As many media commentator were quick to point out, that’s one month for each stab wound inflicted. Though somehow I doubt that's how the judge worked out the sentence.
The Herald was quick to post pictures of New Zealand’s worst criminals as soon as the sentence was announced. Weatherston is clearly in distinguished company. I wonder who collated the list. Maybe it was a group effort at Herald head office. I would love to have been there to observe:
“Oh this guy killed his wife”
“So what? This guy not only killed his wife, he cut her into pieces and ate her kidneys in front of their three children. Smackdown! You lose!”
But then the media revels in tastelessness when it comes to law and order issues. Nothing beats a good murder: an evil sneering killer, a grief-stricken mother, and a shocked nation. But the hysteria incited by the Weatherston case can only go so far in excusing this opening to last night’s news bulletin on 3 News:
When Clayton Weatherston was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail, tears were never far from the surface.
From his family of his victim Sophie Elliot, from her friends, even the judge, and Weatherston himself shed a quiet tear when his father spoke.
But none of that’s going to bring back Sophie, who was 22 years old when she was stabbed to death in her Dunedin home by her former boyfriend.I’m old-fashioned when it comes to stuff like news. I want to know the what, then when and the how. What I don’t need is this pap masquerading as news. Of course the Weatherston sentencing is news. So, please, TV 3, treat it like news and spare us the embellishment. Tell us who said what, what happened and when, and leave the rest for us. I think we can work out for ourselves that a whole pile of people are pretty upset.
With this kind of hysteria about, it’s no surprise what the results of the Herald poll on the topic were. The question was "What do you think of Clayton Weatherston's minimum sentence of 18 years?" About 87% of the respondents said "too little". I assume that’s because the only thing that would satisfy them is for Weatherston to be executed, and for his head to be put on a pike and paraded around Dunedin.
But the typical Herald poll respondent has anger issues. Here is a template for your typical Herald poll:
Fairly soon the only things reported, apart from these grisly murders, will be how horrible and feral young people are (for the older generation: e.g. Dunedin riots, South Auckland "yoof", boyracers) and celebrity news and gossip.
We’re already well on our way.