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Fingerprint Experts Disagree At Bain Trial

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 22 NZPA - A British fingerprint expert has told David Bain's murder trial he did not believe the fingerprints on the stock of the rifle used in the murders had been applied with pressure.

Dr Carl Lloyd's testimony differs from that of the Crown's fingerprint expert, Kim Jones, Christchurch's Court News website reports.

Bain is on trial for the murder of five members of his family at their Dunedin home in June, 1994.

Dr Lloyd said excess pressure would bring the ridges and furrows on a fingerprint together and black out the fingerprint. The ridges on the photographs shown to the court were what he would expect without pressure being used. He said just touching the item would leave a fingerprint as shown.

He agreed with Mr Jones that there was no way to age fingerprints, so he could not say if the prints were put on the rifle at the time of the murders, or sometime before.

Mr Jones told the jury in his evidence that the fingerprints would be smudged if there had been a fight.

Dr Lloyd disagreed, saying the area of the fingerprints would not be used in a fight.

He said fingerprints could last a considerable amount of time, and in one case he had found one that had been on a surface for seven years.

He was shown the right middle fingerprint of Bain's brother Stephen found on the rifle silencer.

He said he could not understand how anyone could say that David Bain's and Stephen Bain's fingerprints were all put on the rifle at the same time, as there was no way of ageing a fingerprint.

His cross-examination by crown prosecutors has been deferred until next week and will take place by video-link from Britain.

Marjolein Copeland, a doctor, said she had a consultation with Bain's sister Laniet in November 1993.

She examined Laniet Bain, who told her she was a prostitute.

While Laniet was there she had a call on her cellphone and told the caller she was not available for the next four days.

When Dr Copeland told her it was highly likely she had a sexually transmitted disease and she had to abstain from sex for four days, Laniet's demeanour changed and she said that it wasn't going to be easy.

She said she was going to stay with her father, and Dr Copeland said to her that she didn't appear to be very happy about it.

She said that she was in a hurry and had to go, Dr Copeland said.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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