Man gets death penalty for killing 2 Britons in Malaysia

Man gets death penalty for killing 2 Britons in Malaysia

KUCHING - A fishmonger, who was sentenced to death for murder, had cut short the lives of two British medical students in an unprovoked attack last year, said the father of one of the victims.

The two Newcastle University students were found dead with stab wounds in front of a budget hotel two days before their six-week work placement at Sarawak General Hospital was due to end.

High Court judge Chew Soo Ho sentenced fishmonger Zulkipli Abdullah (pic), 23, to death for the murder of Aidan Brunger and Neil Dalton, both 22, in an attack last Aug 6.

Zulkipli, from Kampung Gersik, was charged with the murder of Brunger and Dalton in Abell Road between 4.10am and 4.15am under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Paul Brunger said his son's death had devastated the family.

"He worked hard all his life to achieve his dreams of becoming a doctor and had a promising career in medicine ahead of him," he told the court.

Brunger, who was with representatives from the British High Commission, was addressing the court in his victim impact statement.

He said his son and Dalton, both 22, came to Borneo to fulfil their dream of becoming doctors but it was cut short in an unprovoked attack.

In a joint statement, Brunger,and his wife Sue Hidson, along with Dalton's parents Phil and Jan, paid tribute to their sons.

"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 said.

Justice Chew said Zulkipli's defence, which was made in an unsworn statement at the end of the trial last month, was merely an afterthought and had failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

"The accused's version of events only emerged at the 11th hour. The evidence and facts show that it was the accused alone who carried out the attack.

"I find the accused's defence to be riddled with improbability, unexplained gaps and doubts," he added.

DPPs Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad and Poh Yih Tinn prosecuted while Zulkipli was represented by Anthony Tai.

Simon Siah held a watching brief for the families of the victims.

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