Tuesday, July 2, 2013

David Bain: Publisher's view; Have the police learned anything from this wrongful conviction?

PUBLISHER'S VIEW:  The police rejection of  recent 3 News revelations pointing to David Bain's innocence - the icing on the cake so to speak - is all the more cynical given  Canadian former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie's  finding of a rush to a premature decision  tainted by a failure to keep an open mind - as illustrated by the unjustifiable decision to burn down the house on Every Street - the crime scene - less than three weeks after the crimes were committed. The knee-jerk dismissal of the 3 News revelations sends the troubling message that the force is still approaching the Bain case with a closed mind - and makes one wonder if the force has learned anything at all from its role in this wrongful conviction.

Harold Levy:  Publisher. The Charles Smith Blog.
Justice Binnie on the rush to a premature decision:
Chapter  XXIII: The police rushed to judgment in deciding to charge David Bain without adequate information and analysis.

575. David Bain was formally charged with five counts of murder at 1.46 pm in the Dunedin Police Station on Friday, 24 June 1994. He protested his innocence.312 He did not emerge from custody again until granted bail on 15 May 2007.

576. It is the Bain submission that following his arrest 4 days after the murders the Police
abandoned any semblance of objectivity and devoted all their efforts to proving him guilty,
regardless of other evidence which he says should have been investigated, and might have led to proof of Robin’s guilt.

577. David Bain’s wrongful conviction was, on this view, due in large part to Police loss of objectivity beginning early in the week of 20 June 1994 and culminating in the wrongful
conviction on 25 May 1995, then continuing to and including the 2009 re‐trial.

578. The decision to charge a suspect in a critical watershed in any criminal case. There will be an inevitable shift of focus as the Police make every effort to justify their very public accusation – a justification made all the more important for their reputation in a case subject to massive media interest, as was the Bain case.313

579. The Detective Manual contemplates an early arrest if there is a risk of the suspect reoffending, or destroying evidence. Neither of these justifications applied here. Evidence was only destroyed when, with the Police consent, the house at 65 Every Street was burned to the ground less than 3 weeks after the crimes.

580. The Detective Manual states that before a decision to charge is taken the Police should have pursued relevant inquiries and awaited the result of forensic tests. This was not done. To some extent this was the fault of ESR, as Det. Sgt Weir complained: So, and a lot of the information we didn’t – like the ESR examinations that took placeback in Christchurch, for example, we didn’t get it for months ‐ 314.........

Comment: the evidence establishes, in my view, that the Police rushed to a premature decision. There was no urgency to lay the charges and publicly commit themselves to David Bain’s guilt. They decided to announce that the case was solved and all that remained to be done was for them to prove it. This was not consistent with the “open mindedness” required by the Detective Manual at the early stages of a complex investigation.
Previous post on this Blog:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2012/12/david-bain-nz-publishers-view-2-of-7.html. T

Justice Binnie's full report can be found through the following link:


The entire Wikipedia page can be found at: 



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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.