Compensation Blow: David Bain 'Not Innocent Beyond Reasonable Doubt'

Publish Date
Thursday, 18 February 2016, 7:33AM
David Bain has taken a blow in his compensation case after a QC found he was not "innocent beyond reasonable doubt." Photo / Supplied

David Bain has taken a blow in his compensation case after a QC found he was not "innocent beyond reasonable doubt." Photo / Supplied

David Bain has suffered another blow in his compensation claim for wrongful imprisonment following a confidential report by a senior judge found he did not meet the threshold of "innocent beyond reasonable doubt".

The report has just been delivered and the Government has not yet begun any consideration of the latest development in the Bain case, which has divided the country for years.

Ian Callinan, QC, a retired judge from Australia, was asked to advise whether he is satisfied that Mr Bain has proven he is innocent of murder on the "balance of probabilities" and, if so, whether he is also satisfied Mr Bain has proven he is innocent "beyond reasonable doubt".

His review has been delivered to Justice Minister Amy Adams.

Mr Bain was convicted of murdering his parents and three siblings in June 1994 by shooting them with a .22 rifle. He served almost 13 years of his minimum 16-year life sentence. The Privy Council quashed his convictions in 2007 and ordered a retrial. He was acquitted after a three-month retrial in Christchurch in 2009.

The Herald understands that the judge did not find that Mr Bain is innocent beyond reasonable doubt -- the benchmark for "extraordinary circumstances" required for compensation under previous guidelines.

There are expected to be different views within the Cabinet as to whether to pay nothing at all, or to explore some avenue that might end further litigation, such as assisting with Mr Bain's legal fees.

Ms Adams will make the eventual recommendations to Cabinet after sounding out her colleagues.

It's the latest twist in a compensation claim which has dragged on since 2010. An earlier inquiry - by retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie - recommended compensation. The Government did not accept the finding after a peer review, by a retired New Zealand judge, found he had parts of the law wrong.

- NZ Herald