British man dies after being stabbed while trying to help backpacker in Australia

Tom Jackson was injured when he intervened as a fellow Briton was stabbed to death

north Queensland

File photo of north Queensland | Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A British man who was stabbed in Australia as he tried to save another backpacker has died from his injuries, police have said.

Tom Jackson sustained critical injuries to his face, head and other parts of his body when he intervened as fellow Briton Mia Ayliffe-Chung was stabbed to death in north Queensland last Tuesday.

Queensland Police, who had described Mr Jackson's actions as "selfless", confirmed the 30-year-old passed away in Townsville Hospital.

His father, Les, who had flown from the UK to be by his bedside and told of how "immensely proud" the family was of Tom's actions in response to the "horrific attack", said: "We are bereft. Our darling Tom has left us and the world is a poorer place.

"There is dark and evil in this world perpetrated by a few, but so much more love and light emanates from so many more. That thought will sustain us over the coming days."

He paid tribute to his son on a fundraising page set up to help raise money towards "hero" Mr Jackson's medical expenses, adding: "Thanks again to everyone for the love and support you have given us over the last few days. We will be forever grateful."

Attempted murder

Detectives plan to upgrade a charge of attempted murder against suspect Smail Ayad, a 29-year-old Frenchman, when he next appears in court at the end of October.

Ayad already faces one count of murder, another count of attempted murder, one count of serious animal cruelty and 12 counts of serious assault. He remains in custody.

The alleged knifeman is said to have shouted the Arabic phrase for "God is greatest" - both during the attack and while being arrested - but police said there was no evidence he had been radicalised or was motivated by politics.

Reports that Ayad was "obsessed" with Miss Ayliffe-Chung, a 21-year-old from Derbyshire, are being investigated.
Ms Ayliffe-Chung was only a few days into a three-month trip working on a farm when she was attacked, according to social media.

Her boyfriend, Jamison Stead, said she was a "beautiful soul" who had "fallen in love with the country and its people".

Writing in a blog on Monday for The Independent, her mother, Rosie Aycliffe, said: "At the moment the only way I can really cope with our loss is to think Mia's time had come and what happened in that hostel on Tuesday was her fate."

She revealed her plans to scatter her daughter's ashes around the world in places she will never discover.