Tributes have been paid to a former Belper School student who has been stabbed to death while on a placement in Borneo.
Neil Dalton, from Ambergate, was a medical student at Newcastle University and on the trip with a fellow student Aidan Brunger, who was also killed.
As a student at Belper School, Mr Dalton achieved four A* A-level grades.
A spokesman for the school said: “Neil was always a fully engaged and promising student whose decision to enter the medical profession was encouraged by Belper School.
“Our memories of him are of a vibrant and interested young man who enjoyed his studies and made contributions to many events. He was a particularly able mathematician, winning several awards during his school years. We are saddened to hear the terrible news of his death;the staff and students extend their sympathies to his relatives and friends.”
Professor Tony Stevenson, acting vice chancellor of Newcastle University, said: “We are all very shocked and extremely saddened by their deaths and our thoughts are with their families and friends at this very difficult time.”
“A member of staff is flying out to Kuching “as soon as possible” to support the other students and co-ordinate their return to the UK.
Malaysian police are investigating the deaths but some details have come to light on a Facebook group for elective students of Sarawak General Hospital.
Professor Michael Smile posted: “To all elective medical students in Kuching, 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.
“All four have been arrested and the murder weapon found on them and there are eye-witnesses.
“The deputy commissioner of police who gave a press statement said the police considered the case solved with the arrest and impounding of the car and suspect weapons etc.
“In a manner, I hope this might allay some of your anxieties about your safety if you have to go out for food etc. I have posted some pointers for students about some of the do’s & don’ts to stay safe.
“Kuching is a safe city if you avoid certain activities and certain places.”
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the deaths of two British nationals in Malaysia on August 5. We are providing consular assistance to their families at this difficult time.”