6 Apr 2011

Father says Weatherston appeal a waste of time

6:49 pm on 6 April 2011

The father of the woman killed by Clayton Weatherston says an appeal that he did not get a fair hearing is a waste of time and money.

Weatherston is serving at least 18 years' imprisonment for killing and mutilating former girlfriend Sophie Elliott at her parents' home in Dunedin in January 2008.

Weatherston stabbed Ms Elliott 217 times, but claimed that he was provoked and used this defence during his trial.

The Court of Appeal is considering whether a television documentary about the defence of provocation, which aired at the same time as Weatherston's trial, meant he did not get a fair hearing.

The documentary featured a member of the Law Commission repeatedly attacking the defence of provocation.

Weatherston's lawyer Robert Lithgow, QC, told the court on Wednesday that it was impossible for his client to receive a fair trial.

But Sophie Elliott's father, Gil Elliott, has dismissed suggestions the jury would have been influenced by the documentary.

"An absolute waste of time ... and a waste of the country's money. And he's guilty as sin of murder - and that's all there is to it."

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision on Wednesday and Mr Elliott says he understands it could be several months before it rules.