6 Aug 2011

Weatherston seeks Supreme Court hearing

11:30 am on 6 August 2011

A man who killed his former girlfriend by inflicting 216 stab wounds will seek to have his murder conviction overturned in the Supreme Court.

Clayton Weatherston was sentenced in 2009 to life imprisonment for the murder of Sophie Elliott and ordered to spend at least 18 years in jail.

At his trial, Weatherston claimed he had been provoked into killing Ms Elliott at her parent's home in Dunedin in January 2008 and was guilty only of manslaughter, not murder.

In June this year, the Court of Appeal was told his right to a fair trial had been breached by the airing of a television documentary about the provocation defence during the trial.

Several other matters were also raised, but the Court of Appeal rejected those arguments and upheld his conviction.

However, Weatherston's lawyer, Robert Lithgow, QC, has now filed papers in the Supreme Court seeking leave for a further appeal hearing.

Mr Lithgow says if the Supreme Court agrees to hear the appeal, the issues canvassed will be similar to what was before the Court of Appeal.

Sophie Elliott's father, Gil Elliott, says the family had hoped the case would be over once the Court of Appeal had issued its judgment.

He says it is a frivolous appeal, and after the Court of Appeal's comprehensive decision, he does not believe Weatherston should be allowed to seek a further hearing.