Australia backpacker stabbing: Father of critically injured Tom Jackson 'immensely proud of his son'

'His actions in response to this horrific attack only add to that sense of pride'

Tom Jackson reportedly received wounds to the face after intervening to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung
Tom Jackson reportedly received wounds to the face after intervening to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung

The family of a Briton injured in a stabbing attack in Australia have said they are "immensely proud" of him after he tried to save another backpacker.

Tom Jackson, 30, received critical injuries when he tried to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, as she was stabbed to death, allegedly by 29-year-old Frenchman Smail Ayad, police said.

His father Les Jackson issued a statement also praising the work of medical staff at Townsville Hospital in Queensland, where his son is being treated.

He said: "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.

"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."

Les Jackson said the many offers of support they had received had not been ignored, but they were simply focusing on their son's condition.

He added: "We are in awe of the medical and support staff at The Townsville Hospital who are providing the greatest care Tom could hope to receive and keeping me informed of his ongoing treatment every step of the way.

Friends paid tribute to the 21-year-old who they described as 'infectiously happy' and 'a beautiful free spirited young girl'

"Finally, and most importantly, our hearts go out to Mia and her family and friends at this deadful time."

Miss Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, was killed at the Shelley's Backpackers accommodation in Home Hill on Tuesday.

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

He did not appear in court on Friday but was remanded in custody and his case has been adjourned until October 28.

Police are investigating reports that the Frenchman had an unrequited romantic interest or an "obsession" with Miss Ayliffe-Chung.

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