Thursday 29 September 2016

'Wonderful' British man who tried to help backpacker Mia stabbed in Australia dies

Thomas Hornall, Press Association

Published 30/08/2016 | 09:30

Undated handout photo issued via a YouCaring page set up to help support the family of Thomas Jackson, who has died after being critically injured as he tried to save a fellow backpacker as she was stabbed in a knife attack in Australia: YouCaring/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued via a YouCaring page set up to help support the family of Thomas Jackson, who has died after being critically injured as he tried to save a fellow backpacker as she was stabbed in a knife attack in Australia: YouCaring/PA Wire

THE "indescribably proud" relatives of traveller Tom Jackson have paid tribute to a "wonderful big brother" and a "darling" son after he died in an Australian hospital.

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The 30-year-old was stabbed as he tried to save fellow backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, during a knife attack at Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill, Queensland, last week.

Victim Mia Ayliffe-Chung (right) worked as waitress at the Bedroom Lounge Bar along with bartender colleague Amy Browne Photo: PA
Victim Mia Ayliffe-Chung (right) worked as waitress at the Bedroom Lounge Bar along with bartender colleague Amy Browne Photo: PA
Mia Ayliffe-chung died after being stabbed at a backpackers' hostel in Australia (Tommy Martin/PA)

Heartbroken sister Liv Jackson, who flew out with father Les after Mr Jackson was seriously injured last week, posted on Facebook: "There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the pain and heartbreak of losing a sibling and a friend, but there is great comfort in knowing that he was mine.

"To everyone back home and to everyone here in Australia there are literally not enough words to thank you for your support and beautifully kind words to my family at this time."

She urged people not to remember him as a victim but as a friend and to cherish his memory, adding: "Indescribably proud of everything you accomplished and the lives you touched. I will love you always and forever TJ, your little sister, Lou."

Mr Jackson, from Congleton, Cheshire, in England died in a north Queensland hospital on Tuesday.

His father wrote on a Youcaring fundraising page set up to help the family: "We are bereft. Our darling Tom has left us and the world is a poorer place. Thanks again to everyone for the love and support you have given us over the last few days, we will be forever grateful.

"There is dark and evil in this world perpetrated by a few, but so much more love and light emanates from so many more. That thought will sustain us over the coming days."

The page is approaching a £5,000 target with all donations going to Mr Jackson's parents.

Queensland Police said detectives will upgrade a charge of attempted murder against a 29-year-old man when he next appears at Townsville Magistrates' Court on October 28.

Smail Ayad is alleged to have stabbed Ms Ayliffe-Chung and to have caused the injuries which led to Mr Jackson's death, as well as harming 12 police officers.

Police previously said they were investigating whether Ayad had an "obsession" with Ms Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, and described Mr Jackson's actions as "selfless".

Friends and well-wishers of Mr Jackson posted tributes on social media sites, with many changing their profile pictures to images of them with him.

Emily Jayne Waters wrote on Facebook: "I honestly couldn't be anymore broken right now ... you will forever be remembered by us all ... RIP Tom Jackson ... I'm so proud to have had a hero like you as a friend. I love you buddy."

Paul Fraser said: "An act of selfless courage which is a an example to us all of the best of humanity in the face of the worst. I hope you find comfort in his example and thus small donation helps."

Lizzie Scott posted: "Tom, you were 1 true hero and I feel privileged to have known you. Not many people would have been so selfless to have lost their lives."

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