Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Students' Murder Accused 'On Meth'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Students' Murder Accused 'On Meth'

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Scott Reporter sarah.scott@ncjmedia.co.uk

THREE of the four men accused of killing two Newcastle University students were high on crystal meth, police have said.

Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were on a three-month placement in a hospital in Borneo when they were attacked.

The pair were on a night out in Kuching, when they were killed at 4.15am.

Police said three of the four men accused of killing Neil and Aidan after a row were high on mind-bending crystal meth, available for 40p a hit on the island, and known as syabu.

They have allegedly admitted the murders and could face the death penalty.

One local said: "People take syabu and go crazy. They can't sleep for days and they get violent.

But the youngsters buy it to get a quick hit for cheap."

A L Baik Bistro owner Avinash Ran told how he saw the aftermath of the horrific attacks that left Neil and Aidan dying 20 yards apart in the street.

And the 40-year-old said one of the knife gang fixed him with what seemed like a drug-crazed stare.

He added: "I was sitting behind the counter when I saw these two British students walking past. A few minutes later, one of my staff shouted, 'Come quick.' .' I ran outside and saw one of the students running, stumbling down the road towards me, while his friend went the other way.

"There was a man standing outside a white Perodua Viva car. There were other men inside the car. He looked right into my eyes when he saw me and slowly walked around the side of the car and got inside the passenger seat.

"He was trying to act all cool in front of his friends, but his eyes were wide like two moons. I don't know if he was on drugs, but he wasn't acting normally.

"Nobody acts like that after stabbing someone. It was like it was nothing to him."

Mr Ran told how he rushed to dying Neil's aid, but there was little he could do to save him.

As relatives of the pair prepared to fly to Borneo to identify their bodies, the businessman said: "I went to help Neil, who collapsed on the road.

"I said to him, 'I'll call for help, hold on' and I ran back into my bistro. …

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