Elisha Greer forced to drive over 1,600 kilometres through the outback at gunpoint by Marcus Martin

Posted by

Elisha Greer, a 24-year-old British backpacker, was held captive on a 1,600 kilometre road trip from Cairns to Mitchell in outback Queensland. The man behind the ordeal was 24-year old Marcus Allyn Keith Martin.

Back in 2015 when Elisha Greer began her Australian adventure, she had hardly a care in the world. Elisha was then 21 years old. She didn’t know how long she’d stay in the country, but she quickly made friends, and drank in the sights. Elisha followed the sun and headed north – all the way to Cairns – a tropical paradise for tourists and backpackers alike.

It was the Australia Day long weekend in 2017, and Elisha was invited to a bush doof – an electronic dance party held in the rainforest on the outskirts of Cairns. It was at this party that Elisha met Marcus Martin.

“He just seemed like a nice guy,” Elisha tells Sunday Night’s Melissa Doyle. “I just chatted away to him. He didn’t seem like a psycho to say the least. [He] just seemed like a normal guy at the time.”

“We exchanged numbers, and he was like, ‘Are you going out? Are you doing this? Do you want to do this?’ So, I thought we were just going to be friends, but obviously it never turned out like that.”

Elisha had no idea of the monster Marcus Martin really was.

Another woman certainly did. Hannah Crockett had begun dating Martin six months earlier. She’d met Martin at a friend’s place in Coffs Harbour.

“He dressed well,” Hannah recalls. “He spoke well. He came off as a good person. Like, yeah, he’d done silly things, but don’t we all?”

They soon got together, and within days Martin had moved in. She was going through a tough time; her dad was terminally ill.

“He made me feel special,” says Hannah. “He made believe that he would help, and that was good knowing someone wanted to help. Then he just started to change.”

The relationship was moving quickly, and the change came just as fast. Martin first told Hannah to stop seeing her friends and family. Then he became violent.

“The first time he thought I was messaging someone, he smashed my phone and grabbed me by the throat,” Hannah remembers. “Then the second time he punched me in the face, and it just escalated from there. It just got worse.”

“I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know who to turn to. I didn’t want to be alone, but in the end being alone would have been better.”

Martin was due to attend court on assault charges, but decided to skip town. Hannah says her forced her to drive him by threatening her family.

“He put a knife up to my throat two days before leaving,” Hannah claims. “He needed me to help him get to where he needed to be, and if I didn’t he would hurt my dad and my mum.”

Martin and Hannah drove north towards Cairns. She says Martin was high on ice and armed with knuckle dusters and a knife. She was certain he would kill her if she tried to escape.

“He tried to set me on fire,” recounts Hannah. “That was after slicing me with a sword. He was crazy. There’s no other way to put it. Completely and utterly bat shit crazy. It just got to the point where I became numb and it was just easier to do as I was told… whatever that may be.”

Trapped, scared and a long way from home, Hannah discovered she was pregnant with Martin’s child.

“I was terrified,” explains Hannah. “I just know I wanted to get home. I wanted to be where I felt safe, and it wasn’t there.”

A car accident in Cairns was Hannah’s saving grace. Her car was a write-off, and Hannah was no longer able to drive Martin around. Pregnant and alone, Hannah hid in a women’s refuge until she had the money to get home.

What should have been the trip of a lifetime for Elisha Greer turned to terror – lured in by Marcus Martin and forced on a road trip through the outback.

(Source: Sunday Night)Play Video

Meanwhile, Martin had turned his attention to the young and adventurous British backpacker he’d just met at a party. Within days, Martin had moved into a hotel with Elisha Greer. He hit her up for money – and it wasn’t long before his pattern of control began.

Elisha remembers when it all started. “He said, ‘I’ve got us a gun,’ and I was like, ‘Why?’ And he was like, ‘For protection.’ I said, ‘What are we being protected from?’ He was like, ‘People are after me.’ That was the first red flag for me. I was like, ‘People are after you? What for?’ And he wouldn’t tell me.”

Martin used the gun to rob a drug dealer. He brought Elisha along for the ride. “I was forced to drive the car with the gun to my head.”

The relationship had taken a dangerous turn. High on the ice that he’d stolen, and in a room at the Colonial Club in Cairns, Martin turned violent.

“He turned around and he just started to hit me, hit me, hit me,” recalls Elisha. “He wrecked the whole room. He punched through the cupboards. He flipped the beds around.”

Elisha was in fear for her life. Martin proceeded to rape her, then choked her until she passed out.

After every assault, Martin would beg Elisha for forgiveness. “He tried to cuddle me and was apologising, saying it’s my fault then apologising, then trying to cuddle me, then hit me again.”

Martin wanted power over every aspect of Elisha’s life – he even threw away her birth control pills. “He wanted to try and get me pregnant,” she believes. “Maybe he thought that he could control me more if I was with his child.”

Things were coming to a head. Martin’s paranoia and drug use were out of control. He decided they had to leave town. Martin forced Elisha to drive him south in her car.

What should have been the trip of a lifetime for Elisha Greer turned to terror – lured in by Marcus Martin and forced on a road trip through the outback.

(Source: Sunday Night)Play Video

Their first stop was Goldsborough Valley, an hour from Cairns. The trip wasn’t so pleasant for Elisha. “He pushed me onto the floor in between the car door and the car seats and he broke my nose. As soon as he hit it, he punched it downwards and it just shattered.”

Elisha contemplated escaping, but knew the consequences could be deadly. “When he was sleeping, I did genuinely think about killing him with a knife. But if I stabbed him or I missed and he woke up and he’d turn around, [he’d] do something worse to me. I didn’t want to make a silly mistake so I just took the risk of, Iet’s hope someone does help me.”

They continued south. By now, Elisha was desperate for help and trying to attract the attention of strangers.

“My face was purple,” she recalls. ” I was just trying to stare at people until they looked at me to the point where they went, ‘Bloody hell, she might need help.’ But no one did.”

In St Lawrence, south of Mackay, Elisha secretly wrote a plea for help in a visitor’s book. Again, no one did anything.

They continued south to the tiny Queensland town of Banana, more than 1,200 kilometres and four days from Cairns. In need of fuel, they pulled into a truck stop. Martin hid with a knife in the back of the car as Elisha went inside.

Vince Johnson was managing the truck stop. Elisha told Vince she was alone and on the run from a violent relationship, and had no money to pay for fuel. Rather than call the police, Vince did what he thought was the right thing.

“He paid for the petrol that we essentially stole, but I wish he didn’t,” says Elisha. “I wish he turned around and said, ‘No, I’m calling the police,’ and just kept me there, because that would he been so much easier. He was just too much of a sweetheart, and he decided that he wanted to pay for it to help a young girl out.”

It was another missed opportunity. With a full tank of petrol, they continued driving further into outback Queensland. “He was just acting like nothing was going on,” recalls Elisha. “He’s singing along and being all happy and stuff, and I just tried to just drive, ignore him and just drive.”

It’s now five days since they left Cairns, and Elisha has driven more than 1,600 kilometres. They stopped again for fuel at the Caltex service station in Mitchell, and Elisha goes inside and explains she has no money. Once more, Martin hides in the back of the car.

“I even saw a sign on that service station that said if you can’t pay we will call the police, so that sign definitely put the thought into my head to just leave now.”

Elisha drove off without paying, and the road house attendant called 000.

“I saw blue flashing lights and my heart sank, but in a way of relief. It was like, ‘Oh yes, I’m getting caught.'”

Police had Elisha follow them around the corner to the local police station. What they didn’t know was that Marcus Martin was armed and still hiding in the car.

When they started to ask Elisha questions, something didn’t add up. They came out for another look at the car. That’s when they found 22-year-old Marcus Martin crouched behind the driver’s seat.

After being rescued by police, Elisha was admitted to hospital. Her injuries are a disturbing record of the physical abuse inflicted 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.”

Despite her suffering, the ordeal has made this already courageous woman even stronger – and most surprisingly, it hasn’t ruined her love for Australia.

“I’d love to live here,” Elisha says. “It’s one of the nicest countries I’ve ever been to. Every country has its own psychos.”