As I said when the conviction was overturned back in early 2007, I never really believed that David was a killer. From the outset of what has been demonstrated to be a shonky, rail-roading investigation by redneck Dunedin police, this case smelled fishy. And like other high-profile cases such as the Haig and Ellis debacles, the police identified who they considered a culprit to be, and proceeded to compile evidence and opinion to convict him. It is disgraceful investigation, and once again the New Zealand police should hang their head in shame.

What currently interests me is how people’s opinions are forming now that the case against Bain has collapsed. It seems that after so many years of believing that Bain is guilty, the presumption of innocence to which we all have a right has been dispensed with, and I constantly read or hear people saying, “I guess they just couldn’t prove it.”

But… David isn’t guilty, he is innocent, and stood accused of a crime. The case to proof that he was guilty was poorly constructed, narrow, and ignored wider patterns of evidence in favour of an opinion formed by police. But an opinion is not sufficient reason to assume guilt. The only reason to assume guilt is a weight of evidence proving the accusation.

As I say, I’ve never assumed guilt on Bain’s part. David is very close in age to me. We are both tall and gangly, and were very much “odd-balls” in our teens and early twenties. Consequently when I heard of the killings, and that he was charged, I saw how his reactions were described and thought that I would have reacted in a very, very similar manner – had I come home and found my entire family slain and lying in their own blood. Furthermore, I was used to the way in which “mainstream” assholes react to someone who was, like me, a freak. Consequently I immediately understood how people could jump to the conclusion, i.e. to assume, that a poof who likes theatre and opera is the most likely person to “flip out”.

So the whole railroading of Bain into prison, to likely repeated rape, beatings and the guarantee of deprivation of liberty, has always… rankled.

You can imagine then my pleasure at his being released, and at the embarrassment of the police who convicted him. The last 13 weeks have presented to us, filtered by the media, a much broader and more intuitive picture of what was happening in the Bain household, one which the court of public opinion was largely deprived of for 13 years, and which should be testiment to the injustice weighted upon this young man.

For what it’s worth David, there are plenty of us who never believed you should have been convicted. And if it is a trial by your peers, it is better than we should have stood in judgement. But that is a regret the public will long have to carry. Though the Crown will doubtless deprive you of recompense for what you’ve undergone, I’m wishing that your life, from here, is a new one.

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