Teens charged with journo's murder

Photo / supplied
Photo / supplied

Two teenagers have been arrested and charged with the murder of Wellington-based Radio NZ journalist Phillip Cottrell.

Police say the men, aged 17 and 19 years, were charged at Wellington Central Police station a short time ago.

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

The two men will appear in the Wellington District Court later today.

Mr Cottrell was beaten and robbed as he left an overnight shift at Radio New Zealand's head office on The Terrace in central Wellington.

Mr Miller said they're still seeking witnesses to the attack.

"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."

A blessing ceremony was to be held at 11am at the site of Mr Cottrell's attack on Boulcott Street.

His funeral will be held on Friday.

Family thanks supporters

Earlier today Mr Cottrell's sister issued this statement:

"On behalf of our family, we want to thank all Phil's friends and colleagues who have supported us at the hospital and in all of these horrible days following. We know they share in our grief. We were comforted to know that someone loving was always by Phil's side, even before we could get to Wellington to be with him."

The family thanked the community of Te Anau, staff at the Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Hospital and the police who are investigating the attack.

"We understand that many messages of condolences have been sent to Radio New Zealand from all over the country and internationally. To all those people who have been thinking of Phil, we thank you.

"The family is also extremely grateful to the quick actions of the taxi driver who first found Phil and called emergency services."


- APNZ

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