Queensland hostel owner: Stabbing frenzy 'lasted hours'

Mia Ayliffe-Chung was killed in the stabbing incident at the Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill near Townsville. Photo / Facebook
Mia Ayliffe-Chung was killed in the stabbing incident at the Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill near Townsville. Photo / Facebook

The owner of the north Queensland hostel where a woman was murdered in a stabbing frenzy has revealed the excruciating extent of the torturous attack.

A week ago today, British tourist Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was stabbed to death in the rampage and fellow backpacker Thomas Jackson was left in a critical condition after receiving more than 20 stab wounds in a bid to save her.

Several others, including Shelley's Backpackers owner John Norris, have been treated for injuries following the attack.

Mr Norris, who has run the hostel for more than 15 years, told local media the slaughtering went on for hours.

Hostel owner John Norris at the scene of the brutal murder at the Backpackers Hostel in Home Hill. Photo / Tim Marsden, News Corp Australia
Hostel owner John Norris at the scene of the brutal murder at the Backpackers Hostel in Home Hill. Photo / Tim Marsden, News Corp Australia

"It started just after 11pm and probably went through until 2am, 2.30am," he told Nine News.

"They were told to get into the room and lock themselves there."

Guests barricaded themselves inside rooms for the duration of the prolonged frenzy, with most able to shield themselves from danger.

"Some people were lucky, and some were unlucky, and that was Mia and Tom," Mr Norris said.

The hostel's manager, Grant Schultz, 46, also suffered stab wounds while attempting to help Ms Ayliffe-Chung. He reportedly required more than 100 stitches.

Mr Norris said he had experienced a couple of "hairy moments" at the backpackers, "but nothing like this".

Flowers and memorial at scene of Home Hill Backpackers. Photo / Mark Calleja, News Corp Australia
Flowers and memorial at scene of Home Hill Backpackers. Photo / Mark Calleja, News Corp Australia

Smail Ayad, a guest at the hostel travelling from France, has been hit with a raft of charges, the most serious over Ms Ayliffe-Chung's murder.

Police allege the 29-year-old had developed a romantic infatuation for Ms Ayliffe-Chung in the short time he had known her but her feelings were not reciprocated.

Witnesses reported he had smoked cannabis on the night of the alleged stabbing frenzy, though drug testing to determine if he had consumed any other illicit drugs was still yet to be concluded.

Witnesses allege he had repeatedly cried "Allahu Akbar" leading to the belief he may have been radicalised, but police have all but ruled out extremism as a motive.

Smail Ayad has been charged over the stabbing murder Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21 at a hostel complex in Home Hill. Photo / News Corp Australia
Smail Ayad has been charged over the stabbing murder Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21 at a hostel complex in Home Hill. Photo / News Corp Australia

Ayad has been charged with the murder of Ms Ayliffe-Chung, the attempted murders of Mr Jackson and Mr Schultz and 12 counts of assault, stemming from attacks on police officers.

He has also been charged with animal cruelty over the fatal attack on the dog, which many backpackers reportedly caught on video.

Police prevented him from appearing in court in Townsville on Friday to face a raft of charges, including Ms Ayliffe-Chung's murder, due to concerns for public safety.

They claim he has been continually aggressive since he has been in custody, assaulting 12 police officers, and even allegedly biting one of them.

He is due to return to court in October.

- news.com.au

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