No new Bain inquest unless ordered

There will be no further inquest into the deaths of five members of the Bain family in 1994 unless ordered by the Solicitor-General or the High Court.

David Bain, 37, was acquitted of the murders of his parents and three siblings at a retrial which ended last month in the High Court at Christchurch.

He had spent 13 years in prison after originally being convicted of the crimes.

The defence case at the retrial was that his father, Robin Bain, killed the family members and then committed suicide.

The verdicts placed the accuracy of the family's death certificates into question.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean said last month he would discuss the matter with former Dunedin coroner Jim Conradson and current Dunedin Coroner David Crerar to assess the death certificates and whether they felt an inquest was needed.

Judge MacLean said today the inquest that was opened by the Dunedin coroner was completed in terms of the provisions of the Coroners Act 1988.

"There is no open inquest into the deaths."

Any further coronial investigation into the deaths could be undertaken only following an order by the Solicitor-General or by the High Court, he said.

A Crown Law spokesperson said no requests for an inquest had been received, and referred NZPA to a test in a Solicitor-General's 2005 report into a request for a second inquest in the 1997 Berryman case.

That inquest was to re-examine where liability lay in the death of beekeeper Kenneth Richards, killed when a bridge built by the army for Keith and Margaret Berryman collapsed under the weight of his truck.

The test in that report said the Solicitor-General could order another inquest if satisfied new facts had been discovered which would "make it desirable to hold another inquest".

They could also apply to the High Court for an order for a new inquest for "reason of fraud, rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, or discovery of new facts, or for any other sufficient reason".

Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter