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Margaret Bain told a psychologist friend a year before she was murdered, that things at home were "terrible" and she would like to shoot her husband, the High Court at Christchurch heard yesterday.
"She then laughed and closed the conversation," the jury was told.
Justice Graham Panckhurst, the presiding judge at 37-year-old David Bain's retrial for the murders of his family, read the jury the statement psychologist Richard Matches gave to police on June 21, 1994, the day after five of the Bain family were shot.
Mr Matches is now dead.
He was a lecturer with Margaret Cullen, at the Kindergarten College in Dunedin in the early 1970s before she married Robin.
He described her as extroverted and loud.
Robin appeared introverted, intense and serious.
Mr Matches said his impression of Margaret was "there would be trouble" if she and Robin had children.
He thought she would be very possessive.
He thought the relationship between Robin and Margaret was "not great" and appeared to be one of mutual dependency.
Margaret spoke of Robin as if he was a naughty child and would belittle him when he came to the college to meet her.
"I could see he took it to heart," Mr Matches said, but he saw no signs of clinical illness in Robin then.
He met Margaret on the street about a year before the shootings and they had a brief conversation.
When he asked how things were at home, she told him they were "terrible", and then said "I'd shoot him, I would", before she laughed and closed the conversation.
Mr Matches said he found out from a friend that Robin and Margaret had split up and recalled seeing Robin on a motorbike near Brighton.
He looked "terrible, a bit dishevelled".
Another person mentioned they thought Margaret had "someone else" in the background, but he did not take much notice.
The last time he saw Robin was at the Regent book sale when they had a 30-minute general chat.
Robin was a very private person, Mr Matches said but "he seemed very pleased to see me".
When he asked about the family, Robin said, "It's a real battle bringing up children in this world."
At that time, Robin was looking "haggard, grey, depressed - much older than his age".