David Bain trial: Latest updates

With the defence in the David Bain retrial beginning its case, we're providing live updates throughout the day. Hit refresh to see the latest from Christchurch High Court. Or you can follow us on Twitter.

3.58pm: A computer scientist has rubbished claims made earlier by a Crown witness, who said it could have taken him six minutes to perform functions on the Bain family computer.

Dr Bryan Thomas is a computer scientist and said there was no way it could have taken the Crown's computer scientist six minutes to save a message found on the Bain family computer.

The message read: "Sorry you are the only one who deserved to stay" and was found on the computer on the morning that five Bain family members were found dead in their home.

The Crown argues David Bain is the author of the message, while Bain's lawyers say Robin Bain wrote the message.

Computer scientist Martin Cox tried to discover when the message was written on the computer in the days following the murders.

The internal clock on the computer was faulty but Mr Cox was able to compare the time that he saved the message with the time that the computer thought it was.

He was then able to determine that the computer had originally been turned on 31 hours and 32 minutes before he saved the message.

However, he could only make a guess as to how long it took him to save the document.

The national manager for the Electronic Crime Laboratory for police, Maarten Kleintjes told the court back in March that it could have taken as long as six minutes.

But today, defence witness Dr Thomas was asked if it would have taken him six minutes to perform the procedure.

"No way," Dr Thomas said.

He said it would have taken him between one and two minutes.

The defence has said the time the computer was turned on is crucial, as David Bain was seen at the gate of his house after his paper round at 6.45am by a neighbour.

The defence has said that if the computer was turned on earlier, then it was not Bain who turned it on and wrote the message that was left on-screen.

Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery, Dr Thomas confirmed that the best people to estimate what time the message was saved would be the people there on the morning.

Court has adjourned for the day.

2.40pm: A neurologist has told the court that it is likely Bain had a faint on the morning that five of the Bain family members were found dead in their home.

Earlier the court heard from a police officer and ambulance officer that the faint or fit may not have been genuine.

Dr Tim Anderson said that he reviewed the evidence provided by the ambulance officer and policeman on the morning of the killings.

Dr Anderson said the description fits with someone who had fainted.

"There is no evidence to say it was feigned. To my mind the evidence is contrary," he said.

2.32pm: A second cousin of David Bain has said police held a briefing for the family in the days following the murders where a policeman said: "David is the enemy and we're going to get them".

Michael Mayson, David Bain's second cousin, said he was shocked by the comment and it is the only thing he remembers from the briefing.

Under cross-examination, Mr Mayson was asked by Crown prosecutor Kieran Rafter asked if it was possible he had gotten "the wrong end of the stick".

Mr Mayson said that was not the case.

He was also asked about his impressions of Robin Bain in early 1994.

"Lifeless is the word that comes to mind," Mr Mayson said.

12.59pm: A second cousin of David Bain has said police held a briefing for the family in the days following the murders where a policeman said: "David is the enemy and we're going to get them".

Michael Mayson is a first cousin of Robin Bain.

He said he was shocked by the comment and is the only thing he remembers from the briefing.

Mr Mayson said he saw Robin Bain in the beginning of 1994 and said Robin looked "gaunt, ill, wasted".

"My first thought was he had a terminal illness but I was assured he was all right.

"I have a lot of regret that I didn't take him to one side but he looked seriously ill," Mr Mayson said.

Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery, Mr Mayson said Robin did not look just ill but had a "look in his eye".

12.39pm: A man who owned a shop across the road from Laniet Bain's flat has said Robin Bain cleared Laniet's bill on the day before the murders.

The man has been given interim name suppression and cannot be named.

He was asked by David Bain's lawyer, Michael Reed, QC, if that was normal. He said it was not.

The man described Robin as "vague" and looking "unkempt".

He said after giving an interview to television, his shop was broken into, his dog was killed and his car was damaged.

12.34pm: Laniet Bain was crying when she told a man she knew that she was "having an affair with her father".

The man has been given interim name suppression and cannot be named.

He said he owned a shop across the road from where Laniet Bain lived.

The man said Laniet kept an account and was very chatty. He said sometimes she would come into the shop wearing her pyjamas.

However, one day, Laniet came into the shop crying, he said.

The man said Laniet told him: "I am having an affair with my father".

"I was completely gobsmacked. I didn't know how to respond," the man said.

He said Laniet's flatmate boasted that he was pimping Laniet.

12.14pm: A man who boarded with Laniet and Robin Bain at Taieri Beach says he was told Robin Bain wanted a divorce but his wife would not sign the papers.

Kyle Cunningham boarded for up to four months with the pair.

He said Laniet had told him about Robin wanting a divorce.

Mr Cunningham also confirmed that Robin's wages would go directly to his wife who lived in Dunedin.

Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Cameron Mander, Mr Cunningham said Robin "seemed as normal as Robin Bain was any day of the week" on the Friday before the killings.

He said Robin and Laniet appeared to have a normal father and daughter relationship.

Mr Cunningham also confirmed that Robin helped him move into the Taieri Beach School house.

David Bain's defence team have previously called witnesses who have said that Laniet was being sexually abused by her father.

11.56am: Robin Bain spoke of buying a rifle in the week before the Bain family killings, a witness has said.

Kyle Cunningham was unemployed and flatted with Laniet and Robin Bain at the school house at Taieri Beach.

Mr Cunningham said he and Robin discussed buying a firearm to shoot possums and rabbits on the school grounds.

He said noise was a factor and they talked of buying a small rifle with a silencer.

Mr Cunningham said he cannot recall Robin ever taking a shower at the school house and said Robin often wore thick jerseys and "farmer pants".

"I frequently remember freezing my ass off, many a time. Oops, I apologise," Mr Cunningham said,

Mr Cunningham was shown a green jersey found in the washing machine at the Bain family home on the morning that the five family members were found dead.

The prosecution say David Bain wore the jersey and washed it on the morning of the murders.

Mr Cunningham said the jersey looked very similar to the type Robin would wear.

He said Robin was "very distant".

"Not your run of the mill person, not someone who would be a principal of a school," Mr Cunningham said.

11.41am Bodies can make gurgling sounds after death, according to evidence read to the Christchurch District Court.

Ray Pritchard has died since giving an affidavit in 1998, so his evidence was read out this morning by Judge Graham Panckhurst.

Pritchard had carried out post-mortem examinations for police and said that when fluid or gasses were in the lungs, gurgling sounds could be heard, sometimes spontaneously, but more often when a body is moved.

11.00am: The woman who employed Laniet Bain as a prostitute to work with her in Dunedin has told the court that Laniet told her about being sexually abused by her father Robin on more than one occasion.

The woman has now been granted name suppression.

Under re-examination by David Bain's lawyer, Michael Reed, QC, she said she had no doubts that what Laniet had told her had been the truth.

The woman said her memories of times and dates was "not very good" but she was telling the truth.

She said it was difficult for her to give evidence today because of the stigma attached to prostitution.

10.54am: A woman who employed Laniet as a prostitute to work with her said she employed Laniet because she was "open" and did not have a drug habit.

The woman cannot be named because she is applying for name suppression.

Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery, the woman said she probably employed Laniet for two months, not four to five months as she originally said.

"She clicked on to it. She pretty much knew what to do," the woman said.

She said Laniet wanted the money because she could not get the dole.

The woman said Laniet asked her: "If I tell you something, will you not tell anyone else?".

She said Laniet told her that she had been sexually abused by her father, Robin Bain.

The woman has previously told the court that she told Laniet she had become a prostitute after being raped.

Mr Raftery asked if Laniet had only said she had been sexually abused by her father after the woman told Laniet she had been raped.

The woman said Laniet told her about the sexual abuse on more than one occasion.

The woman also said Laniet had a photograph of a baby on her wall that she said was born after she was sexually abused by her father Robin Bain.

Mr Raftery questioned the woman why she did not include that in her affidavit, made in 1998.

10.38am: The woman who worked as a prostitute with Laniet Bain, David's sister, said she approached police about being told by Laniet that she had been sexually abused by Robin Bain.

The police referred the woman to a lawyer who contacted Bain's legal team.

10.35am: A prostitute who worked in Dunedin and met Laniet Bain after advertising for prostitutes for her parlour said Laniet told her she had been sexually abused.

The woman is applying for name suppression and cannot be identified.

She said Laniet worked with her for four or five months.

"We had a really good relationship, we were friends," the woman said,

The woman said she worked with Laniet as "a double" with a client and saw stretch marks on Laniet's stomach and breasts.

She said Laniet told her that she had had a baby.

The woman said she and Laniet had clients at Taieri Beach and when the pair passed the school where Robin Bain taught, she burst into tears and was "petrified".

The woman said Laniet told her she had been sexually abused by her father.

10.30am: Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Cameron Mander, Mr Hope confirmed that Bain had "switched off" and was unresponsive.

Mr Hope said Bain was acting normally but there is no "set pattern" of how people react after experiencing the death of family members.

10.18am: A funeral director has described David Bain as being "zombie-like" and in shock in the days after five Bain family members were found dead in their home.

Derek Hope was the funeral director called by Bain's extended family to help make arrangements for the funeral Bain's parents, two sisters and brother.

David Bain, 37, denies murdering his parents and three siblings in their Dunedin family home on June 20, 1994. His defence team say his father Robin, 58, shot his family before turning the rifle on himself.

Mr Hope said Bain's reactions were "normal".

He said Bain had been arrested by the time the funeral took place on the Saturday following the killings.

- NZ HERALD STAFF

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