Borneo men admit to UK students murder, say police

A photo and tribute for Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger by Rev Catherine Lack, chaplain at Newcastle University.  Picture: Hemedia
A photo and tribute for Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger by Rev Catherine Lack, chaplain at Newcastle University. Picture: Hemedia
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FOUR MEN arrested over the murder of two British medical students who were stabbed in Borneo after a row in a bar have admitted the crime.

The local men have been detained over the killing of Newcastle University medical school students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, who were on the Malaysian part of the island on attachment to a hospital in the city of Kuching.

The attack happened in the Jalan Padungan area of Kuching in Sarawak province, in the west of the Malaysian part of Borneo.

Deputy police commissioner Chai Khin Chung said the men confessed and officers would now be passing on their evidence for prosecution.

He added: “We have finished our investigation, the crime has been solved.

“The suspects have been apprehended and they have admitted the crime. We have ­recovered the weapons from the crime.

“We are waiting for the ­corpses in the hospital mortuary to have the post-mortem carried out. We have all the major evidence in our hands which we will send to the prosecution.”

He said the two students had become involved in an argument with the men on a table next to them in the bar and were followed by car and then attacked after they left.

The deputy police commissioner added: “They were having a drink and got into an argument with the next table.

“After a prolonged argument, they left the bar on foot and were followed in a car. They came from behind and stabbed them.

“The four people, who are local men, will be charged with ­murder.

“It’s very unusual for Kuching; it’s always very peaceful.

“It’s very unfortunate and we were very surprised this kind of thing happened in our city.”

Malaysia’s Star newspaper has said the main suspect is a 23-year-old fishmonger. The others are a 29-year-old mechanic and two men aged 19 and 35 who are both unemployed. Two are said to have previous convictions for drugs and armed robbery. It has been reported that two Irish medical students were assaulted days before the stabbings.

Sawatar hospital, where Mr Dalton and Mr Brunger had been working, has been providing counselling to other ­students.

Dr Chin Zin Hing medical director, of Sawatar Hospital, said the deaths of the two men, who finished their placement at the end of last month, was “very sad”.

He said: “We currently have about 20 British elective ­students.”

He said the hospital is working closely with the British ­embassy to “see how best we can provide some assistance to the families of the men”.

Professor Jane Calvert, dean of undergraduate studies for Newcastle University medical school, said the fourth-year students were “highly committed” and both doing well in their studies.

Their devastated families were too upset to speak but neighbours paid tribute to the men.

Mr Brunger’s family, who live in Kent, issued a photograph of the student dressed in a white doctor’s coat outside Sarawak General Hospital.

Mr Dalton’s family declined to speak to reporters as friends and relatives gathered at their home in ­Ambergate, Derbyshire.

One of the Daltons’ neighbours, a 50-year-old woman who did not want to be named and whose daughter went to school with him in Belper, Derbyshire, said: “He was just a lovely boy. Totally self-motivated – always jogging and studying.

“I used to call him Mr Biscuit because of his ginger hair. When he went off to do medicine, I called him Dr Biscuit.”