On Saturday, two Finnish backpackers were attacked while hiking the Bibbulmun Track, near Perth.

The Finnish couple were walking along the track in the early afternoon, when the man was hit by a ute. The driver then got out of the vehicle and assaulted the man with a shovel.

Police spokeswoman Susan Usher said that after this, “It’s believed the driver of the vehicle turned his attention to the male victim’s 33-year-old female companion, however the male victim managed to stand up and struggled with the driver.” The fight continued, until the woman picked up the shovel and hit the attacker over the head.

Another hiker stopped, and the three were able to restrain the attacker until police arrived. The Finnish backpackers and their attacker were treated in hospital.

Matt Lewis Whittaker from Sawyers Valley has since appeared in court.

‘Horrifying and random event’

Steve Sertis, a guide for the area, told the BBC – “It is a very horrifying and random event – definitely not what we’d expect to see happen on the Bibbulmun Track.”

“Generally the track is a very safe place to be and to walk along, particularly around that area, which is not far from houses and quite a touristy location.”

Sources

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