Tuesday 20 March 2018

Two charged with murder of former BBC reporter in New Zealand

Cordelia O'Neill

TWO men have been charged with the murder of a British journalist in New Zealand.

Phillip Cottrell, 43, died in hospital after being found unconscious near the offices of Radio New Zealand in Wellington where he worked early on Saturday morning.

The former BBC Scotland reporter and Independent Radio News news editor was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday.

The men, aged 19 and 17, cannot be named for legal reasons, according to a police spokesman.

They were both charged with murder and remanded in custody when they appeared at Wellington District Court earlier today.

A New Zealand police spokesman said: "Two men, aged 19 and 17, appeared at Wellington District Court today.

"They have both been charged with murder.

"The 19-year-old will reappear at Wellington District Court on December 21, and has been remanded in custody.

"The 17-year-old will reappear on Friday, and has also been remanded in custody."

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Miller, said: "These arrests follow an extensive amount of inquiries carried out by the investigation team over the past few days, however there is still a large number of inquiries to be made and we continue to need help from the public."

Police said a number of motorists and people were in the area of Boulcott Street at around 5.30am on Saturday morning, when Mr Cottrell was attacked.

Sgt Miller said: "We have identified a courier driver who was in Boulcott Street about this time, but we are yet to identify a Wellington Combined taxi driver, other motorists and a male and female couple captured on CCTV footage between 5.20am and 5.45am on Saturday 10 December.

"Whilst people may have not seen or heard anything suspicious in Boulcott Street during this time, it's vital police can account for all of these vehicles and people, which will greatly assist us as we continue to investigate Mr Cottrell's death.

"Any information, no matter how small, will greatly assist us."

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

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