The mother of a British backpacker killed in Australia has urged young travellers to take basic precautions before jetting abroad during gap years.

Caroline Stuttle, 19, from York, fell 30ft to her death from a bridge in Bundaberg, Queensland, while on a working holiday.

Ian Douglas Previte, 32, is on trial in the town accused of her murder.

Marjorie Marks-Stuttle appealed to students to carry out research on the areas they plan to visit before they set off.

She set up Caroline's Rainbow Foundation, which offers advice and assistance to backpackers, after her daughter's death in April 2002, and told a conference in London yesterday that travellers should think carefully about their personal safety.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said: "We feel that if we can link everybody together, we can give safety advice of those experienced in backpacking and travelling.

"Young people need to do their research before they go off travelling. That is the important thing.

"It is my life's work now. It is such a difficult time - the pain of losing my daughter is always with me. But if I can save one life, it makes my life's work worthwhile."

Mrs Marks-Stuttle used the conference to launch a safety video to be sent to every sixth-form in the UK.

The film advises travellers to carry the minimum amount of cash they need for the day and to keep in regular contact with their family.

Mr Previte denies Caroline's murder. The jury is expected to retire today to consider its verdict.