David Changed his Testimony regarding The Green Jersey

It was firmly established that the green jersey that was found newly washed by David in the washing machine was worn by the killer.  The link between the jersey and the killer is provided by the fact that fibres taken from under Stephen’s fingernails matched those from the green jersey.

James Doyle makes an error when answering questions from Michael Reed QC at Bains trial 2009

cross-examination continues: Mr Reed Page 202 Court Transcripts

A. That is correct, under Stephen’s fingernails.

Q. Those clearly, when they were tested came from a green jersey that was found having been through a washing machine?

A. Correct.

Q. The suggestion is that whoever did the killings wore the green jersey?

A. Correct.

Q. Again it depends of course as to who was wearing the green jersey?

A. Correct.

Q. David has always said that the green jersey was his father’s and it was not David’s, correct?

A. That’s correct.

This unfortunate mistake in the answers given by former Detective James Doyle at court would have given the jury the impression that David had always said the green jersey was his fathers as shown above in the transcripts, this was not the case as David "admitted in the days after the murders" in statements to the police that the green jersey belonged to his sister Arawa. He confirmed that to be the case in his second statement dated 24.6.94  But these statements saying the jersey was Arawa’s were made well before the fibres found under David’s murdered brothers fingernails linked directly to the green jersey which was obviously worn by the killer.This information from Davids statements etc concerning the green jersey comes from the court of appeal of 2003 the link to this is Here also on page 422 of Joe Karams book Trial by Ambush there is confirmation that David acknowledged that the jersey found in the wash was Arawas.

So at the first trial (at which point it must have been clear to him that evidence linked the jersey to the killer), and for the first time, David said the jersey belonged to Robin, although Arawa wore it on occasions around the house. At trial David also claimed, again for the first time, that Robin had been wearing the green jersey over the weekend. 

So David emphatically told the police in too statements that the green jersey was Arawa’s,  but then changed his testimony at trial to say the green jersey was Robins, this changing of stories by David is classic practice for people who have been caught out by the evidence and can only be seen as a lie to get themselves out of trouble. Below are the actual answers from David Bains 1995 trial in regards to his change of story regarding ownership of the killers green jersey.


Question, “You’ve said the green jersey on the dummy, exhibit 98, was your father’s jersey?”

Answer, “It was my father’s jersey, yes.”

Question, “And you have also told us that you cannot recall what jerseys you placed in the washing machine on the Monday morning, 20 June?”

Answer, “I cannot recall exactly what jerseys I put in.”

Question, “You’re certain you can't recall those jerseys?”

Answer, “Yes.”

Question, “Did you tell the police that one of the jerseys was green?”

Answer, “Yes I did.”

Question, “Did you also tell the police that it was Arawa’s jersey?”

Answer, “Yes I did.”


It was normal practice to hand wash woollen jerseys.

David says he turned on the washing machine after his paper run, and says he sorted the clothes, whites from colours, but he didn’t leave out the hand-knitted jerseys. The family practice was for those to be hand-washed. Margaret was very particular about the care of these, as was David who, while on remand, had all his jerseys hand-washed, because he didn’t want them to be spoilt by the prison laundry. There would have to have been a very unusual occurrence for him to machine wash the green jersey on the morning of the murders.





In yesterday's Dompost[8/4] there was a letter referring to that green jersey.On April 1 a letter in the Dompost referred to that jersey as being David's.The letter writer on 8/4 said it was not David's.

Now,as I understand it,when David Bain was first questioned about that jersey he said it belonged to Arawa.

Then later he said it belonged to Arawa,but that his father wore it sometimes,and was in fact was wearing it that weekend.

At some point the police showed David Bain a photo of a jersey,which he identified as being the one his father was wearing.But it was a different jersey.

So either David Bain was lying ,or his father wore two different jersey's that weekend.

What has always puzzled me is,if that jersey was Arawa's,why would anyone else be wearing it ?What would be the point?

What is also puzzling me is why this message is timed at 5.14pm,when my computer time says 4.14pm.


Re David Bain's change of story re the green jersey.It appears I might have got a little confused as to what David Bain actually testified to at trial.I am sure I read somewhere that he said that jersey was Arawa's,but that his father wore it sometimes.But it seems he may have said it was his fathers and that Arawa wore it sometimes.

Can anybody advise me which version is the correct one.

The person asking the questions below is Davids lawyer Michael Reed and the person answering is Detective Doyle, this is from the court transcripts, below the questions and answers, is information from the 2003 COA which shows that both Reed and Doyle were both incorrect on this matter, something of course the jury never heard about.

Q. The suggestion is that whoever did the killings wore the green jersey?                                                       

A. Correct.

Q. Again it depends of course as to who was wearing the green jersey?

A. Correct

Q. David has always said that the green jersey was his fathers and it was not David's, correct?

A. That's correct.

[David initially told the police the jersey belonged to Arawa.He confirmed that to be the case in his second statement. But at trial, and for the first time, David said the jersey belonged to Robin, although Arawa wore it on occasions around the house.At trial David claimed, again for the first time, that Robin had been wearing the jersey over the weekend.]  http://www.nzlii.org/cgi-bin/sinodisp/nz/cases/NZCA/2003/294.html

Well Bob I seriously believe we have been too "nice" to the Crown lawyers.

I believe its about time they came in for a bit of critisism. Understand that certain members of the investigation are not very happy with their performance. eg some were not called into the trial till very late.


The more I see of Reeds questioning the more I understand just how ruthless and underhand and devious you have to be to get someone off a murder charge, Detective Doyle was like putty in Reeds hands, he could not remember much so Reed suggested all sorts of things and quickly changed the subject if Doyle challenged anything, Reed did a great job of giving the jury misinformation, like the bit about David maintaining that his father was the owner of the green jersey, its a pity the prosecution did not challenge that.

I am starting to think the prosecution did a pretty poor job.And I would have thought Doyle,knowing he was going to be cross-examined,would have refreshed his memory by swotting up on what he knew he would be likely to be questioned about.

I always felt David Bain's change of story on the green jersey was quite telling,specially as not only did he say it was his father's but that Arawa wore it sometimes,but he also said his father was wearing it on the weekend of the murders.

And the jury didn't get to hear that.Incredible!

I hope the jury were made well aware by the prosecution that David Bain lied about wearing his mother's glasses when he took the stand at the first trial.

Jan Clark's statement was telling and of course she only came forward after the first trail.Apparently she was at the trial and was very surprised to hear David say he had forgotten about his mother's glasses,hadn't seen them for over a year,when he had had a conversation with her when he was staying with the Clark's prior to being arrested that he had been wearing his mothers glasses.

Of course we all now know that David Bain had told his lawyer before the trial that he was going to admit to wearing his mother's glasses,but obviously the jury wouldn't get to hear about that.

In reply to by Mike Stockdale


It is interesting reading again Bill Wright's summing up in the first trial.He made the point to the Jury that it is the totality of the evidence that was the importan thing pointing to David Bain's culpability and guilt.He built up the key points  ,we are now mostly familiar with. in a logical step by step progression implicating David.One or two alone could not do it but taken together in their entirety had a devastting effect.

I think the prosecution in the second trial were ambushed by the Defences propoganda barage and the key event, mindful of David Bain's woeful performance in the first trial, of not getting him to take the stand.But I tend to agree if the Prosecution had taken the lead and inspiration from Bill Wright well that could of turned the tide in their favour including the details like David's misidentifcation of his father's green jersey.

I reckon you guys are being too nice regarding the Crown Lawyers!! I reckon they were $%^&*# useless!! The case was there for the winning and they blew it.

They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

I believe that some strong minded people went into this with their minds already made up which way they were going to vote ( from a good source )  UNLESS it would be too embarrassing to vote that way (not guilty). The prosicution gave them plenty of reasons NOT to come to a just decission.

Kent, Please delete this if it isnt private!!!!

I see the green jersey, that is not my jersey, it is my father’s jersey.  Arawa wore it on occasion, just to slop around the house.  That jersey does not fit me, it is too small.  (witness stands)  During that weekend I did not wear that jersey, that weekend my father was wearing it on the Saturday afternoon I think.  No, from lunchtime through the afternoon.  On the Sunday he was wearing the tracksuit top and bottoms.  On the Sunday he was wearing what I understand he was wearing when he was killed.


This was Davids testimony at the first trial where he changes his mind and says Robin owned and was wearing the green jersey, notice at the end of the testimony David says "when he was killed".

Yes,interesting that David Bain said "when he was killed".I take it someone has the first trial transcript.

I would like to get one thing clear.When David Bain was interviewed By D/S Croudis and Detective Lowden on 24/6/94 he was asked about a dark jersey that was in the wash.

Q.A dark jersey belonging to Arawa.


This would be the green jersey the killer wore,I take it?

And Bain is obviously just confirming what he had already told the police.

In the first trial the green v necked jersey was on a a mannequin.David had tried it on and it was a tight fit.He stated  the v necked Jersey was not his,it belonged to his father.Then he was asked to identify the green jersey worn by his father in a selction of photos.He was asked if they matched the jersey he tried on.Yes he was very sure.David was asked to describe it Was it v-necked or  round? ."Round"  said David. David had identified the wrong jersey.

I believe he orginally told the police it belonged to Arawa but in court he tried to say it belonged to Robin which was not very smart.

Regarding the green jersey, I have it from a very good source that David would never have put the jersey, or any jersey for that matter through the washing machine.  He was very fastidious about jerseys and insisted that they always be handwashed.  If you put a woollen jersey through the machine and there is too much hot water in the wash then of course, the jersey shrinks but apart from that, washing machines can damage some fabrics, including wool.  I never put woollen jerseys through the wash, do you?

On the morning of the crime, DB's main concern would simply have been to remove the blood from the jersey and therefore putting it in the washing machine was the thing to do.

As I understand it ,the Bain jersies were hand knitted.If so,they would have to be handwashed.Otherwise they could have been put through the washing machine,no problem.

The other point is that anything with blood on it needs to be washed in cold water.The blood does not come out if a bloodstained garment is washed in warm water.

Mr Hentschell gave evidence that the fibres found under Stephen's fingernails were both green and brown, coming from the jersey found in the washing machine.This sugests the Jersey was blended fibres which would likely be machine made.If machine made then they could go through a cold wash.There is speculation here and what we need to focus on is the way David kept changing his story all the time and thus incriminating himself.This is possibly the key reason why the Defence  did not want him testify in the retrial.  



Ok,Ralph,I just thought that jersey he was seen in looked hand knitted.But thereagain,would Margaret Bain be the sort of person to  knit jerseys?.And if it was machine knitted and had blood on it it could go through a cold water wash and the blood would come out ok.

If David Bain had testified at the retrial I am almost sure that he would have been found guilty.

I can't see Margaret doing hand kntting and even Karam ackowleged the fact that she neglectled household duties ,though she was interested in gardening of sorts.It ias possible that a relative could of hand knitted jumpers etc from time to time but we don't have enough informatiom.

In reply to by Ralph


Yes his jersies were hand knitted.I believe David designed them for his mother to make.Unsure about the green jersey.I work in a wool shop & it is only in recent years that wool has been coated so it can be machine washed.Very unlikely back in 1994 you would put a pure wool in the washing machine

Yes,Bain would have been better to have just kept saying that the green jersey the killer wore was Arawa's.It didn't fit him all that well.I don't suppose the first trial jury got to hear that he had already said it was Arawa's,maybe that was the reason he decided to say it was his father's.But we all know he changed his story,and we know why he changed his story.

David Bain really tripped himself up in the first trial about the identification of the green jersey which on pgs 120-131 James McNeish documents in the Mask of insanity

David was asked to identify Robin in a green jersey in a photo montage .It is displayed  on a mannequin in the court room as Exhibit 98,a critical item.Whoever wore this was the killer.David has identified the green jesey in the photo montage as belonging to his father.But the crown has set a trap.Exhibit 98 is the green v necked jersey reterieved from the washing machine.It is the same one the crown asked him to try on.it looked a tight fit.He wasn't wearing the jersey that weekend.It belonged to his father.Back to the photo montage, exhibit 98.Yes his Dad was wearring Exhibit 98,the green jersey in  three of the photos.Was he sure."Yes" David replies to the crown prosecutor Bill Wright..

"Put your finger there, Mr Bain,on the photograph.Is that round or a V neck?"

"Round" ,David said.

Alas Exhibit 98 is V-necked.David Bain has identified the wrong jersey."

Possibly a key reason why Karam thought he could never allow David to take the stand again.

In a link I have ,Reed crowed about Kylie Cunninghamm stating in his time with Robin and Laniet that Robin wore a green jersey.Alas my dear Michael it wasn't it seems the same one found and recoverd in the washing machine.


I'm sorry if this has been covered elsewhere but I have had a row with someone who says the green jersey wouldn't fit David. I would be grateful if someone could please clarify.


I have often wondered why Michael Reed asked Jim Doyle that question. I mean Reed must have known that David Bain had originally said that jersey belonged to Arawa. Did Reed just take a punt, as it were, hoping that Doyle would agree with him? 


What has always puzzled me is why Reed asked Doyle that question. Reed must have been aware that David Bain had originally said that jersey belonged to Arawa.  I guess he decided to take a punt to see if Doyle remembered that David Bain had said that. And the punt worked . Doyle didn't remember.