Borneo student killings: 'Four admit crime'

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Media captionPolice say they have finished their investigation after four men admitted to the killings, as Danny Savage reports

Four men arrested in Borneo over the stabbing of two British medical students have "admitted their crime", according to Malaysian police.

Newcastle University students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger were killed early on Wednesday.

Mr Dalton, from Derbyshire, and Mr Brunger, from Kent, were in the last week of a work placement at a hospital in Kuching.

Tributes have been paid in the UK to the two men, both aged 22.

'So excited'

Martyn Cooper, head teacher at Belper School, Derbyshire, said Mr Dalton had been a pupil there before he arrived but it was "clear that Neil was a big part of school life".

He added the student was a "vibrant young man with a bright future ahead of him in the medical profession".

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Mr Brunger was on a placement at Sarawak General Hospital

University friend Alice Dennison said Mr Dalton had been "so excited" to work in Malaysia.

"He was the most kind-hearted man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, always the life and soul of the party and no-one ever had a bad word to say about him."

Professor Jane Calvert, dean of undergraduate studies for Newcastle University Medical School, said Mr Dalton, of Ambergate, Belper, and Mr Brunger, from Hempstead, Gillingham, were in their fourth year of studies and "highly committed".

She said: "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."

Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham, said: "Aidan studied medicine to save lives and to help others, but unfortunately his own life has been taken from us in such a shocking incident."

Professor Reg Jordan is one of two members of Newcastle University staff now in Kuching.

He said: "Our priority is supporting the families and our students who are still here, and we are working with the authorities to ensure they can return home as soon as possible.

"We are giving whatever help we can in these tragic circumstances."

Image caption Floral tributes have been placed at the scene

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

Sharanjit Leyl, BBC News, Kuching

The deaths of these two young British students have touched many across the world, including complete strangers in the town where they died.

Many came to a vigil on Thursday night for the young men at the scene of the crime, situated in the popular Jalan Pandungan district which boasts restaurants and bars.

They left wreaths, flowers and candles at the bus stop where Neil Dalton bled to death. Aidan Brunger's was discovered several feet away behind a wall.

Many of Kuching's residents are expressing shock that such a crime could happen right in their midst. It is considered a small town by Malaysia standards, with a population well below a million, and violent crime is rare.

Many are now questioning how safe Malaysia is just months after the body of another Briton, Gareth Huntley, was found on another Malaysian island, Tioman. The cause of his death is yet to be determined.

Newcastle University Professor Reg Jordan, was sent to support the five students still in Borneo.

He said: "We're here, first and foremost for them. They're obviously horribly upset, mixed up, they want to go home, they want to finish off."

Image caption Candles have been lit in tribute to the students

Deputy police commissioner Chai Khin Chung said officers had finished their investigation and they would be passing on their evidence for prosecution.

He said: "The suspects have been apprehended and they have admitted the crime. We have recovered the weapons from the crime.

"We have all the major evidence in our hands which we will send to the prosecution."

He said the two students got into an argument with men in a bar and after leaving on foot, they were followed by car and attacked.

Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported the main suspect as a 23-year-old fishmonger. It said the others were a 29-year-old mechanic and two unemployed men aged 19 and 35.

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