16 Jul 2009

Murder accused's personality 'dominated by gross narcissism'

8:46 pm on 16 July 2009

A second psychiatrist has told the High Court in Christchurch that murder-accused Clayton Weatherston has a personality disorder dominated by gross narcissism.

Mr Weatherston denies murdering his former girlfriend Sophie Elliott by stabbing or cutting her 216 times at her family's home in Dunedin last year, but has admitted her manslaughter.

Dr Philip Brinded, commissioned by the defence to examine the accused several months after he killed Ms Elliott, told the court on Thursday that Mr Weatherston is prone to emotional and theatrical outbursts and is grossly narcissistic in his treatment of others.

The accused took no responsibility for the breakdown of his relationship with Ms Elliott, Dr Brinded said, and showed no remorse for killing her.

Another psychiatrist, Dr David Chaplow, earlier told the court that Mr Weatherston's personality was one of anxiety, obsessionality and narcissism. He had told Dr Chaplow that he was angry at not being able to break free of Ms Elliott and that he resented her for many things.

Dr Chaplow said the accused showed signs of an anxiety disorder. He had been taking Prozac on and off for three years and had increased the dose threefold during the three days leading up to Ms Elliott's death.

While the bigger dosage would probably have hyper-aroused him, Dr Chaplow said, it would not have caused involuntary behaviour.

The court finished hearing evidence on Thursday afternoon and will begin hearing closing addresses on Monday.