Mother tells court of daughter's screams

Whatever Sophie Elliott screamed at Clayton Weatherston just before he killed her, the words were very loud and her daughter sounded "really frightened, scared" , the young woman's mother told the High Court at Christchurch yesterday.

Defence counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr QC suggested on Thursday that what Lesley Elliott heard her daughter yell was "f... you, Clayton" then the other words Mrs Elliott recalled as either "stop it, Clayton" or "don't, Clayton".

Yesterday, Mrs Elliott told Crown counsel Marie Grills the obscene word suggested by defence counsel was not one her daughter used very much.

If Sophie said it, "I didn't hear it", Mrs Elliott said.

And she told the court she had remained in the kitchen when Sophie went back upstairs and "within seconds, there was screaming".

"The words were screamed very loudly - she sounded really frightened, scared and once she started screaming it was a pained scream," she told the court.

Weatherston (33) stabbed or cut Sophie Elliott, his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend, 216 times during an attack in her bedroom on January 9 last year.

But he denies murdering her although he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The trial began on Wednesday before Justice Judith Potter and resumes on Monday.

In other answers to Mrs Grills yesterday, Mrs Elliott agreed she knew Weatherston was very upset that Sophie might have interfered with his prospects of gaining a lecturing position in the economics department because she had discussed their relationship with a senior staff member.

She could not be specific about how often Sophie said Weatherston had mentioned the matter to her, but it had been an issue at the time the relationship ended, Mrs Elliott said.

And she believed that, to all intents and purposes the relationship was over when her daughter went to Australia in late November 2007, but she was aware there had been some subsequent contact.

She also knew from Sophie that Weatherston was very concerned about comparisons between his sexual performance and Sophie's previous boyfriends.

From her understanding of what her daughter told her, she believed it was Weatherston who had raised that issue, Mrs Elliott told the court.

She said she told Sophie the other relationships were "none of his business".

Christchurch police dispatcher Shelley Jones received Mrs Elliott's 111 emergency call just after 12.30pm on January 9.

The contents of the call were suppressed but Ms Jones detailed some of the matters she recorded.

These included that the caller's daughter was being attacked by her partner and the caller could not get into the room.

There were several entries noting the caller could hear the sound of her daughter screaming and sounds of thumping.

When she managed to get the bedroom door open at 12.31pm, the caller screamed "he's killed her", "blood everywhere" , and something about him "standing over her".

"She was very upset and it took a while to get her to collect herself and tell me what was happening in the room," Ms Jones said.

She said the screaming was "blood curdling" and very upsetting.

 

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