Weatherston 'had knife and scissors in prison'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2013
Clayton Weatherston
Fairfax NZ
LOCKED UP: Clayton Weatherston during his trial.

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Murderer Clayton Weatherston has gained access to scissors and a knife as part of his library work behind bars, an inmate who served alongside him says.

Former Christchurch Men's prisoner Daniel Edwards said he was appalled to witness Weatherston, 37, using a knife while working in the library wing given the way he had killed his ex-girlfriend, Sophie Elliott, 22.

It was also dangerous as life-term prisoners had "nothing to lose", he added.

Weatherston was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of 18 years, for the jealousy-fuelled murder in January 2008 at Elliott's Dunedin home. He stabbed her 216 times.

Edwards, 27, said he felt compelled to speak out about what he saw in August because his fiancee, Alexsis Tovizi, 21, was also murdered by a jealous ex-partner in 2010. Nikki Roper was sentenced in July to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole term of 14 years for Tovizi's murder. Edwards gave evidence at Roper's High Court trial.

Edwards said his attempts to get his own life on track went downhill after Tovizi's death.

He was released from prison about five weeks ago after serving seven months of a 14-month jail term for burglary and fraud. Fairfax Media was able to corroborate facts he volunteered during an extensive interview.

Edwards said Weatherston - who had cut his hair short and probably weighed more than 100kg from working out - used a metal craft knife while repairing books.

Weatherston was unsupervised and was cutting Duraseal, he said.

He said there was also a pair of scissors handy in a pen cup.

"[Elliott's family] would be disgusted the prison allows him to have access to scissors," Edwards said.

"People might say it only happened once, but he is unpredictable."

Christchurch Men's Prison manager John Roper did not refute Edwards' claim, but said it was against policy to comment on individual offenders.

Roper said prisoners were managed according to the level of risk they posed. Any prisoner working in prison grounds was supervised at all times.

Sophie Elliott's father, Gil Elliott, said he was appalled Weatherston could have access to potential weapons.

"He [Weatherston] is a dangerous person. He showed he is dangerous. He should not be trusted with scissors or knives or anything else."

"He is never going to be reformed. I think it's a bad look."

Elliott also questioned the supervision promised by the Corrections Department.

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"When they get out they're supposedly under supervision . . . look at [double killer Graeme] Burton."

Burton murdered Lower Hutt man Karl Kuchenbecker while on parole for the fatal stabbing of Paul Anderson outside a Wellington nightclub.

Edwards admitted he did not like Weatherston, but said he had no reason to lie about the incident.

"I just see injustices and I don't like it."

Edwards regretted his own crimes, but had "done my time" and hoped to start afresh.

He had enrolled at Hagley Community College to study next year and hoped to go to university.

Tovizi was a big part of his wanting to reform, he said.

"She spent so long trying to help me change my ways, I don't want all that effort to go to waste. She taught me a lot about life."

Weatherston also had a second job in the servery, in which Roper said all cutlery was plastic.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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