England

Australia stabbing: Tom Jackson's family 'proud' of injured backpacker

Tom Jackson Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Tom Jackson was injured when he tried to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung

The family of a British man critically injured trying to save a backpacker stabbed to death in Australia have said they are "immensely proud" of him.

Tom Jackson, 30, of Congleton, Cheshire was injured when he tried to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, in the attack at a hostel in Queensland on Tuesday.

His father Les Jackson also praised the work of medical staff caring for him.

Frenchman Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with murdering Miss Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

In a statement, Les Jackson 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."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Mia Ayliffe-Chung was staying at Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill, near Townsville, when she was stabbed to death

Mr Jackson said the family were "in awe" of the medical and support staff at Townsville Hospital in Queensland, where his son is being treated.

He said they were "providing the greatest care Tom could hope to receive".

He added: "Our hearts go out to Mia and her family and friends at this dreadful time."

Image copyright ABC
Image caption Tom Jackson and Mia Ayliffe-Chung were attacked at Shelley's Backpackers in north Queensland

The attack took place at the Shelley's Backpackers accommodation in Home Hill at about 23:15 local time on Tuesday.

A 46-year-old local man, named by a friend as Grant Scholz, who ran the hostel, also suffered non-life threatening injuries in the attacks.

Miss Ayliffe-Chung's friend Chris Porter, from Kent, reportedly damaged both ankles when he jumped from a second-storey window to flee the knifeman.

Mr 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 as "he had caused a disturbance" . His case was adjourned until 28 October.

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