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Former BBC Journalist Phillip Cottrell Dies In 'Unprovoked And Vicious' Attack

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A former BBC journalist died after an "unprovoked and vicious" street attack in New Zealand, police have said.

Phillip Cottrell, 43, was found with serious injuries near the Wellington offices of Radio New Zealand where he worked early on Saturday morning. He was taken to Wellington Hospital, where he underwent surgery but died on Sunday.

Police in New Zealand said they were treating it as a homicide and a post-mortem examination is to be carried out later.

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Miller of the Wellington CIB said Mr Cottrell suffered fatal injuries between 5.30am and 6.15am on Saturday outside a Baptist Church on Boulcott Street, close to the Radio New Zealand offices on The Terrace. Mr Cottrell was found unconscious by a taxi driver.

Police are searching for a brown leather wallet they believe he was carrying during the incident.

Sgt Miller said: "A scene examination began yesterday and an area canvas is still under way. Police are also in the process of obtaining and reviewing CCTV footage within the central city.

"We are yet to locate Mr Cottrell's wallet he was believed to be carrying at the time of the incident. We would like to hear from anyone who may have found an old-looking brown leather wallet over the weekend in the vicinity of Boulcott Street or the wider central city area.

"Police also extend our sympathies to Mr Cottrell's family and colleagues at Radio New Zealand. At this stage, his death appears to be unprovoked and totally unnecessary. We are determined to find those responsible for this vicious attack and bring them to justice."

Friends and former colleagues at BBC Scotland said he 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.

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