Derby

British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung murder case in Australia adjourned

Mia Ayliffe-Chung Facebook photo 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

A man accused of murdering British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung at a hostel in Australia did not appear in court as "he had caused a disturbance".

Frenchman Smail Ayad, 29, allegedly stabbed the 20-year-old in Home Hill, Queensland, on Tuesday.

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

Mr Ayad was remanded in custody and the case has been adjourned until October.

He was due to appear before Townsville Magistrates' Court on Friday by video link.

Image copyright Mykah Powell/PA Wire
Image caption A friend said she loved her cat Leo, which she got as a pet in Australia

Miss Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, died from multiple stab wounds after the attack at Shelley's Backpackers accommodation.

Queensland Police Service previously said that it was investigating whether Mr Ayad had an "obsession" with her.

Supt Ray Rohweder, regional crime co-ordinator in the Northern Region, said there was an indication that Mr Ayad had taken cannabis on Tuesday evening local time.

Police have confirmed that Mr Ayad shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack, but said there is no indication that radicalisation or political motives were involved.

Miss Ayliffe-Chung's mother Rosie paid tribute to her daughter in a statement, saying she was an "amazing young woman with an adventurous spirit".

Image caption Mia Ayliffe-Chung was just days into her trip working on a farm when she was killed

Tom Jackson, 30, from Cheshire, who was injured while trying to save Miss Ayliffe-Chung, remains in hospital with critical head injuries, the police tweeted.

Police had described his actions as "selfless" and "absolutely fantastic".

British High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings was in Home Hill, near Townsville, to provide support to Britons involved in the attack.

In a video she posted on Twitter she praised the police for their response to the incident and the follow-up support they were providing everyone involved.

"The family and friends of all the victims of the attack, and all those affected - I wanted to offer my deepest condolences as well," she said.


Profile: Mia Ayliffe-Chung

Image copyright Facebook

Mia Ayliffe-Chung went to Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth before going to Chesterfield College to study psychology and communication and culture.

She later went to Buxton and Leek College to study childcare.

It is understood she travelled to Bali before arriving in Australia.

Paul Lovatt, head of pastoral care at Anthony Gell, remembered her as "enriching the school environment".

"We knew Mia as a student with so much joy and energy who was well-liked by her friends and teachers," he said.

"She joined our school in Year 9 and flourished here, both in making strong friendships and in achieving high-level GCSEs."

Rachel McVeigh, curriculum leader for education and childcare at Buxton and Leek College, said: "Mia had a zest for life and was free-spirited, with a keen desire to travel.

"We are devastated and extremely sorry to hear such tragic news. Our thoughts are with her family and friends."


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