Only about a quarter of Herald readers think David Bain used the words "I shot the prick" in a 111 call after the deaths of his family, according to an online poll.

What Mr Bain did or did not say on the call has become a hot topic of debate after the Supreme Court released its judgment this week on the disputed recording.

Police claimed Mr Bain could be heard saying "I shot the prick" after his parents and three siblings had died of gunshot wounds on June 20, 1994. But Mr Bain's lawyers have rubbished the claim and pointed to experts failing to detect any such words.

The Supreme Court found the contested part of the tape was not relevant or reliable enough to be considered by the jury in Mr Bain's murder retrial, which ended last week with Mr Bain, 37, being found not guilty of the murders of his family.

The Herald website yesterday offered readers a chance to listen for themselves to the contested part of the 111 call. An unscientific poll asked readers what they thought Mr Bain said. Of 3313 readers who had responded by 5pm yesterday, 28 per cent interpreted the sounds as "I shot the prick".

The majority, 43 per cent, thought the sounds were simply Mr Bain exhaling. Fourteen per cent thought Mr Bain said the words "I can't breathe", while 15 per cent believed he used some other words.

Other evidence withheld from the jury has also been scrutinised by the public since the acquittal of Mr Bain.

The Court of Appeal disallowed evidence in which two former Dunedin students claimed to have heard Mr Bain planning the rape of a female jogger. One of the witnesses, Mark Buckley, said Mr Bain spoke of using his paper round to create an alibi.

The words "rape" and "alibi" were not used by the witnesses, but by the Court of Appeal, which found this evidence would unfairly prejudice Mr Bain's defence.

Dozens of Herald online readers were split over whether evidence not heard by the jury in the Bain murder trial should be made public.

Poppy, of Te Atatu, questioned what purpose the public disclosure served. "Better brains than most of ours have analysed this information and decided to exclude it from the trial for presumably very good reason."

Other readers felt the public and the jury should have heard the evidence.