Darwin CBD shooting trial witnesses give evidence about alleged Palms Motel murder

© Provided by ABC NEWS Benjamin Hoffmann is accused of murdering four men in Darwin’s CBD in June 2019. (Supplied: Elizabeth Howell)

A woman has told a jury in the Darwin CBD shooting trial that her partner used himself as a “human shield” to protect her from bullets before carrying her down the street.

The alleged gunman Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, 47, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and 10 other charges, including recklessly endangering life.

Mr Hoffmann is accused of killing four men – Hassan Bayoun, Michael Sisois, Nigel Hellings and Robert Courtney – across Darwin’s inner suburbs on June 4, 2019.

On the second day of the trial, eyewitnesses who lived at or near the Palms Motel – where the prosecution alleges the murder of Mr Bayoun took place – gave evidence.

The court heard Mr Bayoun was the caretaker at the Palms Motel at the time.

‘I thought he was pranking me’

One female witness told the court she was asleep with her partner when she awoke to banging at their door from a man she did not recognise.

“[The man] sounded very aggressive and very determined to try and get what he wanted,” she said.

The witness said after her partner answered the door and shut it again, he told her to get down because the man had a gun.

“I didn’t believe him, I thought he was pranking me,” she said.

“[Then] my partner was on top of me trying to be a human shield, I think at that stage I got hit when the bullets were flying.”

The court heard the woman’s partner then carried her down the street looking for help and that she was later admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital with puncture wounds to her legs.

Another witness told crown prosecutor Lloyd Babb SC that Mr Hoffmann was part of a “close circle of friends” and called her on the day of the shootings to look for a man named Alex.

She told the court Alex was in her car at the time and that Mr Hoffmann said, “Bring him to me” and she replied, “No”.

The jury was also shown short extracts of mobile phone vision filmed by two nearby residents who told the court they heard gunshots.

Earlier in the day, several residents from the Northern Territory town of Humpty Doo told the court an “angry” man carrying a gun entered their property on the day of the shootings.

Two witnesses said a man drove onto their property, got out of his car and spoke to them while holding a gun.

They said the man told them he was “looking for a dingo”.

“He just seemed really angry and like he was on a mission to do something,” one witness said.

The other witness said she asked him if he was from Wildcare NT, which helps rescue injured wildlife, and that he said “something like that”.

The witness alleged the man attempted to run her down while driving out the property.

“I put my hand up to stop him and he was aiming straight for me and I jumped out of the way,” the witness said.

Mr Hoffmann’s lawyer Jon Tippett QC suggested the man was just driving in a straight line out of the property.

“He was aiming at me,” the witness replied.

The trial continues.

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