The David Bain case

Okay the trial is over, and the jury has retired. I’ve checked and the jury is sequestered until they reach a verdict which means opinions here should be unable to sway the jurors.

I decided when the trial started to note down all the improbable things you have to believe for David to have done it, and for Robin to have done it. And while it is not a matter of who is guilty on the balance of probabilities, looking at such things can help determine if doubt is reasonable.

So what do you have to beleive, to think Robin was the killer. This list is not comprehensive, and is even a bit repetitive. But here goes:

  1. It was a lucky guess when David Bain told 111 ambulance officer they are all dead, despite later saying he only saw two bodies
  2. Again a lucky guess hen DB told police officer they are all dead
  3. The 25 minute gap between DB finding his family dead and calling 111 is in no way connected with trying to wash clothes and removed blood.
  4. The bruise on David’s head and scratches on his chest and graze on his knee – none of which he could explain, were just a coincidence
  5. The lens from his glasses found in Stephen’s room happened weeks ago and he never noticed OR someone else had borrowed the glasses
  6. The lack of fresh injuries on Robin despite the massive struggle with Stephen is just the product of healthy living
  7. David’s finger prints on gun are from a previous time
  8. David telling a friend he had premonition something bad was going to happen was a genuine psychic experience
  9. Stephen’s blood on David’s clothing was nothing to do with the struggle – OR someone else borrowed his clothes
  10. Robin managed to execute his family on a full bladder
  11. The lock and key to the rifle being found in David’s room is not relevant as they were obviously placed there
  12. Robin decided to wash David’s green jersey to remove blood and the fibres from jersey found under Steven’s finger nails
  13. David’s bloody palm print on the washing machine was from him checking the bodies
  14. The Ambulance officer was wrong when he said in his opinion Bain was pretending to have a fit
  15. Robin Bain would logically wear gloves to prevent fingerprints despite it being a murder-suicide
  16. That Robin Bain would type a message on a computer for David telling him he is the only one who deserves to live, instead of writing a note. A hand written note incidentally would have cleared David.
  17. Also that having just shot his family, and knowing David was due home, that Robin would wait 44 seconds for the computer to boot up to leave a message
  18. Robin would decide David deserved to live, but go out of his way to frame him for murder
  19. Robin Bain placed fibres from Davids jersey under Stephen’s finger nails
  20. Robin Bain would shoot himself with a gun in the most awkward way possible?
  21. That Robin Bain changed jerseys after he had killed his family and in particular Stephen Bain, washed the jersey, hung it on the line and then change into a brown jersey before killing himself?
  22. That there is a logical reason that David Bain can not account for the injuries on his face, the bruise or the scraped knee, yet knows he did not have them during his paper run.
  23. That Robin Bain put blood on the inside of David’s duvet and on his light switch
  24. That there is an innocent explanation for why David says he put on washing before he discovered the bodies, yet there is a blood print on the washing machine.
  25. That Laniet was being paranoid when she told friends she was scared of David
  26. That the “family meeting” David called the previous night and insisted everyone attended was not a way to make sure everyone would be at home to kill.
  27. That Robin Bain would wear a hat while shooting himself in the head.
  28. That even though David told a relative he hated his father, his father did not know this and deliberately decided David was the only one who deserved to live
  29. That David either imagined hearing Laniet gurgling or she gurgled 20 minutes after death
  30. That Laniet allegations of incent with Robin was true, as was her claims she had given birth three times by the age of 12 and a half.
  31. That Robin Bain managed to kill four family members without a single trace of his blood, skin, or DNA being left at the scene.
  32. That it is a coincidence that on the morning of the murders Bain took his dog onto a property, ensuring he would be noticed to give him an alibi.
  33. That the magazine found balanced on an edge next to Robin was not placed there by David but fell onto its edge from Robin’s arms.
  34. That a sickly Robin Bain managed to overpower his teendage son who put up a furious fight
  35. That Robin Bain went and got the newspaper from outside, despite planning to shoot himself

I remember during the first trial being convinced David was guilty and over the years you feel less certain as things get chipped away. I found the reports of the trial very useful at reminding me of the overwhelming foresnic evidence against Robin having done it.

Now the defence has been very cunning. They have challenged every piece of evidence and cast doubts on it. Some may say this is reasonable doubt.

I think it is important to look at the totality of the evidence, rather than individual aspects. While one can not define reasonable doubt, let us be stats geeks and say if you could it is doubt beyond 99.99%. And let us say that there are ten crucial forescnic items that point to David being the killer. But let us say that in each case the defence has introduced a 10% doubt.

But the defence have to knock out all ten items. And that 10% doubt, gets multipled and over the ten items is a 0.00000001% doubt.

Now before people howl at me, of course it is not a formula. But the point is you have to look at reasonable doubt over all the evidence, not just each individual aspect.

But before I say what I think the jury will do, let us look at what you need to beleive, to think David is the killer.

Well there isn’t a lot. Almost all the evidance fits in perfectly with the theory. The best I can come up with is:

  1. That he managed to finish his paper run quicker than normal
  2. That his foot at 300 mm couldn’t make a 280 mm luminol print
  3. That he was prepared to risk his father waking up early and finding the family dead

The defence summing up was very weak – trying to play on sympathy for poor David, and saying look at him – does he look like a psychopath.

So personally I have absolutely no doubt that David Bain killed his family. Regardless of what the jury finds, I just do not regard the Robin theory as having any serious credibility.

But I am not at all confident the jury will find him guilty? Why? Because the Police did stuff up a lot of the initial evidence gathering. Their failure to test everything and keep everything may have allowed the defence to plant reasonable doubt with the jury – or even get a hung jury that would be as good as an aquittal for Bain.

If Bain is found not guilty, or it is a hung jury, it will be interesting to see if he applies for compensation. You see the test for compensation is not reasonable doubt, but whether he is innocent on the balance of probabilities as assessed by an Independent QC on the evidence. People may debate reasonable doubt – but I do not think anyone would debate the balance of probabilities.

If Bain is found guilty again, then he will be resentenced. If he gets the same non parole period, I think he will be eligible for release in around three years.

As with everyone else, I await the verdict with great interest.

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