image copyright ABC
Image caption The woman was rescued after police pulled over a 4x4

A man has pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping a British backpacker during a weeks-long kidnapping ordeal in Australia.

The woman, from Liverpool, was rescued by police in Queensland last year after they stopped a 4x4 she was driving.

Her attacker, local man Marcus Martin, then aged 22, was found hiding in the back of the vehicle.

On Friday, Mr Martin pleaded guilty to three charges of rape and one of deprivation of liberty.

He had previously pleaded guilty to other charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm, wilful damage, and strangulation or choking.

Last year, police said that Mr Martin had met the 22-year-old woman at a party in Cairns in late January 2017.

The pair agreed to start a road trip through Queensland, but Mr Martin then began to hold the woman against her will.

He subjected her to a "horrific and terrifying" experience over about four weeks, Detective Insp Paul Hart from Queensland Police said at the time.

The ordeal ended in March last year in the town of Mitchell, more than 1,000km (620 miles) south of Cairns.

The rescue was prompted by a service station owner in Mitchell calling police to report concerns about the woman.

"She pulled up and fuelled up and then when she came in, she couldn't pay for her fuel," the owner, Beverley Page, told the Courier Mail at the time.

Police said the victim's injuries included facial fractures, bruising, abrasions to her neck and cuts to her body, as well as psychological harm.

Mr Martin, from Cairns, will face his next court hearing in February, when a sentence date will be set.

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