Bain found most likely to have killed his family but gets $925,000 anyway

Amy Adams has announced:

Ian Callinan QC, a former Justice of Australia’s highest court, was appointed by Ms Adams on 19 March 2015 to provide advice on Mr Bain’s claim. Mr Callinan’s report was received by the Minister on 27 January 2016.

“Mr Callinan’s report found that Mr Bain has not established his innocence on the balance of probabilities. As such, no statement of innocence or compensation payment will be made to Mr Bain.

This means Callinan has found that it is more likely David Bain killed his family, than Robin Bain did it. This will be a huge relief to friends and remaining family of Robin.

“However, the Crown recognises that the compensation application process has lasted nearly six and a half years and that this has been an incredibly difficult and complicated case for all involved. Reaching this point has taken longer than anyone would have wanted it to.

“In addition, since receiving Mr Callinan’s final report it has become evident that Mr Bain and his advisors didn’t accept Mr Callinan’s findings. They made it absolutely clear that they intended to legally challenge that report, leading to considerable further cost and delay in this matter.

“While the Crown is confident in the strength of its position in any such review, it’s clearly desirable to bring finality to this case and avoid the cost and uncertainty of further proceedings.

“In my view, no one benefits from this matter continuing to drag on. In light of that, the Crown has agreed to make an ex gratia payment of $925,000 in recognition of the time involved and expenses incurred by Mr Bain during the compensation process, and the desirability of avoiding further litigation.”

Mr Bain has accepted this payment in full and final settlement of all matters.

This is unprecedented I’d say. The Government has been advised that David Bain is not innocent on the balance of probabilities, yet it has given him almost one million dollars.

I think this is a bad precedent. If Cullinan had found Bain innocent on balance of probabilities, I would have supported compensation for him (even without extraordinary circumstances). But it seems wrong to pay money to someone not found likely to be innocent. There is a difference between not being guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and being innocent on balance of probabilities.

The only good thing is that there is finally a conclusion to this log saga.

“This resolution is a pragmatic one that recognises the unique circumstances of this case and a desire on all sides to bring this matter to a close,” says Ms Adams.

“While many New Zealanders hold strong views on the case, the complexities of the evidence and the opinions that evidence has given rise to, are such that those views are likely to continue to be firmly held without clear resolution.”

That is for sure.

Mr Callinan’s reports are available online at here and here

Once I have read them I may do a further post.

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