A Malaysian court has sentenced a fishmonger to death for killing two British medical students last year on Borneo island.

Prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad said the high court on Tuesday found Zulkipli Abdullah, 23, guilty of stabbing to death Aidan Brunger and Neil Gareth Dalton in Sarawak state last August.

Muhamad Iskandar says the court ruled that Zulkipli's defense was "merely an afterthought" and failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the case. He said that Zulkipli had told his friends he wanted to "test his strength" against bigger and taller foreigners before going after the two.

Newcastle University students Brunger and Dalton, both 22, were found dead with stab wounds two days before their work placement at a Sarawak hospital was due to end.