Murder hunt after pub attack man dies

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The Independent Online

Detectives launched a murder inquiry today after a man who was seriously injured in an assault outside a pub following England's first World Cup match died in hospital.

Robert Wilson, 44, of West Park, Leeds, was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary earlier today.



He had been in a critical condition since being injured in an attack which happened outside The Skyrack public house, in St Michael's Road, Headingley, shortly before 11pm on Saturday June 12 - the night England played the USA.



He suffered serious head injuries when he was punched to the ground by another man.



Detectives today released images of potential witnesses they urgently want to trace after trawling through hours of footage from CCTV cameras in the area.



Detective Superintendent Paul Taylor, of West Yorkshire Police's homicide and major inquiry team, said: "This is now a murder investigation and it is vitally important that we hear from these people urgently or from anyone who knows who they are.



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



"Robert's partner and his family are completely devastated about his death and understandably want answers. We are determined to do everything we can to get those answers for them.



"We have had a good response to our appeals for information so far but we are keen to build up as comprehensive a picture as we can of the events that night.



"We are also keen to hear from someone who rang Crimestoppers recently with some very interesting information. We would ask that person to get back in touch again. I can assure them anything they say will be treated in the strictest confidence.



"We also continue to appeal directly 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.



"One thing I want to make really clear to people is that this will not just go away.



"There is a dedicated team of detectives working on this investigation and we will not stop until we have identified and traced all those involved and all relevant witnesses, no matter how long that takes."



A £5,000 reward has been put up by Crimestoppers for anyone providing information that leads to the arrest, charge and judicial disposal of those involved.



Anyone with any information is asked to contact detectives at Weetwood police station via 0845 606 0606 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.







The victim's partner, Jacqueline Cocker, spoke of her loss.



In a statement she said: "I am absolutely devastated that Robert has gone and so are his family. I just can't get my head round what has happened.



"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 has happened and why Robert was taken from us so suddenly.



"I want anyone who knows who was involved or who has any information to come forward and tell the police.



"Just think about if it was one of your family. How would you feel? If there is anyone out there who knows anything at all then please come forward."