27 May 2009

Crown, defence present final evidence in Bain trial

10:54 pm on 27 May 2009

The evidential part of David Bain's retrial has ended and the jury has been dismissed until the trial resumes on Tuesday.

The Crown says David Bain, 37, killed his parents Robin and Margaret and siblings Arawa, Laniet and Stephen at the family's house in Dunedin on 20 June 1994.

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

Justice Panckhurst dismissed the jury on Wednesday afternoon and thanked them for their work during the trial which is in its 12th week.

The jury will hear summing up from the Crown, the defence and Justice Panckhurst next week before starting its deliberations.

In a rare move, the judge on Wednesday allowed the Crown to recall three rebuttal witnesses, including an aunt and uncle of David Bain's.

Jan Clark and John Boyd gave evidence about a family meeting held following the Bain funerals.

Two weeks ago, defence witness Michael Mason told the court that, during the family meeting, police said David Bain was the "enemy" and that they would "get him".

But in their rebuttal evidence, Mrs Clark and Mr Boyd said they had not heard such a comment and when the defence evidence of it was given they were "absolutely astounded".

Mrs Clark says if that comment had been made by police she would have made a complaint, as it would have been entirely inappropriate.

Police fingerprint expert Kim Jones also gave evidence for the Crown and denied a allegation by the defence that he had chemically treated sweat fingerprints on David Bain's rifle to make them appear white.

Mr Jones said the prints were made in blood but appeared white in the photograph because of the light source used.

Defence witness flees NZ

The defence wrapped up its case earlier on Wednesday. It called 54 witnesses but a statement from the last, Dean Cottle, had to be read after it was revealed he had fled the country.

The jury was told Mr Cottle avoided his summons to appear in court to give evidence about Laniet Bain and has since left for Brisbane.

Instead, Justice Panckhurst read the jury a statement Mr Cottle made to police in 1994 which talked about Mr Cottle's conversations with Laniet Bain.

In the statement, Mr Cottle told police that Laniet Bain told him she had been a prostitute and Arawa Bain was also a prostitute.

Mr Cottle also told police that Laniet Bain had told him about sexual abuse she said her father had inflicted on her regularly.

Mr Cottle told police that, in the days before the killings at the family home in Every Street, he saw Laniet Bain and she told him she was going to "come clean" to her parents about her prostitution.

Justice Panckhurst told the jury to draw its own conclusions about Mr Cottle's disappearance.

Fingerprint evidence disputed

Fingerprint expert Carl Lloyd was cross-examined by the Crown via video link on Wednesday. He gave evidence in person last week but had to return to England.

Mr Lloyd says David Bain's fingerprints, which were found on the rifle used to kill the Bain family, may have been made in something other than blood - such as gun lubrication oil.

The defence says the prints were made by David Bain months before the killings when he was out hunting.

Mr Lloyd also says the palm print found on the washing machine, which the Crown says was in blood, may have been made with dairy products.