17 Mar 2009

Court told of 'unique' 111 call made by Bain

8:48 pm on 17 March 2009

An ambulance officer has told the High Court in Christchurch the emergency call for help made by murder accused David Bain was "unique".

Mr Bain, 36, is being re-tried over the murders of his parents, Robin and Margaret, and siblings Arawa, Laniet and Stephen at the family's home in Dunedin on 17 June 1994.

The defence says Robin Bain killed the family present in the house in Every Street before shooting himself.

The 111 call David Bain made for help was played to the jury on Tuesday as ambulance officer Thomas Dempsey gave evidence for the Crown.

In the recording, Mr Bain can be heard gasping and crying, saying: "Help me, they're all dead. I came home and they're all dead."

Mr Dempsey said he had taken hundreds of emergency calls and told Crown prosecutor Robin Bates that people overwhelmed by similar situations normally found it hard to give simple information - but Mr Bain's call was "unique".

He told the court that information such as the caller's name, telephone number, location and what had happened were easy to understand.

Under cross-examination, Mr Dempsey conceded he had no formal qualifications in voice stress analysis.

Mr Dempsey said the call came in just after 7am. However, another witness who worked at the Telecom call centre told the court she believed the call was made before 7am.

Police recount conversations with Bain

Earlier on Tuesday, the court heard David Bain told police he needed someone to blame for the killings of his family.

Detective Sergeant Gregory Dunne took a series of statements from the accused in the days after his family were killed.

After the deaths, Mr Bain stayed with his aunt, who called Mr Dunne to their home late one night to speak to the accused.

The court was told a very upset Mr Bain told Mr Dunne he "couldn't help it" and that if he had run home he might have saved them. The accused said the black hands were "pulling them away" and that he "wanted to blame someone".

The court was told Mr Dunne and David Bain then discussed the options of who had killed the family. Mr Bain said if it had been his father Robin, he would "be very disappointed". Mr Dunne said he considered that a most unusual response.

Other statements David Bain made to police in the days after his family were killed were read to the court.

Mr Bain gave his account of what he found at the house when he returned from his paper run, saying he found his parents dead.

He rang 111 telling police: "They're all dead". The officer taking the statements asked why he would say that, given he had only seen his parents. Mr Bain replied that he did not know.

Mr Dunne told the court on Monday that Mr Bain told him he had done his paper round early on the morning the bodies were found, then returned to the house where he put on a load of laundry in the basement.

Mr Bain went on to describe finding his mother's body in her room, discovering the body of his father in the lounge and calling police.

Mr Dunne said Mr Bain told him he remembered banging and loud noises, but nothing else until ambulance officers arrived.