6 Jun 2009

Bain not eligible for compensation - 1995 trial lawyer

11:40 am on 6 June 2009

The defence lawyer in David Bain's first trial in 1995 does not believe his former client will be eligible for compensation - despite spending 13 years in prison.

Mr Bain was on Friday acquitted by a retrial jury in the High Court at Christchurch of the murders of his parents, brother and two sisters at their home in Dunedin on 20 June 1994. The trial lasted 13 weeks.

Michael Guest says Mr Bain would not be able to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that he was innocent of the crimes.

He says if a person is acquitted, it does not automatically follow they get compensated.

However, Justice Minister Simon Power said on Friday he would look at any issue of compensation for Mr Bain with an open mind.

Mr Bain's original convictions were quashed by the Privy Council in 2007. A retrial was later ordered.

Lawyer Michael Reed QC says his client will now start his life again at the age of 37.

Mr Reed says Mr Bain is penniless and the extended family who got the inheritance after his first conviction, should give it back.

Legal aid bill

Some $2,762,622 in legal aid has been paid for the defence of David Bain

The Legal Services Agency says the final amount won't be known until all invoices have been received and assessed.

The agency says previous legal aid for Mr Bain amounted just over $700,000 for his original trial and appeal, and the Privy Council appeal in 2006.