A German backpacker who was allegedly attacked by a man with a hammer at Salt Creek in South Australia suffered a head laceration so deep it exposed bone, the Supreme Court has heard.
A trial underway in Adelaide heard the woman, now aged 24, was found by a group of fisherman on a remote stretch of beach at the Coorong covered head to toe in blood.
A 60-year-old SA man, whose identity has been suppressed, is on trial after pleading not guilty to seven charges, including attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping and indecent assault.
The alleged incident involved the German backpacker and her friend, a Brazilian woman.
Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Doctor Andrew Raymond treated the German at Flinders Medical Centre the morning after the alleged attack on February 9, 2016.
He said she had four lacerations on her head — the largest being 55 millimetres in length.
“The wound was jagged-edged … and went through all of the layers of the scalp down to the bone,” Dr Raymond said.
“There was an area of the skull bone that was exposed.”
Backpacker ‘lucky’ injuries weren’t worse: doctor
Dr Raymond told the court the lacerations were consistent with the blunt force trauma caused by a hammer.
“I think she’s incredibly lucky they weren’t more serious,” he said.
The court heard the lacerations were on the top of her head, which is among the hardest bone in the skull.
Dr Raymond said had they been on the side of her head “her injuries could have been far more life threatening”.
It has been alleged the man later rammed her with his four-wheel drive several times.
During her evidence at the trial last week, the German woman said she woke to the sound of her friend screaming.
She said she saw her friend lying in the sand naked and yelling for help with the man standing over the top of her, slightly hunched.
The man had allegedly cut off the Brazilian woman’s bikini with a knife, bound her hands and ankles with rope and sexually assaulted her in the sand dunes.
Dr Lyndall Young from Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service told the trial she examined the Brazilian woman the day after the alleged attack.
Dr Young said the woman had bruises and swelling on her face as well as a number of scratches on her body.
She said there were horizontal abrasions on the woman’s lower ankles and her wrists that could have been caused by ligature.
The court previously heard the Brazilian woman hid in a bush before she was found naked and screaming for help on the beach by a family who were fishing in the area.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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