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Ex-BBC man 'had extensive injuries'

A former BBC journalist murdered in a "vicious and cowardly" street attack in New Zealand had extensive injuries, police have said following a post-mortem examination.

Phillip Cottrell died in hospital after being found unconscious near the offices of Radio New Zealand where he worked early on Saturday morning.

A post-mortem examination showed his injuries included multiple fractures to his head, neck and left arm, and extensive brain injuries, police said.

The 43-year-old was found by a taxi driver outside a Baptist Church on Boulcott Street, in Wellington. He was taken to Wellington Hospital, where he had surgery but died on Sunday.

Police have said they are treating the attack as homicide. They are still searching for Mr Cottrell's brown leather wallet which they believe he had during the attack. A "large amount" of CCTV footage is being trawled to find clues about the attack, but police warned it is a "long process which takes some time".

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Miller of the Wellington CIB said: "I remain confident that we will locate those persons responsible for this vicious and cowardly attack and bring them to justice.

"We have managed to identify the courier driver who was in the area at the time of the incident, who is not connected in any way to the incident. We are still making inquiries to identify a male and a female walking in the area at the time, as well as a taxi driver.

"We do not believe any of these people are connected in any way either but would like to speak to them to ascertain if they saw or heard anything suspicious."

Friends and former colleagues at BBC Scotland said Mr Cottrell was a "gentle, kind man with an impish sense of humour". They said they were "devastated by his senseless death".

Mr Cottrell had previously worked for BBC Scotland in Glasgow and emigrated to New Zealand in 2006.


From Belfast Telegraph