To survive his 13-year jail sentence with his sanity intact, David Bain says he counted down the years in five-minute stretches.
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, Bain was acquitted at a 2009 retrial.
Now based in Auckland, Bain has always maintained his innocence but was forced to serve 13 years before the Privy Council ruled in 2007 that there had been a miscarriage of justice.
Bain told TV3's 60 Minutes that life in prison had been a very damaging experience and that there were times when he felt like giving up. He said he focused on only the next five minutes in order to get himself through his sentence.
"I kept coming back to my core belief - I wasn't there...I'm innocent, I know that. I'm not going to go screaming it to everybody.''
He said he didn't care that some people still thought he was guilty as there was nothing he could do about it. "It's the only position I can take. I have had nearly 18 years with this and I have lost 15 years.''
Since his release Bain has discovered a love for horse riding and works in the engineering industry. "When you are on a horse there is no justice, there's no arguments, there's nothing that is negative in that at all.''
Bain said the hardest thing to get used to after leaving jail was walking down the street and learning to do every day things by himself without having to wait for permission. He also spoke about the importance of unwavering support of long-time advocate Joe Karam.
On Saturday, just weeks before his 40th birthday, Bain will speak at the International Justice Conference in Perth, which will also hear from other miscarriage of justice victims Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and Dr Rubin `Hurricane' Carter.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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