Backpacker cut herself in despair over ordeal

A Dutch backpacker held captive by a Melbourne man who brutally raped and assaulted her pleaded to be allowed to die on the last day of her ordeal.

As the 21-year-old victim cut herself in the hotel room she felt she could not leave, Alfio Anthony Granata panicked and called an ambulance, bringing to an end six weeks of violent abuse.

The victim sustained 54 separate injuries as a result of the prolonged attack in November and December 2012.

Her nose was fractured after Granata grabbed her by the hair and smashed her head into his then-girlfriend, Jennifer Mary Peaston’s head.

Granata, 47, had told the victim, who cannot be named, he had killed many times before, and she and his girlfriend would be next.

In the Victorian County Court on Monday, Judge Frank Gucciardo sentenced Granata to 17 years in prison, telling the father of three his behaviour was vile and repulsive, and had dehumanised his victim.

“Yours was a brutality which transgressed all community standards of behaviour,” Judge Gucciardo told Granata.

The backpacker had met Granata and Peaston in October 2012 and agreed to go back to their hotel room in Bell Street, Preston, for consensual sex. Over the following week, she returned to the room frequently, where the three took drugs together.

Early in November, Granata began to suspect the two women were having an affair behind his back and assaulted the victim with a knife. He scratched an “X” into her forehead and told her she was “marked for death” for betraying him.

In the subsequent weeks, he repeatedly beat her, raped her, stomped on her, and told her she would die.

He threatened to kill her family and said he had connections with security guards at the hotel, and she felt she could not leave.

The ordeal came to an end on Christmas Day 2012 when Granata and Peaston fell asleep and the victim stabbed Granata in the shoulder before turning the knife on herself. After the victim was in an ambulance, she said to the paramedics: “I am safe, thank you for saving me.”

Granata pleaded guilty to nine counts of rape, two counts of threatening to kill, one count of threatening to inflict serious injury, one count of inflicting serious injury, and one count of theft, which relates to items he stole from the victim’s hostel room.


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