David Bain changed his version of events to say he discovered the bodies of his siblings, after initially telling police he found only his mother and father lying dead.

"When I was interviewed by the detectives, I made it clear that I did not go into any of the other rooms, other than my mother's and my father's room," Bain said in his evidence tohis first murder trial in 1995, read in court yesterday. "I said that to the detectives because I didn't remember."

Bain told the 1995 trial it was only after sessions with a clinician months later that he remembered going into the bedrooms where his brother and sisters lay dead.

Until yesterday, the jury in his retrial in the High Court at Christchurch had heard only a statement he made to police, in which he said he got home from his paper round to find his parents dead and then called 111.

Bain, 37, denies murdering his parents and three siblings in their Dunedin home on June 20, 1994. His lawyers say his father, Robin, 58, shot the family and then himself.

The court also got an insight yesterday into Bain's "slightly mental" mother, Margaret Bain, when a family friend, Barbara Short, disclosed via video link from Sydney how she had strange "new age" beliefs.

These included believing she was related to Winston Churchill and emperors in a past life, that she was possessed, and using a pendulum to "divine" what she should buy.

In the 1995 evidence read yesterday, Bain said he got home shortly after 6.40am on June 20, went downstairs to wash his hands and put on washing, before returning upstairs and noticing bullet casings and the trigger lock for his rifle on the floor of his bedroom.

He said he went into his mother's bedroom calling to her, found her with blood on her face and her eyes open, and saw she was dead.

He thought he then went into the bedroom of his brother, Stephen, 14, and found him "covered in blood".

"He looked as if he had blusher all over his face and down his neck. I got down beside him and touched his shoulder to see if I could wake him, but he didn't move at all."

Bain said the next thing he could remember was being in the bedroom of his sister Laniet, 18, and hearing her gurgling. Blood was all over her face and on her pillow.

"I can't recall if I touched her. I went right up beside the bed."

Next he remembered being in the bedroom of his sister, Arawa, 19, and her body lying on the floor. He could not recall how close he got.

In the lounge he found his father with a wound to his head, but Bain said he did not recall seeing the rifle that was found next to the body.

"I did not kill any of these people. I did not kill anyone," Bain said.

In other evidence yesterday, police fingerprint expert Kim Jones rejected the defence view that David Bain's fingerprints could have got on to the rifle during a hunting trip months before the deaths. Mr Jones said if these prints were left months before, subsequent handling of the rifle would have destroyed them.