What continues to trouble Lesley is that, despite she and Sophie being
concerned at Weatherston’s behaviour, neither recognised he was
displaying classic signs of an abusive partner.
Only after Sophie’s death did Lesley become aware of the signs they both missed.
Her fervent wish is to find a way where young women and their family and friends can recognise those signs.
She aims to do this through a nationwide education programme.
What we get from this book – because Lesley has come to understand it
herself – is how a manipulative and dangerous person like Weatherston
can so easily get inside the head of a highly intelligent young woman.
Lesley says she is indebted to Bill O’Brien not just for his help in
writing the book but also for his emotional support right from the
He hares Lesley’s vision to make our communities safer, especially for women.
One of the book’s clear angles is that if it wasn’t bad enough for the
family dealing with the murder and its aftermath, then the trial was a
Although they got the outcome they wanted, it was harrowing to be in court, listening to Sophie’s reputation being trashed.
The Elliotts have come up with some really clear solutions for how the trial could have been handled better for the family.
They are saying to the justice system that there’s got to be a better way for victims.
The book has four sections: Sophie’s murder and the devastating personal
impact on her family; setting the record straight regarding Sophie’s
reputation and addressing Weatherston’s defence that Sophie provoked him
to do what he did; Lesley and Gil’s resilience and determination to
take on the justice system over how it failed Sophie – and continues to
fail victims; and then finally Lesley’s aspirations for the Foundation.
Powerful, gripping, inspiring, Sophie’s Legacy is a major book.
About William O’Brien
After retiring from a 35-year career with the New Zealand Police, Bill O’Brien took up writing as an alternative career.
His best known work is also his first book, Aramoana — Twenty-Two Hours
of Terror, which subsequently became the basis for the film Out of the
He has gone on to write both fiction and non-fiction for adults and children.