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Saturday 10 December 2016

British backpacker hurt fleeing Australia attack 'devastated' by friend's death

Published 26/08/2016 | 05:56

Mia Ayliffe-chung died after being stabbed at a backpackers' hostel in Australia (Tommy Martin/PA)
Mia Ayliffe-chung died after being stabbed at a backpackers' hostel in Australia (Tommy Martin/PA)

A British backpacker has spoken of his devastation and heartbreak after being caught up in an attack in Australia which ended with his friend being fatally stabbed.

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Chris Porter, from Kent, has been discharged from hospital after reportedly damaging both ankles when he jumped from a second-storey window to flee the knifeman.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, was killed in the attack at the Shelley's Backpackers accommodation in the Home Hill area of Queensland on Tuesday night.

A 30-year-old British man, named by police as Tom Jackson, was admitted to hospital with critical head injuries, while a 46-year-old local man suffered non-life threatening injuries.

In a Facebook posting, Mr Porter said: "I'm truly devastated and heartbroken about what has happened and I'm still in shock.

"Never thought I'd be heading back through that airport without Mia. I'd appreciate if everyone just gave me some time to myself for a while and I will get through all my inbox gradually."

Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of serious animal cruelty and 12 counts of serious assault.

Police are investigating reports that the Frenchman had an unrequited romantic interest or an "obsession" with Miss Ayliffe-Chung.

Superintendent Ray Rohweder, of Queensland Police, also 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.

Mr Rohweder said there were a "number of concerns in relation to both officer and public safety" after the suspect allegedly attacked a number of officers.

The 12 serious assaults he has been charged with are in relation to 12 separate police officers. Ayad has had access to legal representation and the French consulate and has declined to be interviewed.

A post-mortem examination found Miss Ayliffe-Chung died from multiple stab wounds.

Her mother, Rosie Ayliffe, paid tribute to her, saying she was an "amazing young woman with an adventurous spirit".

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