Weatherston cites 'Pride and Prejudice'

Murder accused Clayton Weatherston has told the High Court at Christchurch Sophie Elliott saw him and herself as the main characters from Pride and Prejudice.

Miss Elliot saw herself as Elizabeth Bennet and him as Mr Darcy, Weatherston told defence counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr QC during re-examination on his fourth day in the witness box.

He said Miss Elliot talked about him looking like Colin Firth, the actor who played Darcy in the BBC television series of the Jane Austen novel.

She talked about the stubbornness of the two characters, comparing it with the way she and Weatherston interacted with each other.

"I think she fervently wanted to have an interesting life and part of that was engaging in an element of melodrama," Weatherston said.

"Elizabeth Bennet was one of the characters she strongly affiliated with," he said.

He also mentioned Lindsay Lohan and "possibly Marilyn Monroe was a role model of hers as well".

Weatherston was being asked about references he made during cross-examination on Tuesday to Miss Elliott writing "Pride and Prejudice" and "Mills and Boon stuff" in her diary.

He described some of her references as melodramatic - "dramatic stuff that didn't occur".

Several diary extracts put to the accused by Crown counsel Robin Bates in the context of questions about the accused feeling unable to get out of the relationship were put to him again by Mrs Ablett-Kerr.

One entry from July 7, 2007 had Miss Elliott saying she regretted sleeping with Weatherston, that she had "made an honest mistake"; that she liked him but did not think things would work for them; that he had not replied to a text message; and that a previous one was non-committal so she would "take the hint and leave him alone".

"Did she stay away from you?" Mrs Ablett-Kerr asked.

"No, she didn't."

Mrs Ablett-Kerr also asked the accused about a diary entry from September 17 which referred to a conversation the previous night when Miss Elliott stayed at his flat and he started saying to her "what a fat arse I am", adding he "liked that in girls".

He said to her he meant to imply he did not mind her putting on some weight.

"But I told him it was not funny", she wrote.

Weatherston said he did not believe he said he liked fat girls but said he "liked her curves".

In another entry, there was a reference to Miss Elliott having scratched a former boyfriend and felt justified in doing so because he made racist comments about one of her friends.

Miss Elliott wrote that the former boyfriend sometimes "drove me nuts", and that she worried about her mental health when she was with him.

The accused was also asked about a letter he wrote to Miss Elliott in August 2007, five months before he stabbed her to death.

The letter said he thought she was attractive and clever and she made him feel sexy and good about himself.

During cross-examination, Weatherston said he had written the letter to appease Miss Elliott because of problems early in their relationship.

But he later asked for the letter back because he no longer felt some of the things he had expressed.

Miss Elliott did not want to give it back, saying she wanted to keep it for reference.

She was "very upset" when he asked for it, the accused told Mrs Ablett-Kerr.

"I think she needed to refer to it to boost her self-esteem."

Weatherston said he felt he had not been lying in the letter.

He had meant it in a positive way.

Mrs Ablett-Kerr asked him about whether he had taken responsibility for assaulting his former girlfriend.

During cross-examination, Mr Bates accused him of not taking responsibility for his actions, of trying to blame other people for the way things happened.

And in the case of the assault, the Crown suggested Weatherston tried to blame the former girlfriend.

But Weatherston told Mrs Ablett-Kerr he accepted it had been "extremely serious".

He said his comment that the young woman could have died was a reference to the reckless way he jumped off the couch and landed on her.

It could easily have hyper-extended her spine, he said.


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