The Justice Binnie review for compensation in the David Bain five-person slaying has descended in to farce. It is now political, not evidential or even judicial. Justice Binnie says Collins is “playing politics.” Yes she is.
I say political, because there is no way the New Zealand government can allow compensation to David Bain; the public would be outraged. Giving him $2 million (estimate) would offend hardworking Kiwi battlers struggling to make a living. Killing 5 family members (yes, I believe he is guilty) and then getting $2 million would be awful beyond endurance for the public. This is what minister Judith Collins senses.
All the posturing of the obsessive Joe Karam does not change the fact, that more than one jury found David Bain guilty. Karam’s constant claims that DB is “innocent” is not what the last court found. As one of the final jurors recently said, ‘we did not find DB innocent; we found there was insufficient (or confused?) evidence to convict him absolutely beyond reasonable doubt.’ There is a difference. Other juries found him guilty. The Privy Council also did not find him innocent and expressly said he should stay incarcerated while a new trial was undertaken. At best, the evidence is ambiguous.
Rosemary McLeod’s article on Bain years ago convinced me of his guilt. Her objective listing of the police evidence against David was compelling. The main points for me , were:
• No blood on Robin.
• An extraordinary way of self-inflicting a rifle shot to the back of his head.
• A violent fight with Stephen Bain; no scratches on Robin, an older man and his Dad.
• Scratches on David and his glasses broken and found in Stephen’s room.
• David washed his clothes very early in the morning having already worn them.
• Robin, if the mass murderer, collected the early morning paper and had a quiet time (a Christian prayerful devotion, which he did every morning).
• He is described by all his colleagues as a kind, generous, loving man.
• David at the time was moody, weird, controlling and his sister feared him.
• He had threatened family members with his gun before.
• Only David knew where the key to his gun was hidden.
• The killer left the message on the computer. Who wiped the finger prints from the computer keys, and why, a suicidal Robin Bain? (yeah, right). Why was the message so focussed on David, and if suicidal, mentioned no one else, any reasons, or goodbyes, just praise of David? No, David wrote it not Robin.
But this has now moved beyond a trial, to a political issue and a government’s credibility with the public. Compensation would be intolerable. I do not think David is now a threat to the public. He has been inside for 16 years. Innocent or guilty, we can never prove either way now (until technology advances and there are new breakthroughs). Re-litigating these topics is pointless. It is time for David Bain to leave New Zealand and move on with a viable life elsewhere, like Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker before him. But he should not get a golden handshake from us, the taxpayers.