Accused Darwin killer protecting ex-lover

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann admitted he may have killed innocent people during his rampage in Darwin.
Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann admitted he may have killed innocent people during his rampage in Darwin.

In the days after a love-sick man allegedly murdered four people during a drug-fuelled rampage across Darwin he expressed no remorse and remained unsure if he'd killed his target.

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann also admitted that he may have killed innocent people as he attempted to "punish" those he believed were responsible for raping his former partner.

The 47-year-old has pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder on June 4, 2019, saying he'd been poisoned and was temporarily insane when the killings happened.

Mental health social worker Kym Maree Friese assessed Hoffmann with a psychiatric team over a number of weeks after he was arrested.

During an interview on June 10, Hoffmann expressed concerns that he could have killed the "wrong people".

"I think I may have got the wrong people instead of the right people," Ms Friese said, quoting Hoffmann as she read her clinical notes.

"I asked him do you think your actions would have been appropriate if you got the 'right people'," she told the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Thursday.

"No Miss, it would still make it wrong but at least it would be the right people," Hoffmann responded.

Ms Friese said Hoffman "didn't report feelings of guilt, instead, he focused on feelings of embarrassment".

Nine days later, Hoffmann admitted to Ms Friese that he might have killed innocent people on June 4.

"I had a complete mind blank, I was furious about what happened to me on that night and what happened to my friend and what continues to happen," Ms Friese said, quoting Hoffmann during the June 19 meeting.

"I acted on a suspicion. I might have had the wrong address. There might have been innocent people involved.

"Although I went to the right addresses they might have been innocent people."

By late June, Hoffmann had told Ms Friese that his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Collins, had been sexually abused and he had acted to protect her.

"You know police, mental health and other services didn't help Kellie when she was raped. I had to help her and fix the injustice of what was done to her," he said, according to the clinical notes from the assessment.

"Where were the police, where was her support? I was pushed by inaction to punish those who did this to her, but nobody will admit their part because they didn't give me the help I needed and look what happened."

Hoffmann also told Ms Friese that he'd "deteriorated into someone who was going to retaliate".

"It was all a big f***up," he said.

"I wonder if I deserved any of this? What was I supposed to do? I was sticking up for my friend."

The court has previously heard Hoffmann, who has a history of illicit drug abuse, was high on methamphetamine during the shooting spree.

After the killings, he told police he believed he'd been poisoned on June 3 and it had caused him to be "out of his mind" and temporarily insane.

Earlier, psychiatrist Robert Parker said he examined Hoffmann in police custody soon after he was arrested and concluded he wasn't suffering from a significant psychiatric illness.

During the interview, Prof Parker asked Hoffmann if he'd experienced any hallucinations or if voices were telling him to perform actions, to which he replied "no".

But in the weeks after, Hoffmann reported during two further assessments that he was hearing his mother's voice and it was telling him to self-harm.

"Even though I look healthy, I feel like my mind is f***ed," Hoffmann was reported to have said, according to notes taken at the examination.

Prof Parker concluded Hoffmann wasn't suffering from psychosis and said there was also no evidence he had been suffering hallucinations.

However, he said Hoffmann appeared to be struggling to adjust to prison life while he was on remand before his trial.

Prof Parker also found no evidence that Hoffmann had been poisoned as he had claimed.

The Crown says Hoffmann was searching for his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Collins, and a man she said she loved, Alex Deligiannis, when the shootings happened at four locations in less than an hour.

The trial has also heard evidence that Hoffmann believed Mr Deligiannis had interfered in his relationship with Ms Collins and that she was the victim of men who sold drugs and lured women into prostitution.

Hoffmann met Ms Collins in early 2019 in drug rehab, where the pair fell in love and planned a life together.

Hassan Baydoun, 33, Nigel Hellings, 75, Michael Sisois, 57 and Rob Courtney, 52, are the men killed.

Mr Deligiannis had previously visited three of the locations where the men died.

The trial continues Tuesday.

Australian Associated Press