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The Watson Depositions Hearing
Scott Watson is facing two charges of murder relating to the disappearance of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope on or around the 1st of January 1998 in the Marlborough Sounds / Cook Strait region.
The depositions hearing is being heard by Judge Peter McAloon and he will decide on whether there is enough evidence for Watson to be committed for trial.

Watson’s lawyers, Bruce Davidson and Mike Anntunovic of Wellington, have been appointed by the court to conduct his defence.

A suppression order which had previously banned the media from reporting on the case has been lifted, and the basis of the prosecution’s case had now been released.

The Crown prosecutor is Nicola Crutchley, and the following is the Crown’s evidence introduced with testimony from more then 20 witnesses.

- Of the 1,612 people present in the Marlborough Sounds on that New Year’s Eve, only Scott Watson’s movements are not accounted for over the critical period that the pair went missing.
- Watson was seen smoking cannabis and whilst drinking in the local bar became verbally abusive to woman who rebuffed his advances. He asked several women for sex favours.
- Around 4am Ben Hope and Olivia Smart are said to have been in a water taxi with Scott Watson and it is believed they took him up on his offer of a bed on his boat “Blade”, as their own boat was overcrowded.
- Scott Watson repainted his boat blue on New Years day and cleaned the boat with the help of his sister thoroughly throughout – even down to his tape cases. There was no fingerprints found on the boat even in places police would normally expect to find them.
- A blanket found on Watson’s boat has revealed two blonde hairs and three in a scrubbing brush - these are to be part
176 scratch marks have been also found on the underside of the boat's hatch cover and these are believed to be fingernails scratches.
of major testimony that will state that the hairs through forensic testing are 28,000 times mores likely to have come from Olivia Hope or a maternal relative of hers. Other tests in Britain are still being done on the hair fibres.
- 176 scratch marks have been also found on the underside of the boat’s hatch cover and a forensic scientist has testified that these are fingernail scratches.
- Various reported sightings of Watson’s boat or a mystery sloop in and around other areas of the Marlborough Sounds on New Years day.
- Watson’s inability to produce the clothing police say he wore on New Years Eve.

The Defence Case

- A witness stated that he had heard Watson return to his boat on New Years day as he had to cross the campionway between the witness’s boat and his. He heard no other people with him and no talking or disturbances.
- The blue paint used to paint Blade was given to him by a witness that he called into see on January 1 at around 5pm and had dinner with his family.
- Another witness also said that the she saw a blue and white ketch with round portholes in the Endeavour Inlet around 9pm. It had two masts and was close to 40 feet in length. It did not match any of the photos of the boats taken by police at the time of the initial enquiry.
- Water taxi driver, Guy Wallace , also says that he delivered the pair, Ben and Olivia, to a large white and blue ketch with two masts - a description that does not match Scott Watson’s own boat.
- No direct identification of Watson with Ben Smart and Olivia Hope.

Next related article: Forward to Scott Watson To Stand TrialScott Watson To Stand Trial
Prev related article: Back to Soft drink can thrown at murder accusedSoft drink can thrown at murder accused

Back to Operation TAM - Olivia Hope and Ben Smart Index

The Depostions Hearing into Scott Watson, and whether he is reponsible for the murder of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope

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