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Robin Bain had arranged for a relief teacher at the Taeri Beach school where he worked as principal and teacher to begin on the day he was found dead, and had not told staff of the arrangement.
This detail was told to the 30th day of the trial of his son David Cullen Bain who denies charges of murdering five members of his family at their home in Every Street, Dunedin, in June 1994.
Defence counsel Michael Reed QC questioned four witnesses who knew Robin Bain, about his efforts to get medical advice for depression. None of them had known of it.
The Principals' Association was also trying to help him with his depression and became so concerned it decided to arrange a seminar and get him to attend, Mr Reed said. The seminar was arranged for July 1, about 10 days after his death.
Four women witnesses who worked with Robin Bain at the school described him as a gentleman, caring, kind, and friendly.
Darlene Thomson, a teacher, said he made the most of every moment and the children at the school treated him like a grandfather. He did not raise his voice to the children and never missed an opportunity to teach them.
He initiated computer conferencing with another school and got funding from Telecom for it.
The women said he hated paperwork and record-keeping. "Children came first, and paperwork second," said one of them.
Robin Bain was found dead at the house, dressed in track pants, a type of clothing he never wore to the school, said Mrs Thomson.
Christine Harrex told the court she had no knowledge of a relief teacher being arranged by Robin Bain, even though she was the teacher aid employed for "principal release time" when Mr Bain could catch up on the principal's work.
Clifford Williamson said he had two children at the school. He said he helped Robin Bain with cutting firewood and was surprised at how frail he was, struggling with even light pieces of wood.