Bain trial: Jury returns, set to deliver verdict

By Edward Gay

The jury in the David Bain murder trial is set to deliver its verdict after five hours and 55 minutes of deliberations.

They returned to the court at 4.25pm to tell the judge they had reached a verdict.

Earlier they returned to their deliberations following a break for afternoon tea.

The jury deliberated for half an hour last night, following Justice Graham Panckhurst's summing up.

They began again at about 9.15am, after asking the judge two questions.

Justice Panckhurst again defined "beyond reasonable doubt" after being asked to "reiterate the rules".

"There are no rules as such relating to reasonable doubt. It's part of the standard of proof," Justice Panckhurst said.

He said the burden of proof is on the Crown to prove the case against Bain.

Justice Panckhurst said Bain is to be assumed innocent until proven guilty - not "probably guilty" or "very likely" guilty.

He said it was not possible to prove with "absolute certainty" and that was not the standard required.

"Reasonable doubt is honest and reasonable uncertainty about guilt, after careful and impartial consideration of evidence," said Justice Panckhurst.

He said if after considering the evidence they do have doubts, or they are not sure, then they must acquit.

Justice Panckhurst was also asked by the jury to redefine his comment made yesterday that "it must be David to the exclusion of Robin".

He said there was not "magic" to the phrase.

"The Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was David, the proof positive necessarily excludes Robin," Justice Panckhurst said.

He said the phrase goes to the crux of the case, meaning that they must decide: "Was it Robin or was it David", the question Justice Panckhurst asked of the jury yesterday in his summing up.

- NZ Herald

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