Watson's account unconvincing: father

Scott Watson in court (supplied)
Scott Watson in court (supplied)

The father of Marlborough teen Olivia Hope isn't convinced an "elusive" Scott Watson is innocent of murdering her and her friend Ben Smart.

Nearly 19 years ago Miss Hope, 17, and Mr Smart, 21, were last seen hopping on a yacht moored at Endeavour Inlet following New Year's Eve celebrations. Their bodies have never been found.

Gerald Hope has now met in prison with Watson, who is serving a life sentence for their murders.

They spent nearly six hours together, along with North & South magazine journalist Mike White, whose article on the meeting was published this week.

In response to the piece, Mr Hope says Watson, who maintains his innocence, failed to convince him that what he said happened actually took place.

"Watson was elusive about what he did on 1 January 1998," Mr Hope said in a statement.

"I concluded he had rehearsed his responses to much of the evidence we discussed.

"His response was absolute silence on some of the more circumstantial elements of the prosecution case such as the disposal of the bodies in a sleeping bag.

"When confronted with this he was mute, unemotional, disconnected - Watson definitely did not convince me that he is innocent on this point."

Mr Hope said four things called into question Watson's account. Two were around his movements and another was large sections of cut out squab from Watson's yacht Blade.

"I was not convinced that they were caused by paint spillage or accidental burning from a cigarette," Mr Hope said.

"Finally, the art work - supposedly a personal statement, a visual expression by Watson not long after he was arrested. When I look at the drawing I see a disturbed person, evil depictions and undertones of death and retribution.

"This draws me to the conclusion that at that time in his life Watson had no respect for women and was living a dark fantasy where death was the currency of the day."

Watson appeared before the Parole Board last week but a decision on an early release has not yet been made.