14 Sep 2011

Supreme Court rejects Weatherston's appeal bid

10:25 am on 14 September 2011

The Supreme Court has rejected an application to hear an appeal by the convicted killer Clayton Weatherston, saying there was no substantial miscarriage of justice in the case.

Weatherston was convicted of murdering Dunedin woman Sophie Elliot, who died in her parents' home in 2008. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to spend at least 18 years in jail.

Ms Elliot was stabbed or cut more than 200 times and at his trial Weatherston argued he'd been provoked into killing her.

The Court of Appeal upheld his conviction earlier this year and now the Supreme Court has refused to hear another appeal.

Weatherston's legal team argued that a television interview with Law Commissioner Warren Young broadcast during the trial may have affected the fairness of the trial.

But the Supreme Court says if television coverage caused adverse sentiment in the community towards Weatherston it was because of how he conducted himself at the trial.

His lawyers also claimed the prosecution should have obtained leave from the trial judge before cross examining him about events which took place the day before the killing.

The Supreme Court says the matters the Crown raised were significant and relevant.

Sophie Elliott's father, Gil Elliott, says the family always felt the appeals applications by Weatherston were frivolous and was never in any doubt of the final outcome.

He says this final ruling means the family can now seek the return of his daughter's possessions, which were used as evidence during the trial.