The Herald has a story this morning about Clayton Weatherston's legal aid bill; check this out:
Convicted killer Clayton Weatherston's legal aid bill has passed $440,000, with more invoices due.The former University of Otago economics tutor is serving a minimum jail term of 18 years for the murder of 22-year-old Sophie Elliott in her Dunedin home on January 9, 2008.Her father Gil told the Otago Daily Times Weatherston "did not deserve that kind of money spent on him".This week, a Ministry of Justice spokesman confirmed that Weatherston's legal aid bill stood at $444,981.Last year, his appeal against conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeal and he later applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal against that ruling. That application was dismissed in September.The ministry has processed invoices worth $44,636 for the Court of Appeal proceedings. The bill for the murder trial stands at $400,344 but a final invoice has yet to arrive.Other than lawyers' time, legal-aid grants may include the cost of expert witnesses, forensic tests, investigators and office costs.
Oddly, we don't have a particular problem with this. One of the tenets of our legal system is that defendants are entitled to a proper defence, irrespective of how guilty they may appear to be.
That doesn't alter our belief that Clayton Weatherston is an especially nasty piece of work who is deservedly behind bars for a very long time. We say that because he HAS been through the whole gambit of the Court system, having exhausted all his appeals.