Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Two British medical students stabbed to death in Malaysia after thugs accused them of making too much noise in local bar

Two Newcastle University medical students have been stabbed to death while on a work placement in Malaysia.
Fourth-year students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were on the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo on an attachment to a hospital in Kuching.
Reports from the island claim the Britons were attacked and killed in the street by a gang of four local men following an argument in a bar in Kuching over the students being too noisy
Aidan BrungerReports from the island claim the Britons were attacked and killed in the street by a gang of four local men after a row in a bar in Kuching
Fourth-year students Aidan Brunger (left outside the Kuching hospital where he was working) and Neil Dalton (right)  both 22, have been killed while on the Malaysian part of Borneo island
The two students were on a six week placement in Malaysia along with five other medical students at the time of the attack. Pictured is Neil Dalton
The two students were on a six week placement in Malaysia along with five other medical students at the time of the attack. Pictured is Neil Dalton
Newcastle University's acting vice-chancellor Professor Tony Stevenson said in a statement: '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.
'Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were on a six week work placement along with five other medical students to put the skills they had learnt during their time here at the University into practice.
'This has come as a huge shock to us all and our thoughts are with their families and friends at this very difficult time.
'Two of our members of staff are flying out to Kuching as soon as possible and we are working closely with the British High Commissioner to support the other students and to co-ordinate their return to the UK.'
The Foreign Office said it was aware of the deaths and was providing consular assistance to the men's families.
Neighbours of Mr Dalton's parents, in Belper, Derbyshire, have described the incident as an 'absolute tragedy.'
One neighbour said: 'He was a lovely lad. I know his mum and dad were very proud of him. He had a great future ahead. It's an absolute tragedy.'
Another said: 'He played musical instruments and was in a band at one point. Neil and his family were very polite neighbours.' 
One of the four suspects is arrested by police following the killing of two British students in Malaysia
One of the four suspects is arrested by police following the killing of two British students in Malaysia
Police in Sarawak have said four suspects are in custody following the attack in the early hours 
Police in Sarawak have said four suspects are in custody following the attack in the early hours 
Before attending Newcastle University the high-flying student achieved four A* grades at A-Level in maths, chemistry, physics and general studies, at Belper School.
He was also a keen cricketer and had played for Belper Amateurs in his home town for several years.
Neighbours of Mr Brunger's family, in Gillingham, Kent, meanwhile said the news has 'shocked the entire street'.
Neighbour Rosemarie Barnes, 72, said: 'I can't believe the news. It is truly shocking. I feel so sorry for the family. I just can't imagine what they are going through right now.
'It is such a shame for this to happen. I haven't seen him for a few years so that would make sense that he has been up north. It's just so tragic.'
Another neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said: 'The family have lived here for a really long time, over a decade. His mum has two children and his step dad has three. They seem like a wonderful family. 
The students were reportedly confronted by a group of drunken men in Abell Road in the city of Kuching
The students were reportedly confronted by a group of drunken men in Abell Road in the city of Kuching
'He was such a lovely little boy, just about to start his life in such a meaningful way. I believe his sister only got married last week so to go from an ultimate high to this low is so sad.'
The Malaysian State News Agency Bernama reported that the attack happened at 4.15am in the Jalan Padungan area of Kuching in Sarawak province, in the west of the Malaysian part of Borneo.
Sarawak deputy police commissioner Datuk Dr Chai Khin Chung told the agency the fight broke out after an argument in a bar over the students being too noisy. 
He added that the Britons had been due to finish their training at the local hospital on Friday and the four suspects are in custody. 
Professor Jane Calvert, Dean of Undergraduate Studies for Newcastle University Medical School, said the pair were 'excellent' and 'highly committed' students who were doing well at their studies.
She said: 'We heard this morning about the tragic death of two of our students who were working out in east Malaysia. 
Police have said the Britons had been due to finish their training at the local hospital on Friday and the four suspects are in custody 
Police have said the Britons had been due to finish their training at the local hospital on Friday and the four suspects are in custody 
'They were doing what thousands of medical students do every year, they were on an elective to experience clinical practice in a different setting, to learn from that and enhance their practice when they came back.
'I didn't know them personally but they were well known by the programme director and teachers on the course and we are all so shocked and saddened by this.
'They were excellent students, they 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.'
Prof Calvert said she had been on holiday to Kuching herself earlier this year and was particularly shocked that something like this could happen there.
'I don't think it related to the fact the students were in this particular location, it was just a very, very unfortunate occurrence,' she said. 
Reports from the island claim the Britons were attacked and killed in the street by a gang of four local men after a row in a bar in Kuching 
Reports from the island claim the Britons were attacked and killed in the street by a gang of four local men after a row in a bar in Kuching 
'For all our students going on elective, all the risks are looked at and we're very careful not to let them go to places that are known to be of high risk. 
'Where they were working is a very nice place. I was there myself earlier in the year and I was especially shocked to hear it had happened there.' 
The two students were understood to have been staying near the Green Hill Road area of Kuching, where a dorm in a hostel can cost as little as £4.
A woman who answered the phone at the Singgahsana Lodge backpackers hostel said they checked in on July 27 and were due to check out tomorrow. 
A professor at the Sarawak General Hospital - where it is thought they were studying - said the attack was 'not a random crime'.
Michael Smile, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, said the men were pounced on by four locals who chased them down in a car following a drink-fuelled argument.
The two men were in the fourth year studying medicine at Newcastle University (pictured)
The two men were in the fourth year studying medicine at Newcastle University (pictured)
The students are believed to have been attacked in the early hours of today as they walked back to a backpackers' lodge after a night out in Kuching (file picture)
The students are believed to have been attacked in the early hours of today as they walked back to a backpackers' lodge after a night out in Kuching (file picture)
He also offered the students' friends counselling and warned them to not go out after midnight.
Writing on a Facebook page called 'Elective Students of Sarawak General Hospital', he said: 'I am sure by now all of you would have heard about the tragic deaths of two of your colleagues/friends. 
'Some of you have messaged me expressing anxiety and concern about your safety.
'If any one needs counseling, etc please let me, Dr Wong Jin Shyan or one of the physicians in the hospital know and we can see about hopefully providing this.
'From the police investigations this was not a random crime.
'The two students apparently got into a quarrel with four locals who had been drinking. The details of the altercation was not provided. 
'The end result was these four locals chased the students in their car and one of them stabbed the two students. ' 

DM

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