A British backpacker who was allegedly held hostage and repeatedly raped has spoken of her inner strength.
From Liverpool the 22-year-old can not be named for legal reasons found comfort in words from a book.
Quoting American author, Joshua Graham, she used a phrase found in his Amazon bestseller Darkroom.
‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me,’ she posted on social media, according to The Courier Mail.
The woman was allegedly raped, beaten and strangled before being rescued by police after she failed to pay for petrol.
Her suspected attacker, also 22, was named locally as Marcus Martin.
It was revealed she had tried to admit herself to Cairns Hospital to get stitches for a wound above her eyebrow before she went on a road trip with Martin.
Staff members asked the woman whether her injuries were inflicted from domestic violence, but let her leave without an explanation or without contacting police, Brisbane’s The Courier-Mail reported.
It came as it was revealed Martin had a violent criminal past that was known to police ahead of the alleged hostage situation.
He spent six months in prison in 2013 for a drug-fuelled attack in 2012, in which he ordered a pizza delivery and then attacked the driver to steal the pizza and less than £12, the Telegraph reported.
He had been partying with three friends in Cairns – taking LSD and alcohol during a housewarming party that had lasted three days – when they decided to ‘roll’ or rob, a pizza delivery driver.
But it is said that Martin, to the surprise of his friends, violently assaulted the man, taking a plank of wood and hitting the driver on the back of the head.
It is also understood that Martin, whose Facebook page says he was born in New Zealand, was also charged with a previous offence in Cairns as a sixteen-year-old.
He then disappeared from Cairns after his time behind bars and headed to Sydney, but returned to his home town late last year.
The 22-year-old woman from Liverpool is recovering ‘in the care of friends and family’ after being released from hospital, Queensland Police said on Wednesday after being subject to ‘significant level of violence and catastrophic offences.’
She escaped her captor by failing to pay for petrol in the town of Mitchell and being pulled over by a patrol car, police revealed.
When they searched the car, the officers found Martin buried under clothes in a rear alcove.
The victim’s friend accused the suspect of being ‘clingy from the start’ and he believes the ‘stunt at the petrol station’ was a ‘brilliant cry for help.’
Talking of the alleged attacker, a 27-year-old friend said: ‘When he changed his relationship status on Facebook I thought it was too fast – she never changed hers.’
He told Daily Mail Australia when the backpacker went missing two weeks ago it ‘wasn’t out of character’.
‘I didn’t worry too much because going away for a few weeks was normal for her,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I tried calling her a few times but couldn’t get through.’
She had been living in a shared house in Cairns as she neared the end of her two-year stay in Australia and with her visa due to expire in just over a month she agreed to a road trip with Martin who she was initially in a relationship with.
They had met at ‘bush doof’ party in Cairns three months ago.
The first incident in which she was raped, strangled and assaulted apparently occurred on February 3.
In mid-February, she was allegedly held against her will at a hotel in Cairns, where she was gagged with a towel and threatened with punishment if she tried to leave.
A petrol station owner, Donna, where the victim failed to pay for petrol said she had ‘wounded neck’ but looked like a ‘Zombie’ while wearing a summer dress.
Detective Inspector Paul Hart told a press conference police were ‘attending a routine job in relation to a driver that was unable to pay for petrol’ when they found her.
The suspect is being held in prison in south Queensland after appearing 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 is also facing drugs charges. He was refused bail and is due to appear in court on May 23.
It was initially reported that the woman was held hostage for two months but police have revised that to four weeks.