8 May 2009

Defence indicates Bain won't take stand

10:53 pm on 8 May 2009

David Bain's legal team has indicated he will not be giving evidence at the retrial over the murders of five members of his family.

David Bain, 37, has pleaded not guilty to five charges of murdering his parents Robin and Margaret and siblings Arawa, Laniet and Stephen at the family's house in Dunedin on 20 June 1994.

Mr Bain was originally found guilty of the murders in his 1995 trial, but the Privy Council quashed the convictions in 2007. A retrial was later ordered.

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

The defence opened its case with a unusually short summary at the High Court in Christchurch on Friday.

Helen Cull, QC, thanked the jury for its patience so far and said it would be spared of another lengthy speech from lawyers.

Instead, Ms Cull told them the defence case would open proper on Monday, at which time the first of the 50 witnesses would be called.

However, she indicated that David Bain had already contributed as much as he could to the case.

Evidence of the many interviews with Mr Bain and his subsequent testimony at the first trial have been heard by the jury in the retrial.

Ms Cull told the jury it was up to the Crown to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Bain was the killer, and also that his father Robin was not.

Mr Bain's defence is that his father shot dead the family and then himself, leaving a note typed on the computer saying David was the only one who deserved to live.

The Crown says Mr Bain was the killer who tried to then frame his father.

Ms Cull told the court defence witnesses would include doctors, scientists, school principals and people she said the police should have called, but did not.

111 call ruling

A 111 call made by David Bain to police in 1994 when his family were killed can now be broadcast.

The recording was played to court in as part of the Crown's evidence in his retrial.

The defence previously objected to the 111 call being made public, but Justice Panckhurst over-ruled that on Friday morning.

The Crown case closed on Wednesday after 39 days of evidence and 130 witnesses.

The trial will resume on Monday with an estimated four weeks of the case left to run.