David Bain's fingerprints were not in blood: Witness

An independent fingerprint consultant does not believe David Bain's fingerprints on his rifle were made with blood on his fingers.

Carl Lloyd explained his views to defence counsel Paul Morten on the 50th day of the trial of Bain for the 1994 murder of his family, in the High Court at Christchurch.

If the fingerprints were made in blood -- blood is red, and the stock of the rifle is brown -- using white light the image would be dark red, and the ridges would be dark and not light, the court was told.

Referring to photographs taken by David Stedman, a police fingerprints section photographer in 1994, he said, "These are white ridges, so the marks can't be in blood".

He did not agree with crown witness Kim Jones, who previously told the court the fingerprints were made in blood.

He showed the jury photographs taken with his fingerprints in blood on the stock of the rifle.

They showed that the prints were black, and he said the significance was that nothing would make white ridges if you had blood on your fingers.

His evidence will continue at 9.30am tomorrow, when the trial resumes.

David Bain has been charged with murdering five members of his family in Every Street in Dunedin in June 1994.

Earlier in the day, an independent British forensic scientist has told the High Court in Christchurch he believed blood stains on Robin Bain's track pants showed Robin could have shot himself while standing with his right foot on a chair.

Dr John Manlove said he based his finding on the fact stains above and below the right knee of the track pants were travelling in opposite directions. That suggested Robin's right knee was bent, he said.

The defence who called Dr Manlove as a witness say Robin Bain committed suicide after shooting his wife and three of his children on the morning of June 20, 1994.

But the Crown says Robin's oldest son, 37-year-old David Bain, shot all five of the family and ''framed his father''.

Looking at a photograph of UK ballistics expert Philip Boyce leaning over a rifle while standing with his right foot on a chair in the courtroom earlier this week, Dr Manlove told Justice Graham Panckhurst and the jury he believed Robin Bain could have been standing in such a position when he was shot.

The pattern of blood staining on the track pants was consistent with that.

If the blood stains originated at the same time, the bent knee could explain why the blood was travelling in different directions. With the knee bent, the blood hits at different angles, making it appear there were two sources of blood when it was actually from one source.

Dr Manlove also told the court he believed a shot to Laniet Bain's left cheek was not the first wound she received, although three pathologists called by the Crown said it was.

He had considered their evidence, Dr Manlove said but his conclusion - based on the physical evidence of the blood patterning to Laniet's face and blood spots on a mirror at the foot of her bed was that wound to Laniet's cheek was not caused by the first shot.

Laniet had three bullet wounds - the one to her cheek, which all the pathologists in the case say was survivable - and two fatal wounds, one to the top of the head and one above the left ear.

Dr Manlove told the court the round shape of blood spots on the mirror suggested they possibly came from a wound ''with the pressure of the circulatory system pushing the blood out''.

And, because of where the spots were on the mirror surface, he believed Laniet was sitting up when the particular wound was inflicted.

The witness said he also conducted some tests to try and find out how blood spots got onto the socks David Bain had been wearing the day his family were killed. He wanted to determine whether the blood dropped onto the socks from above or whether the staining was a result of walking in blood.

From the experiments he did he concluded the staining was more consistent with wet blood having been walked over on the floor, Dr Manlove said.

 

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