Robin Bain's hands not cut - pathologist

By Hamish McNeilly

An evidence photo of Robin Bain's hand showing marks on his thumb which the TV3 documentary said came from loading the rifle.
An evidence photo of Robin Bain's hand showing marks on his thumb which the TV3 documentary said came from loading the rifle.

No cuts or marks were noted on Robin Bain's hands following his death because there were none, says the Dunedin pathologist who examined his body.

In June, TV3's Third Degree programme concluded that two dark parallel marks on Robin Bain's thumb indicated he was the one who loaded the .22 rifle that killed his wife, three of his children and himself.

Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess responded by re-releasing Mr Bain's fingerprints taken after his death.

These showed damage to his thumb, caused, police said, by cuts to his fingers in the same place as the marks in the photo shown in the TV programme.

"Post-mortem examination of Robin Bain's hands shows a number of minor abrasions and marks you would expect to find with someone familiar with manual work,'' Mr Burgess said at the time.

However, pathologist Dr Alexander Dempster, who was asked why no cuts or marks were recorded in his original report, said "anything observed would have been noted in the report''.

Police may have been referring to minor damage to the fingerprint service rather than an actual cut, but he had not been involved directly in their latest inquiries, he said.

Earlier this month, police retested fingerprints taken from Robin Bain, with the gun also tested by firearms experts, along with scientists from Environmental Science and Research present.

A police spokesman said those reports were expected back around mid-September.

David Bain, Robin's son, served more than 13 years in prison for the murder of his parents and three siblings before being acquitted in a 2009 retrial.

His defence team claims Robin Bain was the killer.

- Otago Daily Times

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