Monday, March 12, 2012

'Key' question from TV1s Steve Marshall

Of course most followers of the tragic Bain case know that the familicide happened in 1994, 18 years ago come June this year. David was the only person alive in the house when the police arrived to find 5 deceased, including David's father Robin in what can be described as the classic collapse following a suicide shot to the left temple. Naturally over the next few days David was interviewed, made several statements and was, and it is shown now, arrested cruelly in such a manner that he was unable to attend the funerals of his dead family.

When formally charged, the young man, who had been relatively complaint because of his faith in the police and because he knew he was innocent,  said 'I'm not guilty.' Something he was to repeat 5 times at a later depositions hearing, and the mistrial which resulted in his false imprisonment. Following his conviction being overturned and facing a new trial when asked if he was guilty or not he repeated 5 times that he was not guilty.

Following the longest criminal trial in NZ history an empanelled Jury were asked, following their deliberations, how they found David, 'guilty or not guilty?' As history shows they returned 5 not guilty verdicts after a very short time. So one man for approaching half of his life was found not guilty of charges that had stolen a dozen or more years of his life, throughout that period he had always maintained his innocence, something which had keep him going in a hostile environment without a future.

All relatively, apart from the tragedy, complete. Well complete except that David's life was never to be the same after he lost his family. Furthermore to be falsely imprisoned as well makes it difficult to imagine what worse misadventure could happen upon one man. It was that one man that spoke at the recent International Justice Conference in Perth. David might have viewed it as therapeutic, or simply have been driven by the need to be part of a consciousness that should be of interest to all people, that systems of civil governance can go horribly wrong, failed by those empowered to operate them - mere men and women with the same potential prejudices, hate, apathy or even disdain when they enter the lives of others with the power of the state behind them. While some may uphold the challenge of remaining dispassionate, others might fall foul of the power that may give an intoxicating god-like view of themselves and be consumed to a greater or lesser degree by that. Those that do fall victim to the power, fall a long way into a state of their own importance, falling blind at the same time to their sworn duties. So David may have wished to speak for a number of reasons, reasons entirely divorced from those that I suggest. But what he clearly spoke about was his own experience as an innocent man sought to be slowly slain by god-like figures of right and Justice, and by others who were compelled not to speak out, abide their duty or those that simply looked away.

So again something approaching two decades of saying 'I didn't kill my family' and an acquittal behind him.Enter Steve Marshall TV1 reporter, listen to his intro if you watch the news clip, he had a 'key question,' seemingly something new and important and he believed that David had taken 'the gamble' by attending a media conference after his presentation of the way his life had been stolen and largely destroyed by the forces of the state gone wrong. Steve Marshall, against all the past background of the Bain case, and indeed having sat through   the presentation by David needed to ask the 'key question' did you kill your family?


  1. That was Nick Marshall for TVNZ.
    I watched van Beynen hanging about behind David, staring at him, apparently hoping to eavesdrop on any conversation he might have with delegates and other speakers. Until Van Beynen became aware that Joe Karam and many others were watching him do that, when he sidled off.
    What the journalists didn't like was that they were being expected to be responsible, to report with integrity and accuracy. Karam had challenged Martin Van Beynen about his motives and his police connections (which he admitted: his brother is Ray Van Beynen)in front of conference organisers and other press.
    Throughout the conference, a recurrent theme was the role of the press in contributing to the cause of miscarriages of justice, and the extreme damage they do to these victims and their families, damage that remains for the rest of their lives. There were journalists there who had taken the other road and done proper investigative journalism with integrity and maturity: they were often responsible for the exoneration of people after many years in prison. The case of John Button was a particularly good example of this - Button's Karam was a journalist, a woman who knew the right thing to do. And yes, her career benefited too.

    If they have any honesty or conscience, the New Zealand journalists at the conference should be deeply ashamed at the comparison with their professional betters.

    As for why the exonerees spoke... I asked many of them just that. The most concise answer was "because it can't all have been for nothing!"

    And it's US who do this to them. The system WE put in place, the system WE allow to continue. WE allow the press to persecute them and whip up a witch-hunt. WE allow the police systemic errors to continue by not demanding accountability. WE allow our justice system to hide behind technicalities and delays and justifications. These people are public servants: OUR servants.
    The delays in rectifying these injustices are unconscionable, and WE need to protest to put things right and stop them happening.

  2. Thanks for that, we do have those reporters with such integrity that drives them to fight injustices but unfortunately as we have seen in the Bain case we also have reporters who drive injustices as well. Pleased to be reminded that the press have played a large part in many of the cases overseas which have been remedied, I think however it's time for many NZ journalists to look at themselves, detached from the cyber age haste, and look into themselves at what they want their careers to achieve. Sensationalism and superficiality are not measures of integrity.

  3. The problem I see, is a general ignorance by many, who fail to see the motives, and hang off every word they are told by people like van Beynen. Nothing will change their minds, not even compensation.

  4. Nothing more disgusting than people out to get money, what ever the cost.

    Joe should get a knighthood and a million dollars for himself, after all that tireless work he put in to solving this case.

  5. Regarding 'forces of the state gone wrong', the state employees rarely seem to be punished for their negligence or corruption.
    And compensation to the victims of the wrong doesn't seem to be a deterrent to future state employee negligence or corruption.
    If the state employees who have gone wrong went to jail, that could deter future problems.

  6. OT butcan you tell me why I have been denied permission to view "unspinnind mem moments"?

  7. I don't know. I tried to go in their in February only to find it closed.

    1. Sorry one site is open and the other is closed now. I do know the owner has been having some threats sent from the hate-sites, one from a person whose identity is being sought now.

  8. Memorable Moments is closed from by a problem caused by an incompetent operator. I changed settings and somehow have blocked everyone. I have sent smoke signals and expect the Lone Ranger to ride up on Tonto any minute to rescue me.

    Can't have the masses revolting - any more than they already are.