7 Jun 2009

Dunedin coroner may examine Bain killings

10:02 pm on 7 June 2009

There is the possibility of a new legal examination of the Bain killings.

The deaths may be looked at by the Dunedin coroner.

David Bain was acquitted on Friday by a retrial jury in the High Court at Christchurch on charges of killing five members of his family in Dunedin on 20 June, 1994.

Chief coroner Neil MacLean says the implication of the acquittal is that Robin Bain killed his family, then committed suicide.

As a result, existing death certificates might be incorrect.

Dunedin coroner David Crerar says he is already considering whether to hold inquests into all five deaths.

Judge MacLean and lawyers say a coroner's inquest would not necessarily reach the same conclusions as the trial jury.

Robin and Margaret Bain and their children Stephen, Arawa and Laniet were killed in the family home.

David Bain, now 37, was convicted in 1995 of killing his family. However, the convictions were quashed by the Privy Council in 2007. A new trial was subsequently ordered.

Mr Bain has spent 13 years in prison. His retrial in Christchurch lasted 13 weeks. Evidence was heard from 184 witnesses.

The jury of seven women and five men took five hours and 50 minutes to reach their decision.

Jurors attend victory party

A long time supporter of David Bain is defending the actions of jury members who attended a victory party after his acquittal.

The supporter, Patti Napier, says the jurors sat through the case and made their decision on the basis of evidence they heard.

She says their feelings, either for or against Mr Bain, made no difference at all.

Two lawyers have described the jurors' attendance at the party as unusual and not a good look.