Stains indicate Sophie dragged

Blood marks on the carpet of Sophie Elliott's bedroom indicated she had been dragged across the floor after being stabbed, ESR scientist Michael Taylor told the jury hearing Clayton Weatherston's murder trial.

Dr Taylor said there were three areas of "intense blood staining" on the floor.

One was towards a corner, where the nearby wall and items on the floor were blood-spattered.

The two other areas were close to the lid of a suitcase where Sophie's head and shoulders were lying and on the carpet beneath one arm.

Other smearing indicated Miss Elliott had been dragged across the floor at some stage.

Some of those marks were not clear in photographs but, when enhanced with luminol, revealed thin lines extending from the heavily blood-stained corner to the suitcase where the body was lying.

"In my opinion, these findings support the view a number of blows were struck while the deceased was on the floor near the corner of the room . . . and she was then dragged to the suitcase where it is possible more blows were inflicted," Dr Taylor said.

He described Miss Elliott's body lying on the open suitcase, her head resting on the carpet beyond the open lid, her legs and feet on the floor on the other side of the case.

She had many severe injuries.

On the floor between her legs was a black-handled pair of scissors, blood-stained and slightly bent.

Inside the main part of the suitcase was a blood-stained knife blade.

A blood-stained handle, apparently from the same knife, was later found on the open flap of the suitcase beneath where Miss Elliott's shoulders had been resting.

Dr Taylor said he found several bloody footprints on the carpet as well as other marks that looked more like hand marks.

Detective Graeme Smaill said there was a knife missing from a knife block in Clayton Weatherston's kitchen and, from comparisons he made, he was confident the knife recovered from Miss Elliott's bedroom was the knife missing from the knife block.

He went to Weatherston's Warrender St flat the day after Miss Elliott was stabbed to death.

He found a knife block on the kitchen bench with five black-handled Wiltshire knives, but an empty space where a sixth knife should have been.

The knives ranged in size from large to small.

The knife recovered from Miss Elliott's bedroom appeared to be in the middle of the size range, Det Smaill told defence counsel Greg King.


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