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Warrant Issued For Laniet Bain's Alleged Pimp

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch, May 26 NZPA - An arrest warrant has been issued for a man alleged to have been the pimp of murdered Laniet Bain.

The warrant was issued in the High Court in Christchurch for Dean Cottle, a potential witness in the trial of David Bain who is accused of shooting dead his sister Laniet and four other family members at their Dunedin home in 1994.

Michael Reed QC, defence counsel for Bain, today told the court his case was finished subject to the arrest of Dean Cottle.

He said Mr Cottle had not been found at his work or home and the defence was reliant on police arresting him.

Mr Reed said if Cottle was not found he wanted parts of his affidavit read to the court.

Dean Cottle and his relationship to Laniet, 18, had been previously referred to in evidence in the retrial.

The court had been told of allegations that Cottle was Laniet Bain's pimp and was blackmailing Laniet by threatening to tell her parents she was working as a prostitute.

A friend of Laniet Bain gave evidence that Mr Cottle was blackmailing Laniet over her work as a prostitute and requiring her to have sex with him at least once a week and do "horrible and graphic things".

Aside from Mr Cottle, Mr Reed said all of the defence's witnesses had been heard.

The prosecution are still to cross-examine another witness via video link from the United Kingdom.

Today an Australian defence expert told the court Laniet Bain was shot in the top of the head, through an object such as a pillow or cushion.

Peter Ross, a forensic officer with the Victorian police, said he was quite confident that the order of the three shots at Laniet could be established.

He believed the first shot was to the top of her head.

She must have been upright with her head facing the muzzle and the shooter, Mr Ross said.

He believed she was shot through a substantial object -- maybe a pillow or cushion -- because fibres were found on the bullet fragments in her brain.

The position she was found in meant she would not have been able to get out of bed, walk around or move substantially after the top shot wound, so she had flopped back on the bed.

She may have attempted to get out of bed, bent over from the waist with her head down for example, and the shooter would have been in line between her and the door, he said.

The next shot would have been the one above the ear, while the third would have been to the cheek, a relatively close shot. There was no evidence there was any head movement after that shot.

He said the first and second shots would have been in quick succession. From where the blood was, he believed she must have been in a relatively upright position for the second shot as well.

His theory depended on the orientation of Laniet's head. The first shot was to the exposed top of her head, then her head remained in a relatively upright position even though she was unconscious. There would be a short time for the second shot, and her head falling on the pillow, he said

David Bain had told police that he heard her groan when he went into her room.

Mr Ross told the jury of a time when he was called to a major hospital in Melbourne to attend a woman who had just died. He said he arrived within an hour after she was reported dead. When he was in a room with the body, he heard a big sigh.

He rushed out to ask the emergency room staff if they were sure she was dead as she had just groaned.

The doctors told him not to worry, as that could happen.

Mr Ross was the last of the defence's 53 witnesses. The defence contends Bain's father Robin killed the other four family members before shooting himself with a Winchester .22 calibre rifle which belonged to his son David, now 37.

The jury was sent home this afternoon and the trial will resume again tomorrow morning with a video link to Britain.


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