Rifle data revised

An overseas ballistics expert has had to revise his figures on the distance the end of a rifle would have been from the head of the man the defence says was the killer of the Bain family.

British forensic firearms specialist Philip Boyce told the David Bain retrial jury on Monday Bain's father, Robin, could have committed suicide with the Winchester .22 rifle used to kill four other members of the Bain family.

Mr Boyce said he believed Robin could have shot himself with the rifle end as far as 22cm from his head.

But he told Crown counsel Robin Bates he had not done any testing to support that calculation.

Mr Boyce was recalled to the witness box yesterday after carrying out further tests in conjunction with a Crown witness, ESR scientist Kevan Walsh.

Mr Walsh, also a ballistics expert, told the court a month ago he believed it was more likely the bullet that killed Robin Bain came from at least 20cm away rather than from close range. He did not believe Mr Bain committed suicide.

Yesterday, Mr Boyce said the fresh experiment, using a model with an arm span of 188cm, compared with Mr Bain's arm span of 185cm-190cm, showed the furthest the rifle could have been away from his head so he could still reach the trigger, was 12cm.

But, with the end of the rifle 12cm from the model's head, with the model wearing the special skull cap, standing and leaning over the rifle which had the butt on the floor, a consistent result was obtained.


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