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Monday, July 6, 2020

Two British citizens died after a mentally-ill Frenchman knifed them at an Australian backpackers

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A British backpacker on her dream trip to Australia told a friend she was sexually abused just a day before she was killed by the same man in a stabbing attack, a coroner has found.  

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, worked as a waitress in Surfers Paradise before travelling to north Queensland for fruit picking work, which would extend her visa. 

Frenchman Smail Ayad stabbed Ms Ayliffe-Chung and fellow British traveller Thomas Leslie Jackson, 30, in the head and chest at a backpackers accommodation near Townsville in August 2016, the coroner found.  

Mr Jackson received a post-humous Queen’s Gallantry Medal for giving his life to try and protect Ms Ayliffe-Chung in the attack. 

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, had previously worked as a waitress in Surfers Paradise before travelling to north Queensland for a fruit picking work to extend her visa

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, had previously worked as a waitress in Surfers Paradise before travelling to north Queensland for a fruit picking work to extend her visa

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, had previously worked as a waitress in Surfers Paradise before travelling to north Queensland for a fruit picking work to extend her visa 

Coroner Nerida Wilson published her findings on the killings on Wednesday, saying there was no need for a formal inquest because it was unlikely to lead to recommendations preventing similar deaths in the future. 

Ayad, who was 29 at the time of the stabbings, was initially charged with two counts of murder, but these were later dropped after he was found to be of unsound mind.

Ms Ayliffe-Chung, who was at the tail end of a 12-month world trip, had worked briefly at Gold Coast venue The Bedroom just days before travelling to Home Hill in north Queensland. 

The findings of the Coronial investigation reveal that someone, who’s name had been redacted from the report, said Ms Ayliffe-Chung had made complaints about Ayad, who she had just met after being put in the same room. 

‘I remember that Mia told me there was a guy in her room that was getting too close to her, physically by touching her and was verbally harassing her,’ the witness said according to The Gold Coast Bulletin

Tom Jackson received a post-humous Queen's Gallantry Medal for giving his life to try and protect Ms Ayliffe-Chung in the attack

Tom Jackson received a post-humous Queen's Gallantry Medal for giving his life to try and protect Ms Ayliffe-Chung in the attack

Tom Jackson received a post-humous Queen’s Gallantry Medal for giving his life to try and protect Ms Ayliffe-Chung in the attack 

Ayad, who was 29 at the time of the stabbings, was initially charged with two counts of murder, but these were later dropped after he was found to be of unsound mind

Ayad, who was 29 at the time of the stabbings, was initially charged with two counts of murder, but these were later dropped after he was found to be of unsound mind

Ayad, who was 29 at the time of the stabbings, was initially charged with two counts of murder, but these were later dropped after he was found to be of unsound mind 

Mia Ayliffe-Chung pictured with her former boyfriend Jamison Stead

Mia Ayliffe-Chung pictured with her former boyfriend Jamison Stead

Mia Ayliffe-Chung pictured with her former boyfriend Jamison Stead 

‘Mia said that he was saying things like that ”he wanted her to be his girlfriend” and that ”he wanted sex from her”. I didn’t know who the male was that she was referring to at this point.’ 

The person also claimed Ms Ayliffe-Chung complained that Ayad would follow her around, while other male backpackers reported he would make sexual comments about her and referred to her as his ‘wife’. 

The owner of the backpackers said the woman had not complained to her about Ayad. 

Ms Wilson also said in her findings that Mr Jackson and another British male backpacker, Daniel Richards, who came to the aid of Ms Ayliffe-Chung had shown extraordinary bravery. 

‘Both Mr Jackson and Mr Richards exhibited extraordinary bravery and compassion remaining with Mia rendering assistance whilst their own safety was still at risk,’ she said. 

Ayad remains in custody in a mental health facility in Australia but is expected to be deported to France. 

He will be held in another mental health facility when he arrives in that country. 

Ms Ayliffe-Chung, who was at the tail end of a 12 month world trip when she arrived in Australia

Ms Ayliffe-Chung, who was at the tail end of a 12 month world trip when she arrived in Australia

Ms Ayliffe-Chung, who was at the tail end of a 12 month world trip when she arrived in Australia 

Australia

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