A British backpacker who was injured trying to save a woman as she was stabbed to death in Australia has died.
Thomas Jackson, of Congleton, Cheshire, was left fighting for his life in hospital after he tried to help fellow backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, in the attack at a hostel in Queensland, Australia last week.
Smail Ayad, from France, has been charged with murdering Ayliffe-Chung and attempting to murder Jackson, BBC reports. This charge will now be changed to murder.
The stabbing, which was reportedly in front of up to 30 onlookers, took place at a hostel in the Home Hill area of Queensland – about 100km south of Townsville – at around 11.15pm local time last Tuesday, reports The Guardian.
Ayad allegedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ before and after the murder, but according to The Guardian, detective superintendent Ray Rohweder said there was ‘no indication whatsoever that any radicalisation or any political motives existed to cause him to attack the people that he did’. Police previously said they were investigating whether Ayad had an ‘obsession’ with Ayliffe-Chung.
Jackson’s father, Les, 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.
Speaking after the attack, Jackson’s family said they were ‘immensely proud’ of him for his actions:
There are many and varied reasons why we are, and always will be, immensely proud of Tom.
His actions in response to this horrific attack only add to that sense of pride.
Police described his actions as ‘selfless’.
According to a spokesman for Queensland Police, investigations are continuing but detectives will upgrade the charge to murder when Ayad next appears in court on October 28.
Our thoughts are with Thomas and Mia’s families and friends.