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Killing "unprovoked and totally unnecessary"

Mon 12 Dec 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

The death of Phillip Cottrell has left his many friends in the gay community in utter shock Police believe the death of Wellington journalist Phillip Cottrell was random and unprovoked, and do not think it was related to his sexuality. Phillip Alexander Cottrell, 43, died in Wellington Hospital yesterday afternoon. He suffered head injuries, a broken neck and broken bones in an attack on Boulcott St on Saturday morning, as he walked home from an overnight shift at Radio New Zealand on The Terrace. Cottrell suffered a condition that made his bones brittle. When asked at a media conference this afternoon whether they were investigating whether the attack was at all related to his sexuality, Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Millar said they were not and it would not be a focus for their investigations, adding police had not been aware Cottrell was gay. "We cannot see any reason for Mr Cottrell to be involved in an altercation ... He took that same route down Boulcott Street most days," Miller said. He told media police are working very hard to "bring these people to justice", with 30 staff working on the case. Cottrell was found by a taxi driver who had driven up Boulcott St and dropped off a fare and saw him lying on the footpath. "He was unconscious and has never again regained consciousness," Miller said. Police are collecting CCTV footage from the area. They are also looking for Cottrell's wallet, which is missing. "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," Miller says. Police also urge anyone with any information, who may have seen or heard anything suspicious early on Saturday morning to contact police, if they haven't been spoken to over the past 48 hours. "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." Anyone with any information should contact Wellington Police on (04) 381 2000 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 12th December 2011 - 3:19pm

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