Court adjourns case against man accused of murdering British backpacker


The case against a Frenchman accused of murdering a British backpacker has been adjourned as a Briton injured in the attack remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Smail Ayad, 29, allegedly stabbed Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, and injured Tom Jackson, 30, at the Shelley's Backpackers accommodation in the Home Hill area of Queensland on Tuesday night, as well as harming 12 police officers.

Police said that he was not in court on Friday, despite plans for him to appear by video link, because he had caused a disturbance.

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.

He was remanded in custody and his case has been adjourned until October 28.

Police previously said that they were investigating whether Ayad had an "obsession" with Miss Ayliffe-Chung - who Mr Jackson tried to help after she was attacked.

He received critical head injuries and police described his actions as "selfless".

The Queensland Police Service tweeted on Friday morning local time: "The 30-year-old British man injured in the #HomeHill attack remains in a critical condition in hospital."

Superintendent Ray Rohweder of Queensland Police said there was an indication that Ayad had taken cannabis on Tuesday evening.

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

Miss Ayliffe-Chung's post-mortem examination found her cause of death to be multiple stab wounds.

Her mother 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.

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

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