Tributes after ‘senseless’ death of former BBC Scotland journalist

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Tributes have been paid to a former BBC Scotland journalist who has died after a suspected street robbery in New Zealand.

Phillip Cottrell 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 eariler on Sunday.

The 43-year-old had previously worked for BBC Scotland in Glasgow and emigrated to New Zealand in 2006.

In a statement, friends and colleagues from BBC Scotland said: “Phillip was a gentle, kind man with an impish sense of humour.

“He was a brave traveller, forever venturing to new countries and exploring new cultures. He leaves behind many, many friends in every corner of the world who will be distraught to learn of his loss.

“He was also a talented journalist with a passion for accuracy and precision.

“Phillip’s friends here in Scotland are devastated at his senseless death. Our thoughts are with his friends and colleagues in New Zealand and, most of all, with his family.”

A spokesman for Wellington Police said Mr Cottrell suffered fatal injuries between 5.30am and 6.15am on Saturday morning outside a Baptist Church on Boulcott Street, close to the Radio New Zealand offices where he had just finished a shift.

He said it appeared an altercation had taken place and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.