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Man charged with second count of murder over backpacker deaths

Published 28/10/2016

Mia Ayliffe-chung, who was stabbed to death at a backpackers' hostel in Australia (Tommy Martin/PA)
Mia Ayliffe-chung, who was stabbed to death at a backpackers' hostel in Australia (Tommy Martin/PA)

The man accused of stabbing to death two British backpackers at an Australian hostel has been charged with a second count of murder.

Smail Ayad allegedly murdered Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, and Tom Jackson, 30, during a knife attack in a hostel in Queensland.

Ayad, a 29-year-old Frenchman, had already been charged with killing Miss Ayliffe-Chung in the attack on August 23.

He was originally charged with attempting to murder Mr Jackson, but following his death a week after the incident, the charge was upgraded on Friday.

Mr Jackson was nominated for a posthumous bravery award for trying to protect Miss Ayliffe-Chung of Wirksworth, Derbyshire, during the attack in Shelley's Backpackers.

Mr Jackson, from Congleton, Cheshire, was injured while shielding her and died seven days later in Townsville Hospital.

Ayad did not appear at the brief hearing at Townsville Magistrates' Court where it was decided the case would be transferred to a mental health court.

He is also charged with 12 counts of assaulting police officers and one of serious animal cruelty.

Ayad was remanded in custody to appear at the mental health court in Townsville on February 15, where it will be decided whether the case falls within its jurisdiction.

Press Association

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