Queensland stabbing: British man fighting for life after attack at Australia hostel

Tom Jackson in a critical condition after attempting to intervene to save Mia Ayliffe-Chung

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 24 August 2016 18:11
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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

A British man who suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed at a hostel in Australia has been named locally as Tom Jackson.

The 30-year-old is said to be fighting for his life after the attack at the Shelley's Backpackers hostel in Home Hill, Queensland on Tuesday evening.

Mr Jackson and a 21-year-old woman, Mia Ayliffe-Chung, were attacked in front of around 30 witnesses.

Ms Ayliffe-Chung was pronounced dead at the scene and Mr Jackson was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

A 46-year-old Australian man, Grant Scholz, was also stabbed in the leg as he attempted to intervene but has since been released from hospital. It had previously been reported the attacker had shouted "Allahu Akbar".

A French national has been charged in connection with the attack. Queensland Police said the suspect had no known links to Isis and they believe he acted alone.

They said the incident was being treated as a murder, not a terrorist incident.

Samantha Harrison, a friend of Mr Jackson, wrote on Facebook: "Tom Jackson was a very close friend and one of the most amazing people I have ever met.

"Now Tom I need you too stay strong and beat this for yourself and all of your friends and family who love you."

Another friend, Emily Waters, who had recently left the hostel after finishing her farm work requirement said: "I can't get over this. I just can't.

"I can't get you out of my head Tom- please be ok buddy. The world needs more kind hearted spirits like you, so you have to pull through.

"Be strong. I know that you already are. You're an absolute hero, and I know you're going to be ok".

Mr Jackson was reportedly trying to protect Mia Ayliffe-Chung from the attacker

Mr Jackson, who is from Congleton in Cheshire, was working in Australia as a freelance journalist and scriptwriter, the BBC reported.

ITV News reported he was trying to save Ms Ayliffe-Chung when he sustained serious wounds to the face.

Tributes have poured in for the waitress, originally from Wirksworth in Derbyshire, since the news of her death broke.

She had been working at a nightclub in Gold Coast city and had arrived in Home Hill just 10 days earlier to work as a fruit picker, to fulfill the requirements of her working visa.

Her friend Kyle Goodwin said: "Today the world has lost of one of the most beautiful 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.

"Even though I've only known you for a short amount of time it feels like we have been best friends for years, we just seemingly clicked and were like two peas in a pod."

Additional reporting by PA

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