Home Hill stabbing victim Tom Jackson. Source Facebook.
Home Hill stabbing victim Tom Jackson. Source Facebook.

Second Home Hill attack victim Tom Jackson dies

UPDATE: IT'S been reported he heroically came to the aid of Mia Ayliffe-Chung however some six days after the initial attack 30 year-old British journalist Tom Jackson has passed away in Townsville Hospital. 

This afternoon police confirmed they would upgrade a charge of attempted murder against 29 year-old French man Smail Ayad at his next appearence in Townsville Magistrate's Court on October 29. 

In a letter penned after the tragedy Jackson's father Les wrote that his son's actions filled him with pride. 

"His actions in response to this horrific attack only add to that sense of pride," Mr Jackson said on Sunday.

"As a family we have been comforted by the help and support offered by our friends and family at home and in Australia who have been wonderful.

"As Tom's dad here in Townsville that comfort and many offers of support and friendship has been given by the Townsville community."

EARLIER: POLICE have confirmed they have charged a 29 year-old French national over yesterday's stabbing in North Queensland. 



The man has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of animal cruelty and 12 counts of assault. 

Police claim as the man was been taken from hospital to the watchhouse he resisted a direction and had to be tasered and capsicum sprayed. 

He is due to appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow.

EARLIER: A FRENCH tourist taken into custody after a shock stabbing in North Queensland on Wednesday night is expected to be charged today.

Smail Ayad is being held by Queensland Police after the fatal of 21-year-old British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, at a hostel in Home Hill near Ayr in north Queensland.

Reports from the scene suggested Ayad shouted Arabic phrases including "Allahu ackbar" (God is great) during and after the attack.

Read tributes to Mia Ayliffe-Chung from her friends and family below.


Mia Ayliffe-Chung
Mia Ayliffe-Chung


Detective Superintendent Ray Rohweder did not use Ayad's name, instead referring to him as the "suspect".

He said the suspect was being held under a court order, which allowed police time to collect evidence.

Det Supt Rohweder said he may face murder charges, depending on what evidence and information is provided to police, but it may not be the only charge.

"Obviously one of the possible charges is murder," he said.

"Should we go down that path, there will be other criminal matters we will be looking at."

Mia Ayliffe-Chung
Mia Ayliffe-Chung

Det Supt Rohweder also confirmed reports this morning that police officers were injured as they took the suspect from Townsville Hospital to the police station.

He said the suspect behaved "in an extremely violent manner" which led officers to try to restrain him.

Police suffered cuts, bruises and a bite to a leg before more officers arrived as back-up.

The man has also been taken for a  psychiatric assessment at Townsville Base Hospital, Det Supt Rohweder said.

He said whatever the result of those tests, charges may still be laid, but there may be other legal options.

Stabbing victim Mia Aycliffe-chung was on the trip of a lifetime. Source Facebook.
Stabbing victim Mia Aycliffe-chung was on the trip of a lifetime. Source Facebook.

Det Supt Rohweder said the family of Ms Ayliffe-Chung were not expected to travel to Australia.

The superintendent also emphasised again there was no suggestion that the attack was motivated by radicalism or extremism.

"If I could just once again say those behaviour patterns, the history, everything that leads into this, from what we have been able to establish at this stage there is absolutely no indication of any form of radicalisation or any political ideology behind this," he said.



POLICE say there is not yet any evidence to suggest that the French tourist who allegedly stabbed a UK backpacker to death while yelling "Allahu Ackbar" was motivated by extremism.

The police response comes as tributes flow in from around the world for slain British tourist Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who was in the North Queensland hostel as part of her year-long visit to Australia.

The attack also left a second British tourist -- 30-year-old Tom Jackson -- in a critical condition.

A third man from Home Hill, reported to be one of the hostel owners, suffered wounds to his legs.

As news spread of the young woman's death, Mia received tributes from across the world.

"Today the world has lost one of the most beautiful young women to ever walk this planet. Today I lost a best friend. A girl like no other, one of the happiest, full of energy, delightful, energetic and hilarious girl I've come across," one wrote.

Her former boss at a Gold Coast described her as "infectiously happy" and dearly missed.

Another wrote of the "anguish" that she was no longer in the world.

"May your spirit live on in all of us forever more," they wrote.

Mia had kept in regular contact with her mother on social media, and when the 21-year-old worried publicly about missing major moments back home, her mother offered comfort.

"You'll be back in the blink of an eye. And we'll all still be doing the same old stuff for the most part … live your dream and know you're in all our hearts."

Mia was in the early days of a three-month adventure on the Harvest Trail, posting photos online as she cut sugar cane.

The attack is thought to have been witnessed by up to 30 others.

A social media post made by Mia Ayliffe-Chung before she began to travel the world.
A social media post made by Mia Ayliffe-Chung before she began to travel the world.

Police are investigating whether Smail Ayad, her accused killer, may have developed an infatuation with the young woman.

The French tourist allegedly shouted Arabic phrases including "Allahu ackbar" (God is great) as he was arrested.

He is yet to be charged.

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said while there were comments were heard at the scene, that could be "construed" as being of an extremist nature, the attack "is not about race or religion".

"It is individual behaviour. Our community should feel reassured that the investigation is thorough and committed and is being fully supported by all responsible agencies." 

Burdekin MP Dale Last, whose electorate includes the hostel where the attack occurred, gave his condolences and called for calm.

"My thoughts are with the victims and their families; and also those foreign visitors who have been caught up in this incident," Mr Last said.

"Residents and visitors to the Burdekin have nothing to fear and they should continue to feel safe in our towns.

"I have spoken with the Police Minister this morning and am calling for calm during the ensuing police investigations. 

"It's important that cool heads prevail while the police get to the bottom of this incident and also that factual evidence is reported so as not to cause further angst and alarm within our community."

EARLIER: Woman killed in alleged stabbing attack revealed as Mia Aycliffe-Chung

A 21 year-old English woman who had been waitressing on the Gold Coast while enjoying an Australian holiday has been identified as person killed in a stabbing attack at a backpackers in Shelley Beach south of Townsville today. 

News Corp reports the Mia Aycliffe-chung was killed in the attack which also saw a 30 year-old Briitish backpacker taken to hospital in a critical condition. 


EARLIER:  A FRENCH national accused of killing a British backpacker and wounding another allegedly shouted 'Allahu Akbar'during the stabbing frenzy.

Australian Federal Police are now involved in the investigation, with police expected to examine whether the man - who had been in the country several months - has any link to terror organisations.

Allahu Akbar is an Islamic phrase, called Takbir in Arabic, meaning "God is greater" or "God is [the] greatest".

The stabbing at Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill, south of Townsville, was witnessed by about 30 people.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the investigation is still in its early stages and more details are expected to become clear as it unfolds.

"However, initial inquiries indicate that comments that may be construed of being of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.

"While this information will be factored into the investigation we are not ruling out any motivations at this early stage whether they be political or criminal.

"Investigators will also consider whether mental health or drug misuse are factors in this incident."

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski has reassured the community that police are not searching for anyone else in relation to this incident.

"There is no known ongoing threat to the community. While this matter is being treated as a homicide, the Queensland Police Service will continue to work with its federal counterparts in relation to the investigation," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.

Police were called to a building on Ninth Street, Home Hill about 11.15 last night following reports a person had been stabbed.

On arrival, police secured the scene and took a man into custody.

A woman (a 21-year-old British national) was located deceased at the scene.

A 29-year-old French national believed to be responsible for the attack had been arrested but not charged.

"This person appears to have acted alone," he said.

"He is a visitor to Australia and appears to have no known local connections.

"There is no ongoing threat to the community."

In his update to the media with AFP Commander Sharon Cowden, Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said: "We are not ruling out any motivations at this stage. We wish to reassure the community - we are not looking for anyone else.

"It was a shocking attack by any standards - motivations unclear, investigation in its infancy."

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski confirmed the attacker shouted about Allah both "during the attack and when arrested by police".

Police are classing it as a murder investigation, but the Australian Federal Police, Attorney General's department and Australian Border Force have been brought in.

A local resident received non-life threatening injuries during the attack, while a dog that lived at the premises was killed.

More on this at The Courier-Mail

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