Mum of murdered Derbyshire backpacker speaks out one year on

Mia Ayliffe-Chung.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung.

A mum whose daughter was murdered in Australia feels her death could have been prevented.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, from Wirksworth, was just 20 when she stabbed to death in the hostel she was staying at in Queensland Australia in August last year.

Yesterday friends and family held a vigil for the former Buxton College and Chesterfield College student on the one year anniversary.

Speaking to The Sun mum, Rosie Ayliffe, said: “What I’ve learned about the events leading up to Mia’s death has been harrowing.

“To know how preventable it all was is devastating to learn.

“But that does not mean I feel vengeful, or bitter, or destructive. I still feel strongly that guarding your heart against negativity is the most likely way to create a positive outcome.

“I am trying not to feel anything about it right now.

“I know that I have become a better person since her passing, I’m wiser, and I’m stronger, but mostly I’m more emphatic.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung was allegedly stabbed to death by French tourist Smail Ayad in Home Hill last year after working in a Queensland cane field to extend her visa.

Ayad is said to have developed an obsession with the young British backpacker, and allegedly dragged her from bed just before midnight on August 23, 2016.

The mum claims that farmers prefer beautiful young women to work for them.

She said: “Does this explain why my beautiful daughter, so slim and unsuited for farm work, was given work immediately when others had been sat around waiting for two to three months.

The heartbroken mum added: “I feel loss, but I also feel a sense of wellbeing, and I still feel an emotional connection with Mia as she continues on her travels. She will always be my moral compass, as she has been since she was a toddler.

“She was a wise soul from very young, and I sometimes wondered whether she’d been put on the earth for some reason I couldn’t fathom.”

A 30-year-old British man, named locally as Tom Jackson, was critically injured in the attack, which was witnessed by up to 30 people. The owner of Shelly’s Backpackers hostel was also hurt and a dog was stabbed to death.