David Bain not guilty

13:33, Jun 10 2009
BACK TO THE START: David Bain with his supporters and legal team arrive at the High Court at Christchurch on the first day of his retrial.
LENDING HIS SUPPORT: Arthur Allen Thomas arrives at the Christchurch High Court on the first day of David Bain's retrial.
BACK TO THE START: David Bain with his supporters and legal team arrive at the High Court at Christchurch on the first day of his retrial.
FACING THE MEDIA SCRUM: David Bain with Joe Karam and his team are surrounded by media as they arrive at the Christchurch High Court on the first day of the retrial.
LEGAL EAGLES: Crown Prosecutors Cameron Mander and Kieran Raftery on the opening day of the retrial of David Bain at the Christchurch High Court.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT: Joe Karam gives David a pep talk as he stands in the dock.
LENGTHY PROCESS: Judge Graham Panckhurst in court on the first day of David Bain's retrial at the Christchurch High Court. It is thought the retrial could take up to three months.
UNDER SCRUTINY: David Bain in court.
DEFENCE: Helen Cull QC, one of David Bain's defence team.
UNDER SCRUTINY: James Doyle, the Police officer second in charge of the Bain inquiry being questioned.
ALL OVER AGAIN: David Bain in court.
Michael Reed QC, leading David bain's defence.
GIVING EVIDENCE: Constable Wyllie sat with a "near-hysterical'' David Bain on the morning of his family's murder.
CONSTABLE LESLIE ANDREW: Part of the police team to first arrive at the Bain home.
TESTIMONY: Ambulance Officer Craig Wombwell told the court that David Bain's apparent fit on the morning of his family's murder was unusual.
JOHN DICK: The ambulance officer said conversations with David Bain were 'out-of-context' and 'mixed-up'.
BAIN FIT: Ambulance officer Raymond Anderson has been giving evidence to the Christchurch High Court.
LEAD DETECTIVE: Milton Weir, the lead detective in charge of the murder scene, described to the court video of the Bain household as police found it.
HORROR DETAILS: David Bain reacts as video footage from the scene at the Bain household on the morning of his family's murder is shown to the court.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Told the court attempts to save the message on the Bain familty computer which read 'Sorry you are the only one who deserved to stay'
SENIOR SERGEANT GAVIN BRIGGS: One of the policemen assigned to Arawa Bain's bedroom in the house at Every Street, Dunedin, where five bodies were found.
HAYLEY STEWART: The constable in charge of Laniet Bain's body.
ANDERSON: Former detective sergeant Kevin Anderson, who was in charge of searching the Bain lounge, disputed the recorded location of a bone fragment.
MACHINE MYSTERY: Washing machine repairer David Preston, who operated the machine during the tests, said the cycle was much longer than he expected because the pipe feeding to the machine was half rusted shut.
DETECTIVE MARK LODGE: Noted that the father, Robin Bain - lying dead next to a .22 rifle in the front lounge - had a smear of blood on the heel of his left thumb, a small smear on the outside of the little finger of his left hand, and abrasions on both hands.
BULLSEYE TARGET: Detective Jacques Legros told the trial of a bullseye target found in Robin Bain's van. The court heard the target was not photographed or seized for evidence.
MILTON WEIR: The former Detective Sergeant said getting plastic down on the floor of the Bain house was more important that getting a pathologist to inspect the bodies of the Bain family.
PETER HENTSCHEL: The retired ESR forensic scientist told the court bloodied footprints made by the killer of the Bain family implicated David Bain as the gunman.
PETER HENTSCHEL: Cross-examinedon the murder weapon, a .22 rifle belonging to David Bain.
BLOODY SPATTER: Former ESR forensic scientist Peter Cropp told the court he initially examined the curtain in 1994 and found nine spots of blood on it.
PATHOLOGIST: Dr Alexander Dempster.
UNUSUAL? Pathologist Alexander Dempster demonstrating to the court how Robin Bain might have held the rifle if he shot himself.
PATHOLOGIST: Ken Thompson.
MORE EVIDENCE: Professor James Ferris, a retired forensic pathologist now living in Auckland, told the High Court in Christchurch the bullet entering Laniet’s cheek had not damaged her brain.
DARLENE THOMPSON: Robin Bain's former fellow teacher at his country school.
COLLEAGUE: Christine Harrex, a reliever at the Taieri Beach School, where Robin Bain was principal, said Robin had done many good things for the children at the school.
'COVERED IN BLOOD': Fingerprint officer Kim Jones shows the court the location of fingerprints he found on the silencer of the rifle used in the murders.
MALIN STONE: Said he and Robin had done much together as principals before Robin was killed on 20 June, 1994.
SUICIDE BID: Philip Boyce shows how Robin Bain could have shot himself.
APPEARING FOR THE PROSECUTION: Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery addresses the Bain murder trial.
FULL ATTENTION: David Bain listens to closing arguments for the defence.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS: Michael Reed during his closing address for the defence.
THE JUDGE: Justice Pankhurst.
BAIN SUPPORTER: Joe Karam listens as Michael Reed, QC, closes the defence.

David Bain has been found not guilty on all five counts of murder and is free to go home.

The jury in New Zealand's most sensational trial has found David Bain not guilty of murdering his family 15 years ago after five hours and 50 minutes of deliberations.

Outside court an emotional David Bain thanked his supporters, particularly Joe Karam.

ARAWA BAIN: David's sister.
LANIET BAIN: David's sister.
MARGARET BAIN: David's mother.
ROBIN BAIN: David's father.
STEPHEN BAIN: David's brother.
DAVID BAIN: Accused of murdering five members of his family.

"Without Joe and his solid strength ... I wouldn't have made it through this far," Bain said.

"Joe's been there through everything for me".

The seven women and five men returned to the High Court in Christchurch about 4.45pm and delivered the not guilty verdict on all five murder charges.


FIFTY'S A CROWD: Media and the public swarm David Bain after the verdict.
RELIEVED: David Bain and Joe Karam after the verdict.
RELIEVED: David Bain waves to the crowd following his not guilty verdict.
Joe Karam signals to the gallery after the verdict.
TOGETHER: Joe Karam and David Bain leave the court.

Cheering from the gallery greeted the verdict.

Karam said the truth had, "finally fallen where it has always been". He went on to blame "various authorities" for allowing the case to drag on so many years.

The trial would go down as the “criminal trial of New Zealand’s history”, Karam said.

VICTORY: David Bain and Joe Karam outside court after today's not guilty verdicts

“What has really mattered is the truth - as I said 13 years ago [and it] has finally fallen where it has always been.

“Unfortunately due to the attitude by various authorities that has caused this thing to last to 2009 and put this poor man here, what he’s been through…”

Karam said Bain had been an “innocent man beaten down by a while lot of myths and legends.”

“There’s nothing more than smoke with no fire.”

Michael Reed QC thanked David. “He is totally overcome. Freedom is not there yet, it has not dawned on him.”

He said the trial never should have gone ahead. “Millions have been spent… it is quite a tragedy really.”

He said without doubt David should apply for compensation, but “that’s something in the future.”

Inside the court, the jury forewoman read out the not guilty verdicts for each of Bain's family members. Each verdict was greeted with cheers and applause.

Bain met the verdicts calmly, smiling broadly at his supporters. He then went straight into a room, where he was described as being very emotional.

Karam mouthed a thank you, as did Michael Reed QC Bain's lawyer.

As the judge left the room, further clapping broke out and more cheering and laughter could be heard.

Bain, 37, who had been charged with shooting his parents Robin, 58, Margaret, 50, and his three siblings Arawa, 19, Laniet, 18 and Stephen, 14, on 20 June, 1994, heard the verdict from the dock after a 13 week retrial.

His convictions for the murders after a four week trial in Dunedin in 1995 were overturned by the Privy Council in May, 2007, and a new trial was ordered. He was about 13 years into a 16-year non-parole sentence when the convictions were quashed. He has been on bail since May, 2007 after being in custody since June 24, 1994.

The trial has captured the public imagination like no other trial in New Zealand's history. Television coverage of the verdict today matched the media flurry attracted by President Clinton's visit in 1999.

About 50 media personnel were at the High Court to cover the verdict which was a mass of cameras, high profile journalists and support staff.

The trial has presented a classic whodunnit and implied much more serious questions about the police and the New Zealand justice system.