14 Jul 2009

Murder-accused describes ex-girlfriend's last moments

7:25 am on 14 July 2009

A former university tutor accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend has told a court about the last moments of her life.

Clayton Weatherston denies murdering Sophie Elliott, but has admitted manslaughter. The defence case is that he was provoked and lost control.

Miss Elliott, 22, was stabbed to death 216 times with a knife and scissors at her home in Dunedin on 9 January last year.

Dr Weatherston continued giving evidence in his defence on Monday. He told the High Court in Christchurch he went to Miss Elliott's house to return some belongings. He had a knife in his bag that he said he kept there for safety reasons.

Dr Weatherston said the pair spoke in her bedroom, and things became difficult when he mentioned her infidelity.

He said she came at him with a pair of scissors and he remembered her hitting him about the face.

Dr Weatherston told the court he recalled feelings of huge stress and anxiety as his glasses flew off.

He said he remembered a lot of noise and pushing her away, and his next vivid memory was of standing over her with the scissors.

When asked directly by his lawyer if he had gone there to kill her, Dr Weatherston said no. He said it was the last thing he expected to happen.

Dr Weatherston said on the night before her death, he felt nauseous and sweaty and stayed awake, doubting her sanity and her humanity.