Now they are counting the financial cost including, as taxpayers, having to partially pay for Weatherston’s defence.
“Not only has he killed our daughter, but he has cost us a hell of a lot of money so far and obviously a lot more if the house is devalued as well,” father Gil Elliott told Sunday News.
“It is a lovely house (but) there is no way we could up digs and move on, even if we wanted to, at the moment,” Gil said.
That is an aspect that had not occurred to me. It would be bloody difficult to remain living in the house, where your daughter had been slaughtered, but selling the house would be problematic as many potential buyers would be put off by its history.
It is a stark reminder of how little support there is for victims and their families.
Gil hopes his daughter’s killer gets sentenced to preventive detention on Tuesday.
“We have a feeling, and others (do) as well, that perhaps he might not come out of jail,” he said.
“We would like that. I certainly am not going to forgive him, that is for real.”
I’m not a sentencing expert but I think there is no precedent for preventative detention for a solitary offence – no matter how horrendous.
The sentence will be life imprisonment, but the key is how long the non-parole period will be. I certainly hope it will be at least 20 years because it means the family get at least a 20 year break before they have to start fronting up to parole hearings.
One can’t guarantee what a parole board may decide in 20+ years, but on the basis of what we saw in court, my view is that Weatherston should never be released. His total lack of remorse, or even empathy, for the victim and her family indicates a deeply abnormal person who could well kill again if he feels he was “provoked”.
Maybe he will change over time, but maybe he will just pretend to change. Anyway this is academic until we have the sentencing.
Gil said he didn’t blame Weatherston’s lead lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr QC, over the provocation plea.
Sunday News revealed last month the top barrister had received threats and her car had been attacked with acid following the trial.
But Gil said inquiries had shown she wasn’t the one to blame for Weatherston’s stance.”I wasn’t happy during the trial the way she went on.
“But since that time we have learnt from the police that he (Weatherston) was really running the trial,” Gil said.
I am sure this was the case. A number of defence lawyers commented at the time that they were certain Ablett-Kerr would have never advised Weatherston to testify.