Richard Bain's friend says 'this is not the man I knew'

Richard Bain was a generous man who struggled with depression, a close friend of the accused testified on Tuesday.

Accused was 'a wounded man' who was on anti-depressants, jury hears

A friend of Richard Bain testified that he couldn't believe that his friend did what he heard on the news. (Radio-Canada)

Richard Bain was a generous man who struggled with depression, a close friend of the accused testified on Tuesday. 

Philippe Laberge told the jury in the murder trial that Bain was the type of man who donated thousands of dollars to the less fortunate at Christmas.

When his wife was dying of ALS between 2011 and 2012, Laberge said Bain would drop in several times a week to check on them.

"Every time he came over to the house, his first question was — 'Do you need me to do anything for you?'" Laberge told the court.

Bain is accused of first-degree murder for shooting lighting technican Denis Blanchette.

Blanchette was killed outside the Metropolis concert hall on the night of Sept. 4, 2012, while then-premier-designate Pauline Marois delivered her victory speech inside.

He was also a wounded man.- Philippe Laberge , Richard Bain's friend

Laberge was the Crown's witness, but the lengthy cross-examination by defence lawyer Alan Gutman brought some of the most surprising testimony to light.

The witness, who is also from Quebec's La Conception area, told the court that he's known Bain for about nine years. 

Laberge said when his wife was dying, Bain offered to build a ramp at his fishing lodge so that she could visit.

But Bain also struggled with his own issues, the jury heard.

Laberge said he knew that Bain dealt with depression after his longtime girlfriend left him. It had been Bain's dream to sell his house and start a fishing lodge on the lake, but Laberge said Bain's girlfriend refused.

"He was also a wounded man," the witness said on Tuesday, adding that the two men would sometimes sit by the water to talk about it, and Bain would cry.

It was Richard Bain's dream to sell his home and move to a fishing lodge by the lake, but his partner refused to go with him, the jury heard. (Sûreté du Québec)

Friend noticed Bain grow more anxious

Laberge couldn't recall the exact date, but he remembered at one point noticing changes in Bain. He said he started to grow more anxious and one time he was moving his hands really quickly while speaking.

He said Bain told him that his doctor had given him a new prescription, but that he'd decided to keeping taking the old medication.

Laberge said he told his friend he didn't think that was a good idea, because there could be side effects.

The Crown entered as evidence this audio recording, uploaded to Richard Henry Bain's Facebook page. "It ended in tragedy," the jury heard. "This I deeply regret." 1:48

Stockpiled for H1N1 outbreak

With prompting from the defence, the witness also told the court that Bain stockpiled during the time of the H1N1 flu pandemic.

He said Bain asked him to help create an inventory of everything stored in his basement, including enough food, water and vitamins to survive for at least six months.

Bain had also stockpiled semi-automatic weapons and ammunition.

Before the end of Laberge's cross-examination, the defence asked the witness to watch some footage from the night of the shooting.

In it, Bain is seen wearing a blue bathrobe as he's led away from the crime scene by police. He shouts "The English are waking up!"

Laberge told the court, "this is not the man I knew."

​The Crown is expected to wrap its case by next Monday at the latest.

The trial will then be suspended until July 18, when the defence will start its case.

About the Author

Jaela Bernstien is a reporter based in Montreal. She's covered a wide range of news topics, ranging from criminal trials to ice age caves, and everything in between.