SYDNEY — A British man who died after trying to save the life of a woman killed in a stabbing attack at an Australian hostel was nominated Wednesday for a national bravery award.
Thomas Jackson, 30, died Tuesday from wounds he sustained while trying to stop last week’s attack against British woman Mia Ayliffe-Chung. Police have accused 29-year-old Smail Ayad of France of stabbing the 21-year-old woman to death in front of dozens of backpackers at a hostel in the town of Home Hill, in Queensland state.
On Wednesday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she has nominated Jackson for a posthumous national bravery award.
“Mr. Jackson’s reported actions of putting his own life before the life of hers represents an extraordinary act of courage and is deserving of recognition for this brave act,” Palaszczuk said.
Nominations are considered by the Australian Bravery Decorations Council, an independent advisory group that makes recommendations to the governor-general on who should get an award.
Police said Ayad shouted “Allahu akbar” — an Arabic phrase meaning “God is great” — during the attack, but that there is no indication the assault was motivated by extremism. They are investigating whether Ayad may have had an obsession with Ayliffe-Chung.
Ayad faces numerous charges, including murder and serious assault. He has not yet entered a plea and is expected to return to court in October.