A “BRAVIVE” Briton died after being stabbed in the head while heroically trying to save a fellow passenger during a “frantic knife attack” at an Australian hostel, an inquest has found.
Thomas Leslie Jackson, from Congleton, Cheshire, had come to the aid of British woman Mia Ayliff-Chung after she was stabbed multiple times at the hostel in Home Hill, Queensland, on August 23, 2016.
Today the Warrington Coroners Court heard how French backpacker Smail Ayad carried out the attack on Thomas, 30, and Miss Ayliff-Chung, 20.
Miss Ayliff-Chung, from Derbyshire, was pronounced dead at the scene while Mr Jackson died of his injuries at Townsville Hospital six days later.
The former South Cheshire College student’s medical cause of death was stab wounds to the brain.
The inquest found that he sustained at least 12 separate injuries in the attack.
A coroner’s report stated that Ayad was “psychotic and under the influence of cannabis” at the time and the criminal case was dropped.
Deputy Coroner Peter Sigee said it was “appropriate” that the findings of the June 30, 2020 Queensland Coroner’s Report should be the “sole evidence that needs to be obtained and considered”.
Summarizing the evidence in the report, which he had “carefully examined” before the hearing, Mr Sigee said: “The various people involved in this incident stayed at the hostel whilst traveling on work visas and engaged in paid work on the local farm .
“Mr Smail Ayad carried out a frantic knife attack on Miss Mia Ayliff-Chung, inflicting serious injuries on her.
“Miss Ayliff-Chung escaped and locked herself in a bathroom.
“Mr Ayad then jumped off a first floor balcony as if trying to fly and landed on his back.
“Mr Jackson went to Mr Ayad’s aid without knowing what had happened at the inn.”
The inquest was told that another backpacker, Daniel Richards, found Miss Ayliff-Chung in the bathroom and screamed that she had been stabbed, at which point Mr Jackson ran inside.
The coroner continued: “Mr Ayad walked back into the hostel, still carrying a knife, screaming and gesturing.
“Even though he knew that Mr Ayad had inflicted serious knife wounds on Miss Ayliff-Chung and that Mr Ayad remained at the hostel armed and dangerous, Mr Jackson made no attempt to flee to a safe place, but stayed with Miss Ayliff-Chung at one try to take care of her and prevent further harm from her.”
Ayad then pushed his way into the bathroom.
Mr Jackson tried to calm him down but was subsequently attacked and suffered multiple stab wounds.
The coroner told the hearing that an Australian mental health court later found Mr Ayad was “not in his right mind” at the time of the attack.
Tracing a narrative conclusion, Mr. Sigee said: “Mr. Jackson died from knife wounds inflicted on him by a mentally ill person, while Mr. Jackson acted with great courage and bravery to protect and care for a seriously injured person.”
Speaking to CheshireLive after the hearing, Leslie and Sandra, Mr Jackson’s parents, said not a day goes by that they don’t think about their son.
Leslie said, “We think about him all the time.”
Sandra added: “I will never get over this. You just learn to live with it.”
Referring to Mr Ayad, Leslie said: “I never thought about him.
“I don’t have any animosity. My focus was always on Tom. I flew it out the next morning to be with him in the hospital.”
The couple said their son, an avid Liverpool FC fan, is a seasoned traveler who has lived in India and Malaysia and spent 18 months in Cambodia teaching English.
Leslie said, “Tom fit more in 30 years than many people in her lifetime.”
Mr. Jackson was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal and a similar award in Queensland on his 33rd birthday for his heroic efforts on 23 August 2016.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5112040/courageous-brit-killed-defended-backpacker/ The ‘brave’ Brit was killed after being stabbed in the head while defending a backpacker in a ‘furious knife attack’ at a hostel