2009: Father says life should mean life

September 16: Clayton Weatherston's jail sentence for murder - 18 years before being eligible for parole - was too light, Sophie Elliott's father, Gil, said yesterday.

Speaking to media outside the High Court at Christchurch after Weatherston was sentenced by Justice Potter, Mr Elliott also said: "Life ought to mean life, of course, like it is in America, but unfortunately it's not in New Zealand.

"So I guess 18 years is probably reasonable under the circumstances.

"We would have liked more, but at least it's not manifestly excessive and therefore probably won't be appealed."

Weatherston, a former Otago University research fellow, was found guilty in July of murdering his former girlfriend, Miss Elliott (22), by stabbing her 216 times at her Ravensbourne, Dunedin, home on January 9, 2008. During the sentencing, Weatherston's lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr, said Weatherston had asked her to tell the court he was sorry.

Sentencing Weatherston to a minimum nonparole period of 19 years, Justice Potter deducted a year for his lack of previous convictions and that he was likely to respond well to therapy for his various conditions, including obsessive compulsive and narcissistic traits. She described the murder as deliberate and controlled, and rejected the defence that Weatherston was provoked.



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