I was wrrr ... wrrrooo ... not right.

It looks like a lot of people owe David Bain an apology - as well as an awful lot of cash. Here's my contribution (to the apologies, anyway).

The beauty of this blogging lark is that it is very easy to quickly develop an opinion on whatever happens to be prominent in the news on a given day, pad it out into a few hundred words with a couple of links, throw it up onto the web ... then move on to next week's installment. And because there's so many people saying so much stuff about so many things on the internets, there's (usually) no-one around to keep a tally of whether anything any particular person says turns out to be true - or a load of old cobblers.

But every now and then I've been known to crow about my perspicacity regarding current events. So, in the interests of intellectual honesty, I thought I better put my hand up when I got something wrong.

Back in the aftermath of "the trial of the century", I wrote a couple of posts regarding David Bain and his struggle for compensation following his acquittal for murder and release from nearly 13 years of imprisonment. While I didn't positively state a belief in Bain's guilt - indeed, I made the mealy-mouthed claim that "I've tried to avoid tangling myself up in the evidence on this issue, so I don't really claim to know one way or the other if he can [prove his innocence]" - the manner in which they were written indicated a pretty healthy scepticism about Bain's chances of getting anything. That was a scepticism that, I think it is safe to say, was widely shared amongst my fellows in the legal academy and profession generally.

It now looks like that point of view, and the attendant assumption of Bain's guilt-in-fact, was misplaced. According to the Herald, by way of Newstalk ZB, the retired Canadian Supreme Court Judge Ian Binnie has concluded that on the balance of probabilities Bain is innocent of all the charges laid against him. That is to say, he's not only not guilty of killing his family at a criminal standard of proof, but it is more likely than not he did not do it as a matter of fact. 

That's good enough for me. And so, I am sorry for the tone of my previous posts. It was wrong, and so was the unstated belief underpinning it.