Tearful friend tells of Sophie's last days

Sophie Elliott's best friend Jessica Smith reads out the last texts Miss Elliott sent her,...
Sophie Elliott's best friend Jessica Smith reads out the last texts Miss Elliott sent her, including one organising a farewell dinner for that night sent shortly before her friend died. Photo by Staff Photographer.
Sophie Elliott's best friend broke down as she recounted Miss Elliott's description of how Clayton Weatherston had thrown her on his bed and straddled her during an alleged assault in late December.

Jessica Smith has told a Dunedin court Miss Elliott (22) had gone to Weatherston's flat to take him a present before she was to leave for a new job in Wellington.

But when Miss Elliott said their relationship was over once and for all, Weatherston's mood "changed completely", Miss Smith relayed.

"He said, 'It's over is it? Is that what it is?' Then he picked her up and took her to his room, where he threw her on the bed. . . put his arm across her throat and started yelling things at her.

"He'd gone from saying how much he loved her and she was the one for him to saying she was fat and ugly and a whore, and that she was mean to her parents and didn't deserve to be happy."

She told her friend to report the incident to the police, but Miss Elliott had said "No" because she had no bruises and was leaving Dunedin soon.

Miss Smith's evidence was given on the third day of the depositions hearings in the Dunedin District Court against Weatherston (32), who is accused of fatally stabbing Miss Elliott, his former girlfriend, at her Ravensbourne home in January.

Miss Elliott had often told her Weatherston was not treating her well and she had counselled her friend to end the relationship, Miss Smith said.

She said her friend had not wanted to leave with any enemies, so had visited Weatherston two days before her death to personally hand him a cheque for a door she had damaged following a heated argument in November.

"She didn't want him to have that [the door] against her."

Under cross-examination from defence counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr, Miss Smith said she could not recall any specific incidents where she had personally witnessed Weatherston belittling Miss Elliott.

Weatherston had been pleasant on the occasions she met him.

Miss Elliott was "very" concerned she was not satisfying Weatherston sexually and needed reassuring about her weight and looks, she said.

"I think we all do sometimes."



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