A CAFE owner who tried to help the two Newcastle University students stabbed to death while on a medical placement in Borneo described the scene of their killings as one he will "never forget".

Local police said four men arrested in relation to the murders of Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger had admitted the crime. They face the death penalty.

The owner of a bistro in the Jalan Padungan area of Kuching in Sarawak province, in the west of the Malaysian part of Borneo where the attack happened, said he saw one of the alleged killers calmly walk away after the incident, it has been reported.

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Avinash Ran told a newspaper: "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 said he and another waiter tried to help Mr Dalton and Mr Brunger, both aged 22, but they died before an ambulance arrived 30 minutes later.

"I will never forget it, not as long as I live," he said.

Deputy police commissioner Chai Khin Chung said that police had completed their inquiry, as the men had confessed, and they would now be passing on their evidence for prosecution.

"We have finished our investigation, the crime has been solved," he said.

He said the two students had got into an argument with the men on the table next to them in the bar and after leaving on foot, they were followed by car and then attacked from behind.

Malaysia's The Star newspaper has reported the main suspect is a 23-year-old fishmonger, one a 29-year-old mechanic, the others 19 and 35 and both unemployed. Three of the men tested positive for the drug crystal meth.

Newcastle University said two members of staff had been sent out to Kuching to offer support to the students still out there and to help the authorities.