Friday, August 06, 2010

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Timeline: David Bain...

 June 20, 1994 - David Bain's parents, Robin and Margaret, two sisters, Laniet and Arawa, and brother, Stephen, are shot and killed in their Dunedin home. Bain calls emergency services in a distraught state.

* June 24, 1994 - Bain is charged with five counts of murder. The following day the rest of his family are farewelled by 1000 mourners.

* July 7, 1994 - Bain home is razed by Fire Service at request of family.

* October 1994 - Depositions hearing begins and Bain is committed for trial in May 1995.

* May 8, 1995 - Three-week-long murder trial begins in the High Court at Dunedin. Unprecedented public and media interest.

* May 29, 1995 - Jury finds Bain guilty on all five murder counts.

* June 21, 1995 - Bain sentenced to mandatory life term, with a minimum non-parole period of 16 years.

* December 19, 1995 - Court of Appeal dismisses Bain appeal.

* May, 1996 - A petition to Privy Council seeking leave to appeal fails.

* July 22, 1996 - Court of Appeal lifts suppression order covering defence witness Dean Cottle and evidence that was to have been presented at Bain's murder trial. It alleges Laniet told Cottle that her father was having an incestuous affair with her and she was going to confront the family.

* April 16, 1997 - Joe Karam launches his book, David and Goliath. It says Robin, not David, was the killer, and that police botched the investigation.

* May 5, 1997 - Police appoint Assistant Commissioner Brion Duncan to head an independent inquiry reviewing police handling of the murder investigation.

* June 23, 1997 - James McNeish releases his book, The Mask of Sanity, which concludes that David was the killer.

* November 25, 1997 - Police in the murder investigation are cleared by the joint police and Police Complaints Authority inquiry. It finds no serious flaws in the police investigation and says criticism that police were incompetent is unjustified.

* March 1998 - Police officers to sue Karam over claims in his book.

* June 1998 - Petition of 113 pages and 290-page supporting document seeking a pardon for Bain is lodged with the Governor-General.

* June 1999 - Former Dunedin pathologist Jim Gwynne presents petition to Governor-General seeking pardon for Bain. Dr Gwynne says evidence shows Robin Bain committed suicide.

* June 9, 2000 - Damages suit brought against Karam by two Dunedin detectives, one since retired, fails in the High Court at Auckland.

* December 19, 2000 - Bain has aspects of his case referred back to the Court of Appeal. Justice Minister Phil Goff said an investigation had shown that "a number of errors" may have occurred in the Crown's presentation of its case.

* October 2002 - Court of Appeal considers four aspects of the case referred to it by Mr Goff.

* December 20, 2002 - Mr Goff announces the case is to be reheard in full by Court of Appeal.

* September, 2003 - Court of Appeal hears case.

* December 13, 2003 - Court of Appeal decides a retrial was not needed on the grounds that the new evidence would not have changed the jury's verdict.

* June 7, 2006 - Bain's legal team wins right to a full Privy Council hearing.

* March 8, 2007 - Five-day Privy Council hearing in London begins.

* May 10, 2007 - Privy Council delivers decision, ordering a retrial.

* May 15, 2007 - Bain granted bail at hearing in Christchurch High Court

* June 21, 2007 - Solicitor-General rules that Bain will face a retrial

* March 6, 2009 - Retrial begins. Bain pleads not guilty to five charges of murder

* June 4, 2009 - Retrial ends, jury begin deliberations

* June 6, 2009 - David Bain found not guilty of all the murders

Consideration for seeking compensation from the Crown: Is David Bain actually innocent? Being found not guilty on the evidence of the last trial is not good enough. Now the debate in New Zealand society continues. It will have  be up to Prime Minister, John Key,  and  his Cabinet  to  decide his innocence.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Minnie Dean  - child killer - only woman ever hanged in New Zealand...

First published at Qondio:

Williamina "Minnie” Dean - 1847 - 1895.

Minnie Dean has the distinctly dubious honour of being the only woman to be legally hanged in New Zealand.

She was reportedly born in 1847, being christened Williamina Dean in Edinburgh, Scotland. She married and had two daughters, whose fate is unknown. In 1868 she emigrated to New Zealand, living in Southland with an old woman named Granny Kelly. In 1872, she married Charles Dean, an old Southland settler, and in 1886 they moved to a 22-acre estate in East Winton, known as The Larches.

The Deans made their home in Winton:

Winton is situated 19 miles from Invercargill city on the railway line that then ran from the Southland capital to Kingston. A fire destroyed their home when they first moved in and they were then forced to live in a small twenty-two feet by twelve feet dwelling, which was either already built or built for them.

Minnie Dean sets up her baby farming business:

Minnie Dean set up a baby-farming business, advertising children for adoption. This type of business was popular with lower income women in New Zealand and other parts of the then British Empire. The babies she took into care were illegitimate children brought from their mothers, provided few questions were asked. In October 1889, Minne Irene Dean, came to the attention of the authorities after a six-month-old baby died three days after being taken ill while in her care but the death certificate showed natural causes due to convulsions. Two years later, in May 1891, a six week old baby died, again in Dean's care. An inquest was held but it found that death was from natural causes.

Minnie Dean began to get secretive:

Dean reportedly became more secretive with her dealings and began advertising using false names. In May 1895, a railway guard reported he had seen a woman board the train with a baby but disembark without it. This happened within the train range of East Winton and police began their enquiries. This led police to a Mrs Hornsby who resided in Dunedin. She told police she had handed over her one-month-old grand-daughter with money to Dean at Milburn, four miles north of Milton. Police then brought Mrs Hornsby to The Larches, Dean's residence. While there she recognised not only Dean but a piece of baby's clothing belonging to her grand-daughter.

Dean was arrested:

Dean was arrested and sent to Dunedin to await trial. Police searched the flowerbeds on the Deans property and found two babies bodies buried. Charles Dean was also arrested and the six children in their care were taken away by police. The two bodies were identified as Eva Hornsby (Mrs Hornsby's grand-daughter) and Dorothy Edith Carter (handed over to Minnie by her grandmother. On August 12, 1895, Minnie Dean, at Invercargill prison , was marched to the gallows. Her final words were "No, I have nothing to say, except that I am innocent". She was then hanged and as they often say, met her maker.

The search continued:

The search continued after Minnie Deans's execution, and another baby's body was found. Dean had been charged with the murder of two infants. After further examination of the case, the charges against her husband Charles Dean were dropped. The police theory was that she had taken the Carter infant on the train from Winton and changed trains to get to Lumsden. During the trip to Lumsden she had allegedly killed the child and concealed it's body in a hat box she was carrying. Staying overnight in Lumsden, she boarded the Waimea Plains train to Gore, where she then boarded the Dunedin Express. At Milburn, she met Mrs Hornsby, leaving the hatbox and it's contents in a waiting room. She was accompanied by Mrs Hornsby on another train to Clarendon, the next station on the way to Dunedin. She alighted with Eva Hornsby in her arms and waved goodbye to Mrs Hornsby who continued on to Dunedin. It is here, where Eva Hornsby was smothered. Dean wrapped her body into a parcel and boarded the train back to Clinton. On the way she picked up the hatbox from Milburn. Now carrying two dead babies, she went back to Winton.

The case was heard:

Witnesses began to deliver their testimony. The jury heard: Oilcloth which was found wrapped around Dorothy Edith Carter's body came from the Dean's home. The railway guard who saw Dean get on the train with the hatbox and baby and leave carrying a hatbox only; this was probably a defining part of the evidence. A friend who lived with the Deans for fourteen years identified Minnie's handwriting as the signature 'M.Gray' in the Bluff poison register. Dean claimed she had carried flower bulbs in the hatbox - but the woman who Dean said she had got them off said she had only given her flower cuttings. The clothing found in Dean's possession was identified as that of Dorothy Edith Carter. Several bottles of laudanum and chlorodyne were found in Dean's bedroom. Even though Dean was identified by both grandmothers as the woman they gave their grand-daughters to, she denied it, but finally admitting it under duress and with the evidence of the clothes.

The verdict was 'guilty of the murder' of Dorothy Edith Carter. The sentence - death by hanging!

She had now moved into New Zealand's criminal history as being the only woman executed there


The 'Winton baby-farmer'

Minnie Dean

In 1895 Southland's Williamina (Minnie) Dean became the first – and only – woman to be hanged in New Zealand. Her story exposed the stark realities of paid childcare (called baby farming by some people) and the lack of choice that many women faced in this period, the late nineteenth century. It was also a period of economic depression in New Zealand, and perhaps elsewhere in the British Empire. Minnie Dean's name has become historically synonymous with child killing. Songs were written and sung by children about Minnie Deans' evil deeds.

Acknowledgements:  Peter Petterson
First  NZ soldier killed, and two injured  in Afghanistan...

Lieutenant Timothy O'Donnell had been in the Army for five years and was decorated for his actions in Timor Leste, formerly East Timor.

The New Zealand soldier killed in Afghanistan overnight was a decorated officer who had been in the army for five years.

Lieutenant Timothy Andrew O'Donnell, 28, died and two of his fellow soldiers were injured when their patrol was ambushed in the province of Bamyan. A local interpreter with the patrol was also injured during the attack.

Who was Lieutenant Timothy Andrew O'Donnell?

Lt O'Donnell was part of the guard of honor at Sir Edmund Hillary's funeral.

He had also served as part of the peace keeping force in Timor Leste where he was awarded The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration for rescuing some 600 people from an ambush druing a political rally. Read the citation here.

Lt O'Donnell - New Zealand's first combat casualty in Afghanistan - was part of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team and was based in Bamyan town in Bamyan Province.

Lt O'Donnell told TVNZ last month that the Afghanistan National Police needed more training.

"They still require a lot of work," he said.

"For police - they're not like the police back home. They don't go around really arresting people, they're basically security guards. But it's our job to build up their capacity and develop them so one day when we pull out, they'll be capable of taking over."

Lieutenant O'Donnell a 'free spirit', says Defence chief

Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae described Lt O'Donnell as a "free spirit". He said he had spoken to the officer's family this morning and passed on his condolences.

Lt-Gen Mateparae told media Lt O'Donnell had been part of a routine patrol when a bomb went off under one of the vehicles at about 4am local time (12.30am NZT).

After the initial explosion the personnel were able to extricate themselves from the vehicles and take cover in a nearby building and consolidate their position. The attack lasted about 20-30 minutes Lt-Gen Mateparae said.

"Three New Zealand vehicles which made up the patrol came under a complex attack by as yet unknown assailants," he said.

"We believe that an improvised explosive device or IED was detonated and then the patrol came under fire from two positions with rocket-propelled grenades and other small arms fire."

He said it was not clear if the Lt O'Donnell had been killed by the IED or gunshots.

It took 11 hours to get the wounded back to base and Lt-Gen Mateparae praised the operation to get support to the soldiers after the attack.

"The tactics, techniques and processes have been very professional," he said.

Lt-Gen Mateparae said the patrol was backed up by Afghanistan National Police but helicopters could not get to the site because of bad weather.

Injured soldiers injuries not life-threatening

He said the two soldiers were seriously hurt but that their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

One of the injured NZ soldiers had burns to 10 per cent of his body, as well as cuts and abrasions. The second had cuts and abrasions and a suspected broken foot, he said.

The injured men have not been named and it is expected that they will be evacuated to Germany to a military hospital for treatment.

Lt-Gen Mateparae said Defence Force was trying to get the body of Lt O'Donnell and the wounded soldiers back to New Zealand "as expeditiously as possible".

"On behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force we extend our sincere condolences to the family of this brave New Zealander."

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said the attack showed "the dangers faced by our defence people everyday in Afghanistan".

"The Provincial Reconstruction Team has been been working to assist the people of Bamyan province but it remains a dangerous place especially in the place where this attack occurred on a New Zealand patrol in the north-east."

Mr Mapp said he sent his aroha to Lt O'Donnell's family and the two wounded.

He said it was unusual for a soldier of Lt O'Donnell's rank to receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration.

"The Government has the responsibility to deploy our young people overseas and serve our country. We all know, that in making these decisions, it is they who pay the price and in this instance it is Lt O'Donnell who has paid the ultimate price," Mr Mapp said.

New Zealand prime inister John Key was  woken to be told of the shocking news.

In Vanuatu, Prime Minister John Key told media the attack involved 10 to 12 soldiers and three cars on patrol. He said it took place about half an hour after the soldiers had visited a neighbouring village.

The attack was in the north-eastern corner of Bamyan in an area where skirmishes were not uncommon and there had been heightened attacks and a "degree of anxiety".

"It wasn't possible to get air support services to give them cover because the weather was too bad at the time. We don't know exactly what's caused the death and injury and I wouldn't want to speculate until we had some better information."

Mr Key said he had been woken and informed of the attack about 1.30am.

Mr Key said he had spoken with Lt O'Donnell's mother and passed on his condolences to her.

He said he would not go into details of the conversation but the soldier's mother had asked to pass on her regards to the families of the injured soldiers.

"I think that shows extraordinary bravery and courage on her part and shows the strength of the wider military family."

Mr Key said the injured soldiers had primarily suffered burns and cuts and that one had a leg injury. They are receiving medical treatment in Afghanistan.

Lt O'Donnell's death not a reason to withdraw - Key

Mr Key said the military was reviewing its procedures, tactics and equipment for Bamyan but that he did not see the incident as a reason to withdraw from the province, or from Afghanistan.

In an earlier statement, Mr Key said Lt O'Donnell's death reinforced the danger New Zealand troops faced.

"This is New Zealand's first combat loss in Afghanistan and reinforces the danger faced daily by our forces as they work tirelessly to restore stability to the province," Mr Key said.

"It is with enormous sadness that I acknowledge that this soldier has paid a high price and my thoughts are with his family and the families of the injured."

Political reaction

Labour leader Phil Goff said Lt O'Donnell's death was a sad reminder that defence personnel put their lives at risk.

"Our thoughts and sympathy are with the family of the soldier who was killed and on behalf of the Labour Party I offer them our sincere condolences," Mr Goff said.

Green Party Defence Spokesman Keith Locke said he was saddened by the death and also sent his condolences to the families of the men and the NZDF.

"We are proud of the good peacekeeping and reconstruction work that our Provincial Reconstruction Team has done in Bamyan Province, and we mourn the loss of one of its members."

The New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team The New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team's (NZPRT) headquarters in the province is Kiwi Base. To the south is the airfield while the main township and bazaar are located to the north of the base.

The sixteenth rotation of the (NZPRT), commanded by Colonel John Boswell arrived in Afghanistan in April and were expected to remain in the country for about six months.

John Key visited Bamyan earlier this year, and the Government has announced that the NZPRT will extend their secondment until September 2011.

The force works on maintaining security in Bamyan Province, and carries out frequent patrols throughout the area.

It also supports the provincial and local government by providing advice and assistance to the Provincial Governor, the Afghan National Police and district sub-governors.

The NZPRT also identifies, prepares and provides project management for NZAID projects within the region.

It consists of four liaison (LNO) teams supported by infantry, engineers, staff officers, communications and logistic staff.

The first NZPRT deployment to Afghanistan departed in August 2003 on a four month rotation.

New Zealand also has a small number of Special Air Service personnel serving in Afghanistan. In total New Zealand has approximately 140 personnel in Bamyan and about 80 SAS soldiers in Kabul.

As a New Zealand Defence Force spokesman said, we ran out of luck because there  have been ambushes previously.

Acknowledgements:  - NZPA, Derek Cheng, NZ HERALD STAFF

Monday, August 02, 2010

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