Laniet Bain was scared of her brother David, and afraid of a family meeting called by David the night before she and her family were killed, a court has heard.

Joanne Dryden taught at Bayfield High School, and told the High Court in Christchurch she took Laniet, 18, under her wing because she was struggling. She had heard Laniet was dabbling in drugs and prostitution, but seemed to be coming out of a difficult period.

She said she spoke to Laniet on the day before she and four family members died of gunshot wounds, and noted that Laniet was agitated and scared.

David Bain, 37, is on trial for the murder of his parents and three siblings in his Dunedin home on June 20, 1994. His defence team says his father Robin, 58, shot dead the family before turning the .22 rifle on himself.

Ms Dryden told the court she met Laniet outside a theatre on June 19, where she was taking part in a production.

"It was clear to me that she was agitated. Her body language, what she was saying, her voice and her facial expressions. She hugged me."

Laniet said David was going to pick her up that night and take her to a family meeting. She said she felt scared and didn't want to go, Ms Dryden said.

"She said she was scared of David. She said she didn't want to go home. She was scared to go home."

This conversation was the last she saw of Laniet.

Marcelle Nader-Turner said she also saw Laniet outside the theatre on June 19. Laniet was on her way to work at the museum cafe, but stopped to chat.

"Somehow family got involved in the conversation."

Laniet then became really agitated, very stressed and appeared to be really anxious.

"It was along the lines of her dislike for David....and how she was scared of him."

A family meeting had been called, and Laniet said David had told her that if she didn't go, he would come and get her and drag her along "kicking and screaming".

Questioned by defence lawyer, Helen Cull QC, Ms Nader-Turner agreed she didn't come forward with this information in 1994 after Laniet's death. She gave her statement about this to police in 2007.

She said the memory of the conversation was vivid because Laniet died the following day.

"I feel quite sure about what I remember."

Asked if the family meeting could have been a meeting Laniet had arranged, Ms Nader-Turner said that was different from her understanding.

Ms Nader-Turner said she was not aware until after Laniet's death that Laniet had been involved in prostitution.

She said she went to Bayfield High School and knew all of the Bain children, but knew Laniet, and Arawa Bain, 19, best.

While Arawa was head girl and outgoing, Laniet had fewer friends.

David appeared alone a lot of the time. Stephen Bain, 14, seemed like a really lovely, bubbly boy.

Another witness, Kelly Gillan, said he also spoke with Laniet outside the theatre and also heard her speak about a family meeting that night, which David had called.

Ms Dryden said after the deaths, David contacted her and asked her to do a eulogy for Laniet.

"I just remember he wasn't crying. I don't know if it was shock, or just no emotion."

Defence lawyer Helen Cull QC put to Ms Dryden that she never told police that Laniet was scared of David.

Ms Dryden: "The impression I certainly got was that she didn't want to go home, she didn't want to be picked up by David".

She said it was possible her memory was not quite as accurate as other peoples' memories.

Gwendolen Mladenov said David's sister Arawa, 19, babysat at her home on the night before the murders.

Mrs Mladenov described her as "quite a conscientious reliable person".

She learned that Arawa had been head girl at her high school, and she understood she was studying at Teacher's College.

Kirsten Koch was a school friend of Arawa Bain and recalled spending a number of nights at the Bain family home.

On one visit she said Arawa mentioned family matters and looked visibly scared.

"She said to me there were family secrets she couldn't reveal to me."

She knew David through musical productions.

"I was always a little bit scared of David. He had quite an intense energy about him."

Laniet was much more "over the top" than Arawa.

"She was quite dramatic."

She recalled Robin Bain being slightly depressed, with stooped shoulders and sunken eyes. Robin's wife Margaret seemed more outgoing, but seemed to spend a lot of time in bed.

John Mouat told the court he was at university with David and recalled an unusual incident at a workshop where David was seated in front of him.

During singing, David became agitated and started looking from side to side.

Mr Mouat said David then suddenly stood up and climbed over him, kicking him in the left shoulder.

David went to the back of the room and sat down alone, and appeared to be distressed.

"He was sitting forward with his hands clenched together and almost like he was pacifying himself, rocking himself."

David sat at the back of the room for a few minutes, and a young woman sat next to him and tried to talk to him. Soon after he left.

Mr Mouat said David then left the room and did not apologise to him, though he felt the kick may have been unintentional.

"I just thought it was inappropriate."

Earlier, a policeman who was handed items from a caravan where Robin Bain slept told the High Court he was unaware of a book in which a father appears to kill members of his family.

Trevor Thomson, a detective constable in 1994 who worked in the inquiry into the death of five members of the Bain family, said today he could not recall the Agatha Christie book "Death Comes as the End", which would have been passed to him as an "exhibit".

Robin had been sleeping in a caravan at the rear of the family home after becoming separated from his wife, Margaret.

Mr Thomson was asked today by David Bain's lawyer, Helen Cull QC, what he knew about the book that had been in the caravan, and which had a story plot in which a father appears to kill members of a family, before the killer turns out to be somebody else.

He said he was not aware of a page in the book being marked, or about any discussion about it.

Mr Thomson said if he had found the book himself in an examination of the caravan he would have taken note of the marked page where the novel was open.

Mr Thomson also said today he was present when a spectacle lens was found by police in the bedroom of David's brother, Stephen, 14.

Mr Thomson said his job was to receive items from the room as exhibits. Detective Sergeant Milton Weir was recording the items found, while Detective Jacques Legros was handing items to Mr Thomson.

David Bain's defence team have accused Mr Weir of planting the lens in Stephen's room. The prosecution says the lens fell from glasses David was wearing during a struggle with Stephen on the morning of the murders.

Asked by prosecutor Robin Bates if he saw anybody touch or go into the area where the lens was found, Mr Thomson said: "Absolutely not".

He recalled a skate boot being handed to him and the lens then being found once the boot had been removed.

Asked if he would be concerned by anybody touching or going into the area of the find, Mr Thomson said: "I would have recorded it straight away. You just don't do that".

Questioned by Ms Cull, Mr Thomson agreed he was not always there to see what happened in the room prior to the lens passed over to him.

Earlier someone who knew Robin Bain before his death described him as a "real pacifist".

But Dunedin man Graham Letts, who was giving evidence today in the High Court murder trial of David Bain, said he did not know Robin was a hunter.

Mr Letts gave evidence about David doing his paper round on the morning of June 20. He also spoke about his dealings with Robin Bain on the same board of trustees between 1989 and 1992.

He described Robin as a "very quiet, passive sort of gentleman" and "a real pacifist at heart".

"He would always put a bit of humour into his comments if he thought things were getting a bit heated."

He recalled one incident where someone swatted a bumblebee against a window with a newspaper, and Robin spoke up against this act. Robin stated that the bumblebee had as much right to be on the earth as any other living thing, Mr Letts said.

Questioned by defence lawyer, Helen Cull QC, Mr Letts said he did not know Robin well. He told Ms Cull he was not aware that Robin was familiar with firearms and was a hunter.

The court has been hearing about timings in which David may have completed his paper round on the day of the killings. These are considered crucial to whether David or Robin was responsible for the murders.

The prosecution say David used the paper round to try to create an alibi for the murders he committed. But the defence says the murders were committed between about 5.45am and 6,45am when David was out on his paper round.

The timings also relate to whether David could have been home when the family computer was turned on and a message typed on it which read: "Sorry, you are the only one who deserved to stay".

One woman whose newspaper was delivered by David told police that on June 20 David acted in way he never had before.

However the judge presiding over the trial cautioned the jury that Kathleen Mitchell's evidence must be approached with particular care as her evidence had changed "markedly" over several years.

Mrs Mitchell is now deceased but gave statements to police about David delivering a copy of the Otago Daily Times through her gate or window each day.

She said David would have his dog with him on most mornings, and her own dog Boris would bark when he arrived they arrived.

Mrs Mitchell initially told police that David arrived at her home that day between 6.10am and 6.15am.

"I didn't see him, but I knew he was there because of the dog."

Mrs Mitchell later wished to clarify matters to police, saying originally she hadn't wished to be involved.

In August 2007, she gave a fresh statement in which she said that on the morning of June 20, she said she heard David open the wrought iron gates on her property.

"He had never done this before and there was no need for him to do this."

Mrs Mitchell said because David came through the gate, Boris barked and she glimpsed David through the window.

"He said hello and I said hello back."

"The circumstances that morning were unusual and since that day I have often thought about it."

Evidence from police senior constable Malcolm Parker was in line with a previous witness that his paper arrived earlier than normal.

Mr Parker told the court he noticed his paper in the driveway just after 6.35am and sat down to have coffee and read the paper at 6.38am.

"It was unusual because I had never got the paper that early."

Questioned by Ms Cull, Mr Parker confirmed he normally collected the paper between 6.50am and 7am.

Asked if he could know what time the paper was delivered each day, he said: "I call tell you on numerous occasions it hasn't been there at 6.45am."

Ms Cull put to him that David was often late doing his paper round and sometimes had to be woken up by the newspaper distributor.