A bloodied and bruised a 22-year-old British woman walked into a remote Queensland petrol station - what happened next may have saved her life.
In tears she told the assistant she couldn't pay for the fuel, unaware that her two-month ordeal was about to end.
"She was distressed. She was crying. She was really shaking... She had two black eyes, and she had marks on the side of her neck," service station owner Beverley Page said.
The woman returned to the car and drove away.
But tipped off by the petrol station manager, police stopped the vehicle.
A 22-year-old man from Cairns alleged to be her captor was found in a storage alcove inside the car.
It's thought the pair met around three months ago at a party in Cairns and began a relationship.
But when it turned sour in January, the victim was held against her will.
And as they drove south through the Queensland outback, he allegedly subjected her to two months of repeated attacks.
On Sunday, the man was arrested when their car was pulled over for a routine check by police, who noticed her agitated state.
"We have potentially saved this young girl's life," Detective Inspector Paul Hart of Queensland State Police said.
"Given what's happened to her, the extent of what's happened and over the period of time, anything may have transpired. So we're very grateful that she was able to advise us of what was occurring at that particular time."
The woman who's from Liverpool has spoken to her family in the UK and is being treated for facial fractures, cuts and bruising.
Her alleged captor has been charged with a catalogue of abuse against her.