Talks today over inquests

Coroners are in talks today about whether inquests in to the deaths of the Bain family in Dunedin in 1994 should go ahead.

Robin, Margaret, Arawa, Laniet and Stephen Bain were found dead, shot in the head at their Every St home in 1994.

Their son and brother David Bain was found not guilty of their murders this month.

Last week, then Dunedin coroner Jim Conradson said that after the first Bain trial in 1995, the deaths were not regarded as unexplained and an inquest had not been legally necessary or appropriate.

Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean has said the new verdicts place the accuracy of the Bain family's death certificates in question.

"It's a bit speculative, but one of the thrusts of the defence in this latest trial was that Robin Bain wasn't shot by another person, but actually committed suicide.

"Theoretically, that then raises the possibility that that might need to be tidied up [with a new death certificate, with a new cause of death]."

Coroners had to consult several parties and work out the legalities of changes to the Coroners Act since the 1994 killings before they could decide what to do, Judge MacLean said.
A coronial office spokeswoman said she expected Judge McLean to make a statement early next week.

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