Leeds & West Yorkshire

Murder probe after Leeds pub punch attack

Robert Wilson and Jacqueline Cocker
Image caption Mr Wilson died at Leeds General Infirmary on Wednesday

A man who was assaulted outside a Leeds pub following England's first World Cup match has died in hospital.

Robert Wilson, 44, from the West Park area of the city, was punched to the ground by another man outside The Skyrack in Headingley on 12 June.

West Yorkshire Police have now started a murder inquiry and urged anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them.

He suffered serious head injuries in the incident at 2230 BST and died at Leeds General Infirmary on Wednesday.

Det Supt Paul Taylor, who is leading the investigation, said Mr Wilson's partner of 16 years, Jacqueline Cocker, and his family were "completely devastated" by his death and "wanted answers".

"We are determined to do everything we can to get those answers for them," he added.

Image caption Police have released images of potential witnesses they want to trace

"We also continue to appeal directly to to the person responsible. They will have a story to tell about what happened and they need to come forward and tell us that story as soon as possible."

Ms Cocker said in a statement: "Robert was a quiet man and he had a good sense of humour. He was completely passive and would be the last person to get involved in any trouble.

"He liked his football and rugby and he was excited about going out to watch the England game. I just cannot understand how it has ended like this.

"We need to know why this happened and why Robert was taken from us so suddenly."

Police have examined hours of CCTV footage from cameras outside the pub and have released images of four potential witnesses they want to trace.

"It is vitally important that we hear from these people urgently or from anyone who knows who they are," Det Supt Taylor said.

"We believe they may have witnessed the attack on Robert or the circumstances surrounding it and therefore can assist the investigation."

Police said the area outside the pub had been "absolutely packed" at the time with people who had been out to watch England's match against the USA.

Crimestoppers has put up a £5,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

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