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Lesley Elliott

W. J. (Bill) O'Brien, a retired former senior police officer, is the author of over 20 books, including one on the Aramoana shooting tragedy that subsequently became the basis for the film Out of the Blue. He co-authored the bestselling Sophie's Legacy with Lesley Elliott, her account of the murder of her daughter at the hands of ex-boyfriend, Clayton Weatherston.His prolonged trial and attempts to blame Sophie for her own death created huge public revulsion and outrage. The case caused further controversy with the use of the defence of provocation leading to call for legal reform. Royalties from the book go towards funding the Sophie Elliott Foundation, which has been established to resource a school-based programme to better prepare young people to look after themselves and avoid abusive relationships. Bill is now a trustee on the Foundation and manages Lesley's nationwide speaking engagements in a voluntary capacity. He was a finalist in the Junior Fiction category of the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards of 2007, and soon after was appointed Children's Writer in Residence at the University of Otago's College of Education. Lesley Elliott wrote the memoir Sophie's Legacy in memory of her daughter, the late Sophie Elliott. She lives in Dunedin and is the founder of the Sophie Elliott Foundation (www.sophieelliott.co.nz), which has been established to resource a school-based programme to better prepare young people to look after themselves and avoid abusive relationships. Sophie's murder in January 2008 captured the nation's heart, and led to one of the most keenly followed murder trials in New Zealand's history, when Sophie's former boyfriend, Clayton Weatherston, was tried and convicted of murder. The case caused further controversy with the use of the defence of provocation leading to call for legal reform.

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