Tributes paid to Newcastle medics Aiden Brunger and Neil Dalton

Their families speak of their ‘horrific loss’

 Families of two medical students who were stabbed to death in Borneo have spoken of their horrific loss.

Aidan Brunger, from Kent, and Neil Dalton of Derbyshire, were killed in an unprovoked attack in Kuching, Sarawak, on the island of Borneo on August 6 last year.

They had been on a six-week placement at Sarawak General Hospital, and with just three days left in the country, were tragically killed as they walked back to their hostel following a night out.

The high court of Borneo sentenced to death fishmonger Zulkipli Abdullah, 23, calling him “evil” for committing the atrocity. Today, a coroner ruled that both students had been killed unlawfully.

In horrific circumstances, witnesses recalled that a man had got out of a car and “quite randomly” attacked the pair, who were returning from a dinner with other friends in Kuching and a visit to a nightclub with friends from university.

 Tributes were paid to the two students by their families. Mr Brunger’s father said his son was a “bright, enthusiastic and determined young individual…on the path to becoming an outstanding doctor.”

He also said that the killing was “so cruel’ and that it had ‘ended a life with such promise” and that Aidan had made it easy to be a proud father.

Mr Dalton’s grieving parents made a joint statement, saying that their son’s death had “ruined their lives and left them totally shattered.

“We crave to hold him again but that’s the one thing we can’t do. We can look at his pictures, and smell his clothes but we can’t touch him.”

Neil Dalton’s parents said their son’s chance to help hundreds of people had been ‘taken away from him’

“We will miss him coming home, cooking the dinner that he liked, going shopping and the wonderful hugs he gave.”

“Neil intended to go into general practice to help hundreds of people but now this will not happen. He had the chance to impact lives taken away from him.”

Both parents released a joint statement saying: “Our sons made us so proud of what they achieved in their too short lives, we loved them very much and we always will.”

At the time of the event, Newcastle’s acting vice-chancellor Professor Tony Stevenson said: “This has come as a huge shock to us all, and our thoughts are with their families and friends at this very difficult time.”

Both Aidan and Neil had completed four years of study at Newcastle, and were awarded posthumous degrees by the university.