Malaysia murders: Men could face death penalty after two UK students are murdered in Borneo

Arrests made over fatal attack following disagreement with locals in bar

Two British medical students were stabbed to death yesterday in the Malaysian part of Borneo after a disagreement with locals at a cafe.

Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were students at Newcastle University, which praised them as “excellent” and “committed”.

The university said they were on a six-week work placement at a hospital in the city of Kuching, “doing what thousands of medical students do every year”.

Police have launched a murder inquiry and have already detained four men.

Reports from Kuching, located in the west of the Malaysian part of Borneo, said that Mr Dalton, from Derbyshire, and Mr Brunger, believed to be from Gillingham, were attacked after getting into a disagreement with locals, who had been drinking.

The pair had gone into a cafe or bar in the Jalan Padungan area where they were approached by one of four young men who complained that they were being too loud, the reports said.

After an argument, the students left but the men followed them in a car. At some point one of the four locals got out of the vehicle, a Malaysian-made Perodua Viva, and attacked Mr Dalton and Mr Brunger. A restaurant worker who witnessed the attack apparently called the police at around 4am.

Video: Malaysia murders

Reports said the bodies of the students, both aged 22, were found lying in the street in the early hours. One had been stabbed in the chest, the other in the chest and the back, according to a report by Malaysia’s Bernama news agency.

“We were informed this morning of the very sad news that two of our fourth-year medical students working at a hospital in Kuching, Borneo, have been tragically killed,” Professor Tony Stevenson, the university’s acting vice-chancellor said in a statement.

He said two members of the university staff would be travelling to Kuching as soon as arrangements could be made. “This has come as a huge shock to us all and our thoughts are with their families and friends at this very difficult time,” he added.

Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger had been on a work placement in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak in Malaysia Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger had been on a work placement in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak in Malaysia (Alamy)

The state’s deputy police chief, Datuk Chai Khin Chung, said the knife allegedly used in the attack and the suspects’ vehicle had also been seized. Forensic teams have examined the site of the attack.

“Technically, the case is solved with the recovery of the knife believed to have been used in the murder,” Mr Chai was quoted as saying.

Professor Jane Calvert, Dean of Undergraduate Studies for Newcastle University Medical School said “they were excellent students” who were “doing really well with their studies, they were highly committed and coming back next year to work as doctors.

“Aidan was aspiring to do some medical research on his return, Neil was going straight into his final year and it’s such a tragic thing to occur.”


Michael Smile, the Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Sarawak General Hospital, posted a message on social media, offering his condolences and warning other students to be careful.

“May I caution other students who might be venturing out late at night, particularly to night spots to be very careful,” he said. “I am not sure which area is unsafe; there will always be a few bad hats around.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was aware of the deaths of to British nations and was working to provide assistance to their families.

Malaysian police said the case was being investigated under Section 302 of the country’s penal code which carries the mandatory death sentence for anyone convicted.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn