Followers of the Bain case will be familiar with the questions put to David about blood found on a towel in the laundry on the morning his family were killed. David was asked how the blood got onto the towel, an important question in context of the murder inquiry but the presumption that David should know how the blood arrived there tells us exactly what the mindset of the officer was. The detective had already decided that David was guilty and therefore knew how the blood got that onto the towel or was somehow at least responsible for an explanation.
Leaving that for a moment to look at another significant piece of evidence the computer turn on time. This was heralded as being critical by police because it proved David wrote the suicide note. It was so critical that Detective Anderson timing the tracing of the computer turn on time with an expert gave the expert a time 2 minutes earlier than the actual time. He would later explain this situation as one he would have 'cleared up,' or words to that effect, had he been asked. The reality is the significance of the computer message was a foundation of the case against David yet first of all police would mislead the technician about the actual time of the test, then bury that information thus giving weight to the Crown's false assertion that David was indeed home when the computer was turned on. This went further though, a police computer 'expert' that calculated the turn on time for the Crown would later admit that his opinion evidence on the computer turn on time was an impossibility. Somewhere along the line a police officer gives a false time to a technician allowing another impossibility that David was home before the computer was turned on, later an expert calculates that time using a mid point between 2 stated times, one of which was an impossibility but which however gives the 'right' result to support the claim that David was home, turned the computer on and wrote the suicide note. Some readers will recall that the Crown toward the end of their case conceded that Robin had most likely turned on the computer as they would drop that infamous, and wrong, claim that Robin's fingerprints should have been found on the rifle. If they knew that the computer can't have been turned on when David was home why did they say the opposite for so many years, why did Anderson keep mum about the truth of the time, or Kleintjes manufacture a false and impossible relative time point to 'prove' David was home. More to the point would be the question as to why the Crown ever let such material into evidence when they knew it was false, if they didn't know it was false they would never have made concessions in relation to it during trial number 2.
By diverting to the fingerprints, and the computer turn on time, we have the opportunity to show how the police put their theories into practice, they simply misled on the facts. This wasn't earlier in the inquiry, this was at the point of the 'guilty mindset' being all absorbing. The bloody towel, on the other hand, was in the early days of the inquiry before David had even been charged. On what basis could David have been asked to explain blood on a towel, that time would show belonged to his father? None, absolutely none. Looking at that question another way was it fair to ask David to explain something that he didn't know about and later use that against him, or was this an example of the police pulling a case based on something they were yet to have evidence to support? Wouldn't normal procedure be to test whose blood it was on the towel and leave the traumatised young man alone until that fact was discovered? Yes it would be normal, but this wasn't a normal investigation because police had already decided David was guilty as evidenced by that question.
Moving to the revelation that it was Robin's blood on the towel, blood soaked as it has been described in a damning way against David. If it had been so important for David to explain how blood got on the towel, then in 2003 when police learnt that it was in fact Robin's blood on the towel, which fitted therefore, with the murder/suicide scenario - why then did the police not re-evaluate their entire position? By then they already had an opinion from their own pathologist that Robin's wound was likely suicide, they knew from their own files that David had not been home when the computer was booted, they knew of Robin's state of mind, that it would also be expected that his fingerprints would not be on the rifle, that Robin's palms had blood on them and that his hands had bleed - a match no doubt for the towel. Instead they kept 'manfully' on, presenting again their discredited case as though there was no alternative such as, for example, conceding that Robin was plainly the killer.
Why would the Crown and police not be disturbed to find that it was Robin's blood on the towel, a towel found contemporaneously with Robin's body with blood on his hands? Wasn't it a reasonable and deduct-able conclusion that towel with Robin's blood on it showed even more clearly that he had killed first his family and then himself? Yes it was. I'm unaware of whether the Crown had any explanation for that blood which previously had been 'evidence' against David, even though his hands were clean, he had no recent wounds that would have produced blood and unlike his father he didn't have red matter found under his nails. I've read that one of Robin's wounds was across a vein on his hand, veins of course bleed profusely but because of the difficulty Robin had cleaning his palms, leaving smear marks, one would expect that he would have had similar trouble with the tops of his hands, particularly because of the abrasions and bruises there that would have been becoming quite sore as he reflected on what he had done whilst he cleaned himself up as well as he could.
Any rugby player or contact sport player knows that besides an artery or a deep cut, a forehead wound etc, a blow to the nose causes profuse blood. The blood on the towel, that on Robin's palms and damaged hands, the evidence of the fight in Stephen's room completed the basic picture of Robin's guilt, not tricky science, not loaded questions, hidden times, and hidden statements but straight forward proof, Robin had been fighting that morning, he had the blood on his hands and on the towel he used, to prove that.
That bloody towel is the towel now around the necks of the Crown, it was the Crown that accepted the 'importance' of the towel when the blood was thought to Stephen's but never tested, washed off from the hands of David. But when it proved to be Robin's blood, good proof that he was the killer - it was no longer important. Looking back over some notes taken from Joe Karam's Trial By Ambush today I saw that I noted that Detective's Van Turnhout's 'recovered memory' of seeing a lens on the chair in David's room had never been recorded in the 15 years he had forgotten it before his memory burst at the second trial. And on those glasses that the police have so badly discredited themselves over, it has long been recorded that David's vision was 75% normal without glasses.
Every where you look in this case police misconduct has been at work by a few officers, but the greater worry is that the Crown chose to overlook that. I suspect Binnie's report, if it has highlighted these obvious facts sits uncomfortably in the care of the Justice Department, uncomfortable as Robin must have felt wiping his own copious spilt blood on that towel.