Thursday 22 August 2019

British backpacker speaks of month-long rape and kidnap ordeal in Australia

Elisha Greer, from Liverpool, was held captive for weeks in 2017. Photograph: 7 News
Elisha Greer, from Liverpool, was held captive for weeks in 2017. Photograph: 7 News

Tom Pilgrim

A British backpacker who was kidnapped and raped by a man in Australia has spoken of her terrifying ordeal , which lasted more than a month.

Elisha Greer, 24, was held captive for weeks by a violent Marcus Martin, who she said beat her and held a gun to her head.

She required hospital treatment for injuries including facial fractures after eventually being found by police near Mitchell, Queensland, in March 2017.

In an interview with Australian broadcaster Channel 7, Ms Greer said she had met Martin at a party in Cairns, Queensland, in the January of that year.

"He just seemed like a nice guy," she told a reporter for the Sunday Night programme.

After the pair exchanged numbers, Martin moved into Ms Greer's hotel and began asking her for money.

Elisha Greer, 24,was eventually found by police near Mitchell, Queensland, in March 2017.
Elisha Greer, 24,was eventually found by police near Mitchell, Queensland, in March 2017.

Ms Greer, then aged 21, said Martin obtained a gun for "protection" and took her along with him to rob a drug dealer.

"I was forced to drive the car with the gun to my head," she said.

Later, a drugged-up Martin launched a violent attack on Ms Greer hitting, raping and choking her until she passed out.

"He turned around and he just started to hit me, hit me, hit me," she said.

Despite apologising after each assault, Martin's controlling behaviour did not stop.

Ms Greer claimed he threw away her birth control pills "to try and get me pregnant".

She added: "Maybe he thought that he could control me more if I was with his child."

The pair embarked on a 1,600 mile road trip south of Cairns during which Martin's abusive behaviour continued.

In one incident, he shoved Ms Greer onto the floor between the car door and seats, breaking her nose and turning her face "purple", she said.

She became so desperate to escape that she even contemplated killing Martin, but was worried things would grow worse if an attempt went wrong.

During one stop on their journey she left an unanswered plea for help in a visitor's book.

After days of driving, the pair stopped for petrol at a service station in Mitchell and left without paying.

An attendant called the police who told Greer to drive the car to a local police station where they found Martin hiding in a back seat.

Ms Greer described her litany of injuries left by Martin: "He broke my nose, split my eyebrow open, I had various amounts of bite marks all up and down my arms, I had bite marks on my face, he had stabbed me in the neck with the key, I had two black eyes, hand prints all over my body from bruises. So many bruises."

Two years on from the harrowing experience, Ms Greer said Australia was "one of the nicest countries" she has visited and would "love" to live there.

Martin, 24, of Cairns, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one count of deprivation of liberty in October last year and is due to be sentenced on May 28.

PA Media

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