Bain: 'My family were my life'

Key moments of the David Bain case include (from left) his arrest in 1994; his acquittal (with...
Key moments of the David Bain case include (from left) his arrest in 1994; his acquittal (with supporter Joe Karam) in 2009; the destruction of his family home at Dunedin in 1994; and the Privy Council hearing in London attended by Mr Karam (right), his son Matthew Karam (left) and Michael Reed QC (centre). Photos by ODT Files and NZPA
''I did not kill my family,'' David Bain maintains in the transcript of his interview with the Canadian judge appointed to review his compensation case for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

That transcript was released by Justice Minister Judith Collins yesterday, alongside Justice Ian Binnie's reports and a peer review by Robert Fisher QC.

In that July 23 interview at the Copthorne Hotel, Auckland, Mr Bain said ''the only thing I can reiterate is that these five members of my family were my life''.

''They were part of who I was. We were extremely close. We all loved each other dearly. The last thing that I could possibly have done is to take their lives.''

The former Dunedin man was convicted in 1995 of murdering his family and spent 13 years in jail before being acquitted in a 2009 retrial.

He told Justice Binnie: ''Not only have I served 13 years in prison for doing this, I've also served the so-called sentence of being labelled a convicted killer and a murderer and you know, a monster, and being told on a daily basis that I'm a psychopath and I was psychotic ...

''I want to assure you that the last thing I could have done, if we strip away all those immaterial aspects of things and all the names I've been called, the last thing that I should be called is a murderer 'cause I did not kill my family.''

That interview covers his recollection of what happened at his family's Every St home on June 20, 1994.

''I have no memory of it, of it happening, other than testimony and so on, but the only recall I have of that, of that period of time, um, is you know, the door being, the window being smashed and the police officer coming through waving his gun, ah, pistol around and then him calling out about ''five found'' or ''five bodies'', or something, and that's when, I think, of that, I fainted.''

Justice Binnie also asked Mr Bain to clarify reports of him talking, over and over, about black hands.

''I don't know why I called it black hands. The imagery, it still comes to mind now. ... I can only say that the reason I used 'black hands' at the time was because that is kind of what it looked like, the imagery that comes to mind now is just a, um, essentially fingers of dark, you know, coming in from all, you know, 360 degrees over the centre of my vision of my family.''

Mr Bain, who revealed his first lawyer initially pushed for a defence of insanity, also rejected a suggestion he could have committed the murders and not recalled anything about it afterwards.

''Absolutely. Absolutely. There is not a moment in time during any period in the lead-up to 1994 or that morning.''

As for his father having an incestuous relationship with his sister Laniet, Mr Bain said he did not see anything sexual in their relationship.

His family's estate, estimated to be about $600,000, was distributed to the rest of the family, but not to Mr Bain, who revealed his objection to his family home being burnt down.

''Yeah, it was unlivable and, I mean I certainly - yeah look. I accept it, I didn't - I wouldn't have gone back into the house to live, definitely. The place would have been, possibly ended up being demolished and so forth, but in ... in terms of, you know, preservation of the scene, you know, I don't understand why the rush to have to burn the house down, and that's only looking back in hindsight.''