The mother of a British backpacker who was murdered in Australia has revealed she plans to meet the killer and his mother.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, was dragged from her hostel bed and stabbed to death by Smail Ayad in the remote town of Home Hill, north Queensland in August 2016.
The 30-year-old Frenchman had criminal proceedings against him dropped after psychiatrists ruled he was suffering paranoid schizophrenia at the time.
This month, Mia's mother flew from home in Derbyshire, England, to attend Ayad's mental health court proceedings in Brisbane.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung (pictured), 20, was dragged from her hostel bed and stabbed to death by Smail Ayad in the remote town of Home Hill, north Queensland in August 2016
This month, Mia's mother (pictured) flew from home in Derbyshire, England, to attend Ayad's mental health court proceedings in Brisbane
When she finally locked eyes on the man who killed her only child, she was shocked by how old, broken and defeated he looked.
Ms Ayliffe, 54, insisted she will never truly be able to forgive Ayad, who will now spend his days in a secure mental health unit.
She revealed she has spoken to Ayad's mother and believes her grief at his actions is equivalent to the pain she has felt since Mia's death.
Former teacher Ms Ayliffe said: 'I wasn't looking forward to the court hearing because I knew it was going to bring back the pain of what happened.
'I had seen images of Mia's killer in the press. To me, he looked like a very arrogant, testosterone driven, fighting man.
'He killed my daughter, he killed the man who was trying to help her, and he killed a dog.
'So, you can imagine the animalistic creature I had created in my mind.
'But then I saw this figure in court who looked nothing like I imagined. He looked so old, he was shuffling, he was balding.
'His body language suggested defeat. He just sat there quietly listening.
'I was looking for the murderer and I thought 'Who is this? What is going on?' I was completely thrown. He just looked broken.
'I don't think it is my place to forgive him. I did offer him peace, but I stumble at forgiveness.
'But I would be open to meeting him in the future.
Ms Ayliffe, 54, insisted she will never truly be able to forgive Ayad, who will now spend his days in a secure mental health unit. Pictured: Mia Ayliffe-Chung
'I have spoken to his mum and I want her to know I understand it, and her loss is on a par with mine.
'I don't know if she would agree to meet with me, but I would definitely agree to meet her.
'She had a son, who for all intents and purposes, was a loving, normal, young man who had everything to live for and was living the dream in Australia.
'And then he was taken away from her. She is also suffering a loss, but she has to live with the shame of it as well.
'It's just so hard, because she hasn't done anything wrong.'
Mia had been