Martin van Beynen on Bain verdict

June 23rd, 2009 at 10:41 am by David Farrar

I was fascinated to read this article in The Press by Martin van Beynen. He sat through the entire Bain trial, as a reporter. He starts off saying:

After sitting through almost every minute of the retrial, I was quite convinced Bain killed his family on June 20, 1994, by executing them with his .22 semi-automatic rifle.

And further:

I thought many of the defence arguments had been exposed as almost ludicrously implausible and its experts revealed as endorsing some very strained interpretations of the evidence.

I’m glad he shared his views. He notes:

Not that the police case was without flaws. If the police had kept samples taken from Robin Bain’s hands, and also removed and retained carpet that contained a crucial bloodied footprint, the result might have been different.

David Bain’s lawyers were able to argue that the police had removed an opportunity for him to prove his innocence, but the police’s lack of diligence could also be seen as a great stroke of luck for Bain.

I said something similiar – that David Bain should thank the Police as their errors did help his case.

Several aspects about this jury should worry us all.

The two jurors a man and a woman who were seen to congratulate Bain after the verdicts and who went to his celebratory party were the same two who spent the last three weeks of the trial paying little attention to the evidence and closing addresses. They giggled and wrote messages to each other.

The man would often sleep through parts of the afternoon.

Appalling.

Initially, the woman was so disturbed by the images shown as evidence that she turned her computer screen away. By her own admission, she spent the first two weeks of the trial in tears, and the trial lost half a day because of her anguish.

Was she capable of emotional detachment in assessing the evidence?

Withnall presses strongly for compensation for Bain. I doubt whether Bain will apply for compensation because he must be aware, even if his legal team is not, that he was extremely lucky to get the verdict he did.

I hope he does apply for compensation, so a QC can advise on balance of probabilities if he is innocent or not.

Many people have said to me that the verdict doesn’t really matter since Bain has served 13 years in jail anyway. In a way they are right.

I don’t see much point in Bain serving any more time in jail. However, we need to keep reminding ourselves that five people were killed and the character of Bain’s father, Robin, has been irretrievably besmirched.

We are now going to get countless articles and books about how the innocent Bain was persecuted by a conspiracy among the authorities. I am sure a David v Goliath film is also in the offing.

That Bain faced what I regarded as an overwhelming case will be lost in the fog of legend-building and self-justification.

This is one reason I also keep covering the issue.

You might ask what makes me so certain Bain brutally killed his family in 1994 in Dunedin. For that, you have to go back to the trial evidence.

The reasons I am sure Bain killed his family are twofold.

The first is the incredible coincidences that we have to accept if Bain is innocent.

For instance, we have to accept, just for a start, that the following facts all have perfectly innocent explanations not connected with the death of the Bain family Bain’s clear and recent fingerprints on the murder rifle, the bruises on his face and torso, the blood of his brother on his clothes, a 20-minute delay before ringing the police after finding bodies, hearing his sister gurgling (and failing to help her), convenient changes in his story, a lens from damaged glasses (of no use to anyone else and found in his bedroom) turning up in his dead brother’s room, bizarre behaviour before and after the killings, not noticing the blood all over the laundry and putting the jersey worn by the killer in the washing.

Exactly – the series of “coincidences” was enormous. And then van Beynen looks at the Robin did it theory:

However, the best evidence relates to the implausibility of Robin Bain shooting his family and then himself. If David Bain is not the culprit, Robin had a settled night in his caravan (we know this by the amount and quality of urine in his bladder) and then got up about 5.50am, after David had left on his paper round.

Despite David admitting he hated his father and siding strongly with his mother in every dispute, he was the one Robin wanted to spare, so he had to be out of the house. …

In the caravan, he listened to the radio, which he probably switched on before getting up.

His first stop on the way to the house where his family slept was at the letterbox, where he removed the newspaper.

Once in the house, he went to David’s room, where he took the rifle from the wardrobe and then looked for the key to the trigger lock. Although he scattered a few bullets around (David had more than 1000 rounds of ammunition in his wardrobe), he found the key in a pot on David’s desk with ease and carefully ensured other items were left in place.

He also put on David’s white dress gloves, forgetting he did not want to implicate David and also overlooking that, since he was going to end it all, it wouldn’t matter much if people knew it was him, anyway. …

Stephen, pumped up with adrenaline, fought for his life, but Robin, belying a frame described as cadaverous, soon had the better of the brave teenager, strangling him first with his T-shirt and, when he was incapacitated, putting a bullet through the top of his head, like he had done or was to do with Laniet. …

He went back to the caravan, perhaps having already neatly placed his blood-spattered clothes and blood-soaked socks in the laundry basket. He did not wash his hands.

To meet his maker, he chose an old pair of light-blue tracksuit pants, an equally delapidated T-shirt, an old business shirt, a brown woollen jersey and a thick hoodie. He also donned a green knitted beanie. He put on clean socks and shoes, but no underpants.

Then, he went back to the house to take his own life.

Time was marching on.

David would soon be home from his paper round and he still had to write his message on the computer.

He turned the computer on (David must now have been nearing the house) and waited 40 seconds for the computer to bring up the page for him to write his suicide note not to explain himself but to exonerate David. “Sorry you are the only one who deserved to stay.”

Then, despite executing his family in textbook style, Robin chose an extraordinarily unusual way to take his own life, placing the rifle muzzle against his left temple on a strange angle.

A shot and he was falling, spilling blood and brain matter, which somehow got on to curtains that were a long way from where his body was found.

And the spare 10-shot magazine just happened to land on its narrowest edge, right by his right hand.

Despite clutching the rifle with his unclad hands to shoot at least some members of his family and then himself, the rifle did not have a single fingerprint belonging to him, even on the steel of the silencer.

Who did it? David or Robin?

In my view, the decision wasn’t that hard.

What a great article. And remember van Beynen actually heard all the evidence.

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55 Responses to “Martin van Beynen on Bain verdict”

  1. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    I am stunned there was not one person on that jury with the courage of conviction to see through the BS, obfuscation and hysteria and then to judge on the evidence. Not one. Is that what the edukashin system has done to us?

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  2. bananapants (107 comments) says:

    Pretty compelling stuff. I haven’t had an opinion either way, as I’ve never had the evidence comprehensively put before me. But it seems that is a very good summary of what the court heard.

    I have a friend who served on a jury once and found that the entire experience left him determined that if he ever found himself wrongly accused of the crime, he would not want to be put before a jury. For two reasons: 1. Most people struggle to understand what constitutes ‘reasonable doubt’ (and even if they do, this is a rather subjective construct). 2. In complex trials, where there is forensic evidence and other complicated issues to put before the court, many jurors struggle to actually comprehend what they are hearing.

    My own father sat on a jury many years ago which was hung, until they realised it was close to dinner and wanted to eat. The ‘offending’ juror changed his verdict so that everyone could get to tea in good time. Very reassuring stuff!

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  3. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Actually I take back the point about our edukashin system. It has nothing to do with that but more to do with Kiwis now being a bunch of bloody PC wimps unwilling to call it how it is. I bet there was a couple of jurors who had their doubts on Bain’s acquittal but probably just caved in instead of sticking to their guns.

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  4. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    The police have done a very shoddy job of this investigation by forgetting the standard of reasonable doubt. By targetting the investigation on David Bain at the expense of other alternatives which should also have been investigated. As the privy council said, this was an unsafe conviction.

    The police did not do enough to ensure a safe one, leaving the door open to an appeal and aquittal on reasonable doubt.

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  5. GPT1 (2,091 comments) says:

    Read that last night. An outstanding article. I believe we have a right to be quite angry at a number of those jury members. In my experience (admittedly not over 3 months) juries take their job and oath very seriously and are generally attentative. It would seem that a couple of these jurors were there for little more than shits and giggles. The fact that 3 months was dealt with in 5 hours was also not remotely reassuring.

    I too am amazed that all 12 meekly followed the lead that it was all too hard therefore they couldn’t be sure.

    Nice aside in the article about the cult of David Bain.

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  6. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    From what I can gather Joe Karam sat through the trial eyeballing the jurors for 3 months would have also played a pretty good part.
    Anyone who saw him dissect Mark Sainbury would understand what a completely overbearing person he is

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  7. Tony Milne (1 comment) says:

    This is a great article and I am pleased you have highlighted it David. How 12 jury members did not come to the same conclusion as Martin I am not sure. But I share Martin’s view.

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  8. Chris G (106 comments) says:

    meh 12 vs 1 journo. Ill play the numbers game thanks.

    But anyway, who cares? Im sick of hearing about david bain.

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  9. JustRight (31 comments) says:

    Martin has done a great service with this article. It is a shame that he did not deliver it the day after the acquittal. It is true, the Police didn’t completely remove Robin from suspicion does not change the basic facts & evidence that implicate David. If they had done, all it would have done is avoided the Karam circus, and ultimately the Bain Haram. Instead it opened up the opportunity for a person with tenacity, who does not have a problem with calling something that is black, white.

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  10. Graeme Edgeler (3,269 comments) says:

    Who did it? David or Robin?

    In my view, the decision wasn’t that hard.

    Maybe. But also not the question. To acquit, the jury didn’t have to decide it was Robin. They could have decided it was probably, almost certainly David and still properly acquitted. Almost certain isn’t enough. If the jury is not certain, then the defendant is not guilty.

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  11. JC (909 comments) says:

    Who said this trial was about Bain’s innocence or guilt?

    It was really about public unease with the Thomas case, David Doherty, Peter Ellis, Watson and Bain etc.. and appeals that are run to vindicate the police and justice system.. flaws and all.

    As the Privy Council said “A substantial miscarriage of justice has actually occurred”.

    In the absence of decent reviews of such contentious cases the Bain jury delivered the needed shock to the system.. and it’s up to the cops and justice system to do better. Thats what the not guilty verdict meant.

    JC

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  12. Inventory2 (10,120 comments) says:

    I blogged about this on Sunday. Martin van Beynan’s article does raise major concerns about the integrity of the jury in the Bain trial, and that in turn undermines the jury system.

    And re Patrick’s comment on Karam – it’s hard to dispute Patrick’s opinion there. And of course the revelation that Karam has received $330k in legal aid over the last two years, in addition to the legal aid funding of Bain’s “dream team” makes it hard to escape the perception that Bain had a very well oiled and well funded machine working for him. I draw the analogy with some of the lies that the previous government used to perpetrate, such as the Exclusive Brethren – the lies were repeated so often that they gained traction and were perceived as the truth. So it may well be with the repeated claims of David Bain’s innocence by Karam and others – one has to wonder if the jury had already made up its collective mind by the time it was empanelled.

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  13. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    “The police have done a very shoddy job of this investigation by forgetting the standard of reasonable doubt. By targetting the investigation on David Bain at the expense of other alternatives which should also have been investigated. As the privy council said, this was an unsafe conviction.”

    Fair enough, but surely the Crown Prosecutor should have pointed this out to the cops and advised them that it wasn’t strong enough to proceed?

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  14. Matthew (167 comments) says:

    This is interesting to read, as I took the trouble to read every Herald report on the case during trial. Turns out (again) you can’t rely on these reports alone in having an informed opinion on the matter.

    I have often thought that motive is important in murder as most people who are murdered are commited by someone they knew. Certainly this case was. Without saying who, it does appear in my mind it appears Robin had motive to murder Laniet and possibly by extension the others and it appears David had motive to murder Robin (if he had just discovered the bodies of his family). After that, it is forensic evedence which seems to have been missing from this trial to some degree. I was also reminded that the Privy Council quashed the convictions, but did not go the one step further and declare him innocent. They said it was for Crown to take up a case again if they wanted to. It is worth noting that as it shows the PCs opinion on the overall case.

    Ultimately only David knows, the rest of us can never be sure, just sure or not sure “beyond reasonable doubt”.

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  15. cctrfred (41 comments) says:

    My Dad’s theory is that Robin Bain murdered the family, then David shot him when David got home, and spent some time framing his father’s ‘suicide’. The general problem all of us armchair ‘experts’ have is shooting family members is not a rational act so it’s nearly impossible to conceive why either Robin or David could have done it.

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  16. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Keep up the good fight Dave!

    We’ll get the result we want eventually. :-P

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  17. coolas (105 comments) says:

    Superb journalism by Martin. If only we had more like him instead of the entrenched hacks. Be interested to know more about Joe Karam’s personality, motives etc. Surely he can’t still think Bain is innocent. Imagine wasting a good chunk of your adult working life defending the indefensible.

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  18. JustRight (31 comments) says:

    bearhunter “The police have done a very shoddy job of this investigation by forgetting the standard of reasonable doubt. By targetting the investigation on David Bain at the expense of other alternatives which should also have been investigated”

    My sense is that it was so abundantly obvious who had done it that the Police did not think it was necessary to follow every path. You appear to be criticising the Police from the perspective of 15 years more experience & technology. What is obvious today (e.g. where boot covers on your feet) was not commonplace or obvious 15 years ago. So the Defence had a great time insinuating that the case was flawed due to a contaminated crime scene (ie judge the Police of 15 years ago by todays standards) but when it came to having Bain testify said that it was ’15 years ago’ The Jury obviously missed the irony of this position!

    Sorry, I don’t buy the shoddy Police investigation line. Given how ludicrous the Defence theory of Robin Bain doing it was, I seriously doubt if some testing of samples from Robin’s hands would have made a difference.

    I sat in on the case and witnessed the Jury members mentioned in the article. I was horrified by their behaviour.

    To me, there is a bigger issue at stake here. This case, (and the reporting of it in some media) is all about undermining the authority of the Police and Justice system. While I am not an apologist for the Police, they are the guys who uphold what we as a Society (through our elected representatives) believe is right & wrong. They deserve our respect at the very least.

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  19. backster (2,082 comments) says:

    The only evidence against Robin was the hearsay evidence attributed to the dead girl Laniet an underage prostitute. The allegations to various people that he was having an incestuous relationship with her were probably made by an emotional guilt ridden child trying to justify her lifestyle to others to elicit sympathy. It is ironic that these allegations have been used to exonerate her killer. I don’t believe them. On the other hand I find the other excluded evidence of modus operandi by David, and the experience of ARAWA’s best friend MS KOCH (or similar) that the family were terrified of David and his pre-occupation with his firearm compelling.

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  20. JustRight (31 comments) says:

    Matthew (158) Vote: Add rating 1 Subtract rating 1 Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 11:49 am

    “This is interesting to read, as I took the trouble to read every Herald report on the case during trial. Turns out (again) you can’t rely on these reports alone in having an informed opinion on the matter.”

    If you read both Fairfax coverage and Herald coverage you will see HUGE holes in the Herald’s coverage, which have to amount to bias. For example. Justice Pankhurst took issue with two pieces of Defence evidence – sock prints and the distance the gun could have been held by Robin away from his head. Neither of these ‘qualifiers’ was reported by Herald, but Fairfax did so.

    It should not surprise anyone that nzherald was listed on http://www.davidbainfund.co.nz as a supporter (since removed along with TVNZ & TV3) but Fairfax published the article being referred to here.

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  21. MT_Tinman (2,995 comments) says:

    Based on what I’ve read and heard about the trial the jury probably reached the correct verdict – that the police did not prove beyond doubt that Bain was guilty.

    The defence certainly didn’t prove he was innocent and I would be very unhappy should the NZ government pay Bain, in any way, any form of compensation.

    Martin van Beynen’s statement “We are now going to get countless articles and books about how the innocent Bain was persecuted by a conspiracy among the authorities.” is incorrect.

    “We” are not for I shall not consider, buy nor read any such fantasised rubbish and I hope both the slime and the rest of NZ also ignore it.

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  22. BlairM (2,289 comments) says:

    The idea that the jury could not have found guilt “beyond reasonable doubt” is a crock of shit. Sure, if you take the evidence against David in isolation, you could come to that conclusion. But there were only two possible suspects here, David and Robin, and if you acquit one, you are saying it was the other. A jury, in order to acquit, had to find that it was a reasonable possibility that Robin committed murder/suicide, but the amount of things you have to believe for that are too incredible, and it is a disgrace that the jury could suspend their disbelief in that way.

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  23. GPT1 (2,091 comments) says:

    Maybe. But also not the question. To acquit, the jury didn’t have to decide it was Robin. They could have decided it was probably, almost certainly David and still properly acquitted. Almost certain isn’t enough. If the jury is not certain, then the defendant is not guilty.
    Well yes Graeme but the defence, the crown and the Court all framed the question in this way. It was generally accepted that the murders were not by some random walking past (and I did not hear the defence try to raise any argument to the contrary). If a jury is certain that it was not Robin (ie: the possibility that it was Robin did not raise a reasonable doubt) then it must have been David. There was no reasonable possibility that it was a random therefore the question was binary. If it could not reasonably possibly have been Robin then it was David. That reaches the standard in my view (especially when the evidence points to David).

    Chris G you might not care but there are five dead people and wider family who probably do.

    Matthew – I doubt even David Bain knows now. I suspect he’s talked himself out of it.

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  24. Biomag83 (94 comments) says:

    Yea I reckon David Bain convinced himself that he didnt do it. And having a person like Joe Karam who to me came across as arrogant and overbearing taking up your cause would only entrench that preception of yourself. We cant do anything about it now as the case is over. But Bain will have to meet his maker one day

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  25. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    @ Just Right: “You appear to be criticising the Police from the perspective of 15 years more experience & technology”

    No I’m not. The part of my post you quoted was me quoting slightlyrighty. I merely asked why the prosecution service at the time didn’t think to test the police’s case more thoroughly before taking it to court. Mind you, they did get the “right” result the first time around, so perhaps it’s a moot point.

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  26. JustRight (31 comments) says:

    Bearhunter, you were quoting slightlyrighty. Sorry about that. My post slightyrighty belongs to you then!

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  27. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    If you want a further insight in to waht goes on inside a jury room, see if you can get hold of a copy of this DVD

    http://chaos.com/product/johs_jury_638103_210867.html

    Then there is the classic in the field, Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men.

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  28. trout (904 comments) says:

    My take is that this crusade to free David Bain was really Joe Karam v the Police. Early in the piece Joe was given the bum’s rush by the cops, and then there was the defamation case. Joe comes from a culture that has produced any number of short arsed, stubborn individuals, that will fight to the bitter end to be proved right. I guess the police underestimated what they were up against – the experts put up by the crown that I saw tended to be smug and patronizing.

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  29. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Just Right.

    The police did not carry out GSR tests on either Robin or David. Why?

    The police allowed the Bain house to be torched without preserving evidence. Why?

    The police destroyed blood samples taken from Robin Bain’s hands. Why?

    Now to clarify, I am in the “David did it” camp. I feel that evidence, properly gathered and properly preserved should have proved this, even based on the rules of 15 years ago. But a failure of the police to investigate all possible outcomes led to the unsafe conviction. The police action in failing to preserve the evidence they had, and failing to collect all possible evidence to prove their own theories and disprove others had made the possibility of a safe conviction null and void.

    I imagine the police will learn from this.

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  30. Razork (375 comments) says:

    Joe needed something to get his teeth into.

    ex rugby/league star
    failing marriage
    failing business

    Nothing like a crusade to make a man feel like a man again.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler (3,269 comments) says:

    If a jury is certain that it was not Robin (ie: the possibility that it was Robin did not raise a reasonable doubt) then it must have been David. There was no reasonable possibility that it was a random therefore the question was binary. If it could not reasonably possibly have been Robin then it was David. That reaches the standard in my view (especially when the evidence points to David).

    Yes, but the jury still aren’t deciding between David and Robin. They’re deciding between “Certainly Not Robin” and “a reasonable possibility of Robin”.

    The question “who did it? David or Robin?” still misses the point: even if these are the only two possibilities, correctly determining the answer as “David did it” still results in an acquittal if followed by the caveat “I’m almost certain”.

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  32. ernesto (257 comments) says:

    Is Martin Van Beynen any relation to Superintendent Ray Van Beynen, Police Operations Manager. I agree with Graeme Edgeler. I think the comment in the judge’s summing up that carried the day was ‘Even if you conclude that David Bain is very likely guilty, you must still acquit unless you are certain’.

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  33. Jack5 (4,603 comments) says:

    Ernesto at 2.25:” …Is Martin Van Beynen any relation to Superintendent Ray Van Beynen, Police Operations Manager.”

    What has that got to do with a great article by Martin? What are you trying to insinuate about the superintendent? Is “Ernesto” a pseudonym for Karam?

    And re the judge’s summing up. The jury bloody well should have been certain. That’s the point of the Van Beynen article.

    There are so many fuckwits and lightweights now getting on juries that’s time we moved to a European-style, non-jury system IMHO.

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  34. ernesto (257 comments) says:

    No ernesto is not a pseudonym for ‘Karam’? I think Bain is probably guilty. It’s just that Van Beynen’s comments about ‘why didn’t he give evidence’ are facile, and his comments on the magazine being on its side ignore the fact that the magazine was jammed, thus whoever fired the gun had to remove the magazine before firing, a second magazine was in the gun. I doubt Van Beynen was there for the whole trial based on his comments.

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  35. freethinker (681 comments) says:

    The fact that the Privy Council – acknowledged internationally as some of the finest legal brains quashed the conviction- demonstrates that the original trial was flawed and the police and prosecution must take responsibility for that. By taking another prosecution in the circumstances of the destruction of probably vital evidence proves perhaps that the poice and/or prosecution learned nothing in the intervening years and the fact that the jury took a short time to reach a verdict likely shows they had little doubt. So 12 people and 3/5 law lords all judged the case not beyond doubt and declared a not guilty verdict – the correct and proper thing to do even if they felt David was the most likely perpetrator, so whats the problem – the system works.

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  36. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    Thankfully our justice system requires that the defendant must be proved guilty BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT. Our society will become very scary place to live should this ever be watered down.

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  37. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    The whole sordid saga reeks of the brown steamy stuff

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  38. whalehunter (467 comments) says:

    How many eye witnesses and video footage does one need to be 100% caught..
    How many people in any prison are convicted on less..
    How many of those people would be not guilty with Bain’s legal team, media coverage and doubtless supporters.
    Would a ‘GSR’ test really have proved anything beyond reasonable doubt..
    You have to set the bar a some level… under admission.

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  39. lilman (894 comments) says:

    I was on a paper round ,DONT YOU GET IT.

    I wouldnt lie to you good looking.

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  40. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    Dunno, I guess if it was me I would write the message after I had made sure I killed everybody.

    That makes it Robin.

    Besides killing 4 family members and leaving Robin until after the paper round seems a bit implausible.

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  41. Winston (43 comments) says:

    Oh pass the sick bag Alice.

    I really don’t see why we bother to fuck around with trials at all in this country. We’ve got DPF to tell us whether the defendant was guilty or not, and if people don’t believe him, we could just pay Martin van Beynen to sit through “almost” every minute of the evidence and tell us the answer.

    Mr van Beynen’s article strikes me as utterly pathetic. Typical of the quality of his argument is this: “Robin had a settled night in his caravan (we know this by the amount and quality of urine in his bladder)”. Well, that’s definite proof Robin had a settled night, isn’t it?

    Mr van Beynen’s alleged “series of coincidences” seems to show that he was asleep in the morning as well as the afternoon most days of the trial. Bain’s “clear and recent fingerprints”? Unlike Mr van Beynen I haven’t examined photographs of the prints closely, so can’t judge how clear they were, but how was it shown they were recent? “The blood of his brother on his clothes”? A few spots, some not visible to the naked eye. “Blood all over the laundry?” Well maybe one handprint, not visible as red to the naked eye, which showed up using luminol (a substance which shows up many substances other than blood) . “A lens from damaged glasses (of no use to anyone else and found in his bedroom) turning up in his dead brother’s room”. Well yes, despite what the police said at the time, the lens was covered in dust and was covered by clothing. It was pretty clearly established that the glasses were his mother’s, a fact concealed from the jury in the first trial, although I take van Beynen’s point that after Robin shot Margaret the glasses were of no use to her.

    Personally, I thought the Crown case was pretty much non-existent, and I was astonished that it took as long as five hours to deliver a not guilty verdict. The Crown’s tactic seemed to be to throw as much mud as they possibly could, and hope some of it stuck. “Hey, you don’t like these arguments? We’ve got others! You don’t like these experts? We’ve got others!” The despicable Raftery’s summing up was typical. Realising that most of his “case” had disappeared from underneath him, he instantly switched ground to claim that who killed Steven was suddenly the key to it all.

    Mr Farrar says “I hope he does apply for compensation, so a QC can advise on balance of probabilities if he is innocent or not.” Well, we can be pretty sure that the QC will be carefully chosen to give the right result – see for example the recent appointment of Kristy McDonald QC, a crown prosecutor of thirty years standing, to carefully investigate Scott Watson’s petition for mercy and carefully find that he has no case.

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  42. joeAverage (311 comments) says:

    WOW on a blog (THIS ONE) the blogger Mr Farrar has stated that a moon howler a Mr Martin Van Beynen a paper hack ie an observer and the blogger Mr Farrar have decided that we DONT need a jury we only need some one to sit through the trial(fuck having 12 jury people turn up) Mr Farrar just should get phui to scribe the evidince we DONT need you THE JURY (iq out of 12 people 67 accordinding to kiwiblog i and my wife have done jury service) ,we only need Mr Farrar , and mickey mouse MVB ,and we will get to the bottom of the case , MVB heard donald duck say that David did it SO POST IT ON A BLOG , it will be a laugh reading the responses, um if printed a lot of shit written by a load of shit and whats that smell i know a blogg written by someone who connot live with 12 peoples decision HAVE A GOOD FREE LIFE DAVID and leave the stench of bloggs behind you YOU ARE A FREE HUMAN now ENJOY :)

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  43. joeAverage (311 comments) says:

    GET over the decision folks worry MORE about 17 yo raping your old 75 yo mothers , its a worry is it??? caused by the pakeha schooling system, or French rugby players been given the bif in my city WGTN, shit we worry alot, david dosnt worry now :) he is free

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  44. whalehunter (467 comments) says:

    “alleged “series of coincidences”

    “Personally, I thought the Crown case was pretty much non-existent, and I was astonished that it took as long as five hours to deliver a not guilty verdict.”

    i like your sarcasm.

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  45. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Mr van van Beynen, another right winger who it seems cannot accept the fact that his beloved police an justice system screwed up, so will continue to retry the trial in the media in order to cast doubt on the jury verdict.

    I’m reminded of British lord Denning on the (later released Birmingham 6)

    “Just consider the course of events if their action were to proceed to trial … If the six men failed it would mean that much time and money and worry would have been expended by many people to no good purpose. If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous. … That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, ‘It cannot be right that these actions should go any further”

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  46. Jack5 (4,603 comments) says:

    The 10.03 post of Sonic settles it. Martin van Beynen is right: David Bain should have been found guilty a second time.

    Sonic/Chronic, the moon-baying, logic-bereft, genetically unmodified socialist troll, supports the David didn’t-do-it cult. This should erode any last doubts among the sane and sensible about the David Bain case.

    Poll David Bain cultists, such as those popping up in the posts above, and you would likely find a good proportion believe the Americans didn’t land on the Moon, UFOs abduct Earthlings, spirit mediums channel dead people, smoking cannabis makes you drive cars better, and that Douglas’s Social Credit can make everyone in the world rich and happy without hard work.

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  47. daveski (86 comments) says:

    I have no problem with the opinion that someone did it. Opinions are like arseholes apparently … everyone has one.

    The issue is not the truth – did David it do it? – but the proof – does the evidence show without reasonable doubt that David did it? Some simple tests could have ruled Robin in or out yet these weren’t done?

    The truth is out there somewhere but what can’t be doubted is that the police did not provide sufficient proof to establish a conviction, as noted by the Privy Council. To this end, the Police need to take their fair share of the blame (which they have not yet done so). Basic tests and basic policing could have avoided a lot of the conjecture.

    Admittedly the Arthur Allan Thomas case has cast a major shadow but surely we should be expecting the police to learn from these fundamental mistakes?

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  48. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    I hear there is even a small weird cult that believes your posts sometimes make sense Jack5.

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  49. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    I’ve got no particular views on whether Bain is guilty or innocent, the fact which cannot be ignored is that the Privy Council ruled there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice. Way back in one of the earlier threads, perhaps on another blog, someone drew attention to the fact that a report has been done suggesting a number of people are in prison from being wrongfully convicted. In NZ we have such a tinpot justice system that such people languish in jail because the whole system is skewed against them, look how long it took to get to the Privy council and what a privilege it was because that socialist idiot Margaret Wilson scored an own goal for the legal profession she is a member of by abolishing right of appeal to the PC during Labour’s recent term in office.

    Now let us take another example, Peter Ellis (who was in jail with Bain incidentally) and I think there is an even greater case to argue a substantial miscarriage of justice on his part yet he has not yet progressed as far as Bain, it seems likely the case will get to the PC and we should all hope it gets the same kind of treatment as Bain’s – and what does that show? again? how tinpot our justice system really is, why are we ignoring that?

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  50. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    Good post, David. The thing about Martin van Beynen isn’t just that he covered the whole trial, but that his coverage for The Press set the standard for others. He’s a very good journalist, and he will not have written this lightly.

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  51. Deep Thinker (5 comments) says:

    It seems that the defence puts so much emphasis on the “so called” blood spot on Robin Bain’s finger. Even if Robin had a spot of Stephen’s blood on his finger, that still doesn’t necessarily implicate Robin as the the killer, as David could have transferred blood onto Robin’s hands either by moving Robin, or by placing the gun in Robin’s hands to try and transfer Robin’s fingerprints onto the gun.

    I am like many. If you look at the first hand evidence, it all points to David. After looking into a few cases now, it seems that those who come across a murder or suicide have pretty much contacted emergency services straight away and usually have no blood present on them.

    Lundy had one single fragment of tissue on him and that convicted him!

    When David was intimidating the family I wonder what those “family secrets” were” that Arawa talked about?? Did he have a motive regarding the girls?? Did he have a secret that he didn’t want to get out.? We will never know????

    Only David knows what really happened, and he is not saying much……….

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  52. Chuck Bird (4,687 comments) says:

    The question “who did it? David or Robin?” still misses the point: even if these are the only two possibilities, correctly determining the answer as “David did it” still results in an acquittal if followed by the caveat “I’m almost certain”.

    A lot of us have trouble with semantics. I’m almost certain the Chinaman – whatever his name is – murdered his wife. However, I would not stake my life on it or even my house. Having that I would have difficulty finding him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I would put the chance of him being innocent at less than 1 in a million.

    In the case of David Bain I was not in the court and there was a lot more evidence. With my limited knowledge of the case I would say the chance of him being innocent would be between 1 in 500 and 1 in 10,000.

    Graeme, can you put a rough figure on what you would consider a reasonable doubt?

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  53. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    David/Robin/David/Robin.

    IIRC correctly when Joe Karam tried to access the daughter who was working as an underage prostitute’s cell phone records, he found that they had been deleted.

    So there you have it: Laniea or whatever her name was, was about to confess to her work as an underage prostitute servicing the Dunedin elite (and some in the Police). Underage sex is a big crime, fearing exposure from L’ approaching confession an unnamed person with good links in the Police went around while David was on the paper run, killed the lot and then left the dumb message on the computer knowing it would incriminate him

    Then someone in the police, thinking that David really HAD done it, or to protect the person who had, rearrange things like gloves or whatever to incriminate David (and Police will do that if they think they have the real murderer, see Wayne Tamihere and the mysterious watch and sightings in the bush).

    Conspiraloon conspiracy theory!? Of course, it is as likely to happen as an economics lecturer stabbing a student 216 times or hospital doctor poisoning his wife or a cabinet minister belonging to an S and M wife-swapping club.

    This is Dunedin, normal rules don’t apply.

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  54. SueJB (1 comment) says:

    Quote Russell Brown :
    “June 24th, 2009 at 8:59 am
    “Good post, David. The thing about Martin van Beynen isn’t just that he covered the whole trial, but that his coverage for The Press set the standard for others. He’s a very good journalist, and he will not have written this lightly.”

    I believe Martin’s article also demonstrates that the Press has no fear of a libel case from Karam / Bain.

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  55. hiphip (92 comments) says:

    SueJB, Bain knows he’s guilty, so he won’t be doing anything like that. The evidence is stacked against him, even if the jury went to sleep – and further evidence, including a confession, was released later. I wonder what happened to the female jogger db wanted.

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