The seven main reasons why Callinan thought it was more likely David than Robin

Martin van Beynen has read the Callinan Report and writes of the seven pieces of evidence that meant Callinan didn’t decide on balance of probabilities it wasn’t David.

  1. A lens found in his brother Stephen’s room matched damaged spectacles found in his room.
  2. David had injuries – scratches, bruises and abrasions to his head and knee – consistent with a fight.
  3. David’s fingerprints were found on the rifle. They looked to have been made by his fingers covered in blood.
  4. Stephen’s blood was found on David’s clothes.
  5. If Robin was the killer, his behaviour was implausible and highly unusual including wearing David’s gloves and getting changed from the clothes he wore during the shooting into old clothes to shoot himself.
  6. Bain’s inability to explain what he was doing for 20 minutes after he returned from his paper run.
  7. Bain gave inconsistent accounts of what happened and bizarre behaviour after the shootings.

A useful point also:

Callinan was critical of the expert evidence in the case.

“I have to say that expert evidence adduced on behalf of Bain, or elicited in cross-examination, which pointed to possibilities, even reasonable possibilities has failed to establish possibilities as probabilities.”

Real life was different to crime stories, Callinan said in conclusion.

“People in real life and the courts that adjudicate upon conflicting facts know that all of the questions cannot always be answered, and all of the issues neatly resolved. This is such a case. Addressing the sole question that I am asked, and confining myself strictly to it, my answer is that Bain has not proved on the balance of probabilities that he did not kill his siblings and his parents on the morning of the 20th of June 1994.”

This is key. The alternative theories put forward by Bain’s legal team established reasonable doubt as they were possible. Hence it is quite correct he was eventually found not guilty. But while they were possible, they were not probable.

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