A Malaysian court has convicted a local man of murdering two British medical students on the island of Borneo.

Aidan Brunger, 22, and Neil Dalton, 22, from Newcastle University were stabbed to death during their six week work placement at a hospital in Kuching in north-western Borneo.

Their bodies were found at the side of the road by cafe workers on 6 August last year in the Jalan Padungan area of the city, a place full of bars and restaurants frequented by tourists.

Local fishmonger Zulkipli Abdullah, 23, admitted to being involved in a street fight with the two students and two other men, but denied stabbing them or carrying a knife.

Zulkipli is expected to appeal his guilty conviction, but if denied will face execution by hanging.

In a joint statement, the parents of the two students paid tribute to their sons:

“They were two exceptional young men with such promise – kind, funny and full of life. Their deaths have left their families and many good friends utterly devastated.

“Our sons would soon have qualified as doctors. Their unprovoked and senseless murders as they were walking home after a night out with other medical students mean that Aidan and Neil will never have the chance to spend their lives caring for and helping others.

“They would have given so much to the world. We are so very proud of both of them and in what they achieved in their all too short lives.

“Although we are pleased that the man responsible for their murders has been held accountable, the guilty verdict does not bring our sons back.”

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