Accused backpacker murderer to face mental health court

The Frenchman accused of murdering British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung in north Queensland has been referred to the Mental Health Court, with his solicitor telling Townsville Court he may have Schizophrenia.

Smail Ayad has been charged with the murder of 21-year-old Chung after allegedly storming her rooms at a hostel in Home Hill in August.

Fellow Brit Tom Jackson was also critically wounded in the frenzied attack and died in hospital two days later.


Ayad was initially charged with his attempted murder but that was upgraded to murder in Townsville Magistrates Court on Friday.

He is also facing 12 counts of assaulting police officers and animal cruelty.

The matter will now be dealt with in the Mental Health Court.

“There’s been a preliminary diagnosis of schizophrenia,” Ayad’s solicitor told the court on Friday.

Ayad remains in a Brisbane mental health facility and will have his case mentioned again on Feb 15, 2017.