I haven‘t commented on this case up until now since I was out of the country when the first trial took place, so didn’t know enough to talk about it. Now that the jury is out this time, however, I think I’ve seen enough to make a call (based, to be fair, only on media reports of the trial, never a completely reliable thing to do).
One thing about this case is that the usual rules of “beyond reasonable doubt” don’t apply. This is a unique situation in which one of two people did the job, either David or Robin, and one of those two is dead. Which means that if you prove one did or didn’t do it, then the reverse holds true for the other. No other possibility exists.
And for any jury to believe that it was Robin who killed the family, there’s a list a mile long of things you would need to believe that simply defy reality – and fortunately for me, David Farrar has done the hard work summed them all up beautifully.
To me it looks as conclusive as it’s possible to be. It can’t have been Robin, not unless you can believe thirty-five impossible things before breakfast. Which means it must have been the other guy. David.
I think Joe Karam has wasted his money, and his devotion. And I think, despite the munted police evidence, that the juries got it right before.
UPDATE: In relation to the question of beyond reasonable doubt, Justice Panckhurst’s summing up is worth noting.
Was it Robin or was it David? . . .
It can in fact be refined in this way: is it proved beyond reasonable doubt that David killed all five members of his family, including Robin, [or to put it another way, has] the Crown proven beyond all reasonable doubt that this was not a case of suicide?
“There is simply no place for emotion,” said Panckhurst, referring to the frankly odd summing of Bain’s defence counsel, who invited jurors to bring in a ‘not guilty’ verdict on the basis that David is “a nice guy” and must have found it hard to sit through all this evidence again. In the end they have to answer four questions:
- Did Robin Bain commit suicide? My answer: It’s not in any way realistic.
- Whose bloody footprints were found in the home? My answer: Inconclusive.
- Who typed the message: “Sorry, you are the only one who deserved to stay.” My answer: It could only have been the bloke who thought he was.
- And who had the violent fight with Stephen? My answer: Well, only one of the two had injuries consistent with such a fight.
So in short, was it Robin or was it David? That is the basic question. And my answer: David.