Man has been charged with British backpacker's murder in Queensland


Police have charged a 29-year-old man with murder following the death of British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung in Queensland, Australia.

The Queensland Police Service said he had been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of serious animal cruelty and 12 counts of serious assault.

Ayliffe-Chung, 21, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, was attacked at the Shelley's Backpackers accommodation in the Home Hill area of Queensland on Tuesday night. She suffered multiple stab wounds.

Mia Ayliffe-chung with her cat Leo (Mykah Powell/PA)
Mia Ayliffe-Chung and her cat Leo (Mykah Powell/PA)

The Queensland Police Service previously confirmed the man they had arrested was Smail Ayad, a 29-year-old Frenchman.

A 30-year-old British man police named as Tom Jackson remains in hospital with critical head injuries and a 46-year-old local man received non-life threatening injuries. Jackson was injured trying to help Ayliffe-Chung. Police described his actions as "selfless".

Another British backpacker was injured and is in hospital being treated for damage to both ankles.

Police said the man charged would appear at Townsville Magistrates Court on Friday. A statement said: "It will be alleged that as the man was being transported from the hospital to the watch house around 5.45pm, he assaulted two officers and resisted violently and police have had to use a Taser and capsicum spray on the man."

Day 4 done. Just 85 left! Skills... - Mia Ayliffe-chung | Facebook

Superintendent Ray Rohweder of Queensland Police had previously said the possibility that Ayad had an unrequited romantic interest or an "obsession" with Ayliffe-Chung was a line of inquiry.

He also said there was an indication that Ayad had taken cannabis on Tuesday evening and police confirmed he had shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the alleged attack.

Rosie Ayliffe paid tribute to her daughter in a statement, saying she was an "amazing young woman with an adventurous spirit".

British High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings is in Home Hill to provide support to Britons involved in the attack.