Hero Brit backpacker died trying to save woman from frenzied knife attack

Daily Mirror | 13th April 2022

A hero backpacker who tried to save the life of a fellow traveller during a “frenzied knife attack” died when he was stabbed in the head in an Australian hostel.

Thomas Leslie Jackson, from Cheshire , bravely went to the aid of fellow Brit Mia Ayliff-Chung when she had been stabbed several times at Home Hill, Queensland.

Miss Ayliff-Chung, from Derbyshire, was pronounced dead at the scene while Mr Jackson died from his severe injuries in Townsville Hospital six days later, Cheshire Live reports.

An inquest into Mr Jackson’s death heard French backpacker Smail Ayad carried out the attack while ‘psychotic and under the influence of cannabis’.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hero-brit-backpacker-died-trying-26700165

Although this murder took place in Australia, I have added it to the site (which heretofore featured only crimes from the UK and Ireland) because the victim was British.

Doctor murdered in homophobic attack by two men and teenage girl

Wales Online | 3rd February 2022

A doctor was murdered in a homophobic attack carried out by two men and a teenage girl in a Cardiff park after they targeted a gay man to rob.

Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, was brutally beaten, kicked and punched to death in Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 last year.

Audio of the horrendous attack, carried out by Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, depicted Dr Jenkins pleading for help and for his attacks to “Leave me alone” but his cries were left unheeded…

*****

Witness Owain Hill explains how the encounter with the group he met in Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 last year developed…

“There’s a wooden seating area we sat on behind the Summerhouse Cafe and they just asked me about being gay. The one who was originally sat down he started lighting a cigaretts of cannabis I think.

“In that moment I started getting uncomfortable and made an excuse to leave… I believe I said I had work in the morning so had to go… I just felt they were really intoxicated and by that point I had sobered up and didn’t want to be around that.

“I thought they were pressuring me to drink with them and they were going to pressure me into smoking with them which I didn’t want to do, I wanted to leave really.”

*****

Edwards says he hadn’t taken cannabis or crack on the day in question, and had only drunk alcohol – he puts his level of intoxication as seven out of 10.

In response to questions from officers the defendants says he takes cannabis to make him “calmer”, and that he takes it because he is no longer given Rital for his ADHD.

Officer: “How much do you smoke?”

Edwards: “Enough.”

Officer: “How much does it cost you?”

Edwards: “No comment.”

*****

Edwards says he was unable to get cannabis or crack in the city centre on the day in question but that friends he wouldn’t name had bought him alcohol. He denies committing crime to buy drugs, saying his use is funded through benefits and his nan.

He says he uses cannabis as “self-medication”.

The jury is now hearing details of another interview with Edwards. When the officer mentions CCTV audio from the Summerhouse Cafe in Bute Park the defendant said he has remembered being chased by undercover police officers in the early hours of the morning. He said he ran from officers because he had cannabis on him, and did not want to get caught, and that he hid in a block of flats before going home.

Asked why he had not mentioned this incident before, Edwards replied: “It’s only just coming back to me.” The defendant says cannabis affects his memory and that he is addicted to it, calling it his “medication”. Edwards describes his use of crack cocaine as a “hobby”.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/bute-park-murder-trial-court-22849979

Nelson man psychotic after years of taking cannabis and cocaine killed his dad

Lancashire Telegraph | 3rd December 2021

The court heard how Walker, who was a habitual cannabis and cocaine user, first taking the class B drug aged 11, and later aged 25 beginning to use the class A stimulant, had been sectioned in April last year, just weeks before he killed his own father, due to erratic behaviour caused by a withdrawal from prescribed anti-depressants and an adverse reaction to lockdown restrictions, which had left him paranoid.

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/19759182.nelson-man-psychotic-years-taking-cannabis-cocaine-killed-dad/

Three recently added stories

First, the sentencing of Zephaniah McLeod for a murderous rampage in Birmingham last year: Zephaniah McLeod: Birmingham stabbing spree killer sentenced

High on cannabis and cocaine at the time of the attacks, McLeod was well know to health services and had previous convictions for drug offences, amongst others.

Next, the heinous killing of 25-year-old Lauren Bloomer last year by her boyfriend Jake Nolman after he had suffered an ‘adverse’ reaction to eating cannabis-infused cakes: Man ‘killed girlfriend after eating cannabis cake’.

Both stories have been filed under murder.

And finally, Kasim Hussain, who first stabbed and very nearly killed a university lecturer three years ago, before being let out on bail and stabbing a second victim: University lecturer 1cm from death as knifeman plunged blade into back during random attack.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Kelson, describing Hussain’s drug consumption, said: “It’s about time the users of cannabis woke up to the fact many people suffer psychological harm from taking that drug.”

Filed under violence.

A selection of recently added stories

Although the summer holidays for us teachers are nearly over, I’ve only just had time to update this site. Here are some of the stories I’ve added:

Teen convicted of Roberts Buncis’ murder, facing life sentence

The Lincolnite | 5th July 2021

A 15-year-old boy who tried to decapitate a 12-year-old during a ferocious attack in which he stabbed the younger boy more than 70 times is facing a life sentence after a jury this afternoon (Mon) convicted him of murder.

During the savage attack the teenager attempted to cut off Roberts’ head and one of his hands. One of the blows caused the blade of the knife to snap with the tip left embedded in Roberts’ skull.

Violence and legalised cannabis in Uruguay: a clarification

I would like to clarify the meaning of a tweet I sent yesterday of a link to an article on violence and homicide in Uruguay, ‘Uruguay gets tough on crime after posting record homicide rate’.

The article reports that in 2018, a year after cannabis went on sale, following legalisation in 2013, there were a record 414 homicides in Uruguay, a small nation of 3.5 million people once famed for its peace and tranquillity. So alarming was this figure (up from 284 in 2017) that 400,000 voters signed a petition calling for exceptional measures against violent crime.

I must stress first that, while it is likely that at least some of these acts of homicide were committed by people whose minds have been damaged by cannabis, I do not say that cannabis legalisation was the cause. I tweeted the article whilst arguing about correlation and causation with a dim-witted young drugs enthusiast who had claimed that an apparent decrease in rates of cannabis consumption amongst teenagers in Washington state was caused by cannabis being legalised there. I have written before that dope heads parrot the phrase ‘correlation does not equal causation’ only when the correlation upsets them. When they find a correlation they like they immediately claim cannabis legalisation as the cause.

Again, I do not say that homicide rate in Uruguay is exceptionally high because cannabis has been legalised. As Peter Hitchens points out in an article on Portugal, ‘The Alleged Portuguese Drug Paradise Examined’, legalisation or decriminalisation nearly always follows years of lax enforcement, making any before-and-after comparison meaningless. By contrast, in his largely excellent book Tell Your Children, Alex Berenson spends too much time, as I write in my review, trying to prove that violent crime has risen in those American states that have legalised cannabis, when he would have done better to expand his section on the alleged ‘war’ on drugs in America and the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, rates of incarceration solely for drugs possession in the USA have been quite low for many years.

I would further add that suggestions that ‘gang warfare’ is involved in Uruguay’s high homicide rate seem similarly erroneous. Drug rivals killing each other makes a good subject for a film or TV series, but the reality is often a much blander case of a paranoid young man in possession of a weapon killing somebody (often not his ostensible target) out of fear or delusion.