Parents nervous over Bain engagement

04:05, Sep 11 2012
David Bain
David Bain

Parents at the school where David Bain's fiancee teaches are polarised over the news of their engagement.

Bain has proposed to his Christchurch girlfriend, Liz Davies, and his future in-laws are thrilled about him joining their family.

But parents at the school have questioned whether he should be allowed on the school grounds and expressed nervousness over the prospect at him attending school events such as fairs.

Convicted in 1995 of murdering his parents, Robin, 58, and Margaret, 50, his sisters Arawa, 19, and Laniet, 18, and his 14-year-old brother Stephen at their Dunedin home, Bain was acquitted at a 2009 retrial.

He is awaiting the outcome of a $2 million compensation claim.


Davies' mother, Carolyn Davies, said the family was delighted about the engagement.

Approached  at her Casebrook house today, she politely declined to comment further, saying the pair were "private" and wanted to concentrate on their future together.

It is believed Bain, 40, popped the question at the weekend on one of his frequent visits to Christchurch.

Davies, a primary school teacher at Cotswold School in Bishopdale, has made no secret of the engagement and has proudly displayed her ring to colleagues.

Bain is well known to her fellow teachers as he had accompanied her to staff parties and social gatherings.

Cotswold School principal Stephen Harrison did not want to comment. He said it was not a school matter.

"We do not report on personal matters of staff," he said.

Parents were divided.

One parent said he was told by his lawyer that he was entitled to ask whether Bain would be on school grounds during school hours.

When the parent contacted Harrison, he ''would not comment''.

"He said all public visitors have to go to the school office,'' the parent said.

He said his daughters were happy at school and he had always been pleased with the school's high standards.

"It is a great school and we have always supported it, but this [news] is bringing it into disrepute. I don't think parents will be too impressed with this,'' he said.

"What happens if he comes to a school fair?''

He had spotted Bain and Davies out shopping.

"My daughter pointed them out one day,'' he said.

"They wanted to take the paper into school this morning as class news. I told them it was not a good idea.''

Canterbury University head of the School of Law Chris Gallavin said there was no reason Bain could not visit the school.

"Off the top of my head, there is nothing preventing a member of the public going on school grounds, although members of the public do not routinely access those areas on their own.''

Gallavin said the school could ask Bain to leave the premises.

Bain has never been reported to have visited Davies at work.

He is believed to work in Auckland and does not often visit Christchurch on weekdays. The pair have gone to some staff functions outside of school hours.

Davies is active in the Girl Guides movement, and her mother is a long-time Bain supporter.

Carolyn Davies visited Bain in prison for many years and her family hosted him during his second trial in the High Court in Christchurch.

Bain and Liz Davis have kept silent on their relationship, although they have been seen out and about together.

When Davies was contacted by The Press in July, she declined to talk about the relationship.

As wedding plans begin, the Government is considering the recommendations made by retired Canadian Supreme Court judge Ian Binnie on the case.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says she will announce a decision by the end of the year.


The Press