Backpacker who died trying to save Derbyshire traveller receives bravery award from Australian Governor

Tom Jackson, who was killed while trying to save fellow traveller Mia Ayliffe-Chung in 2016, has been awarded a posthumous honour by an Australian Governor to mark his bravery.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 4:39 pm

The 30-year-old was stabbed on August 23, 2016 while attempting to help Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who was from Wirksworth, during an attack at a hostel in Australia.

Miss Ayliffe-Chung, 21, died at the scene from a stab wound to the heart, while Mr Jackson died in hospital six days later from a wound to the brain.

Mr Jackson, from Congleton in Cheshire, has been posthumously awarded the Star of Courage by the Governor General of Australia – an honour which is designed to recognise the 'courage and service' of brave individuals to the community of Australia.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who has been killed in a knife attack while backpacking in Australia.

The Governor who is appointed through the country’s Government’s recommendation, is considered to be The Queen’s representative in Australia.

A spokesperson for the Governor's office commented: "Without thinking of his own safety, Mr Jackson ran upstairs to the bathroom to assist the injured woman.

"After applying pressure to her substantial wounds, Mr Jackson and the other man began to move her from the cubicle and out of the bathroom.

"On opening the door to the bathroom, Mr Jackson was confronted by the armed offender.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung memorial service,

"He attempted to close the door, but the offender kicked it open and entered the bathroom.

"The offender began to assault Mr Jackson with the knife, inflicting severe wounds.

"The other guest quickly left the bathroom, yelling for assistance.

"Police arrived at the scene and apprehended the offender. Paramedics also arrived and began treating Mr Jackson and the injured woman.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung memorial service, Mia's mum Rosie

"Sadly, Mr Jackson and the young woman did not survive their injuries."

The man who carried out the attacks, Smail Ayad was deemed unfit to face a trial by the Australian courts and has since been detained in a psychiatric ward.

In an victim impact statement read out during the hearing at Brisbane Mental Health Court, Mia's mum Rosie Ayliffe said: "Mia was full of light, laughter and fun. She was an absolute joy to be around, and she was loved by countless people both here in Derbyshire and around the world.”

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