A man accused of the shooting murders of four people in Darwin was allegedly high on drugs and searching for a woman he believed was his girlfriend before he pulled the trigger.
Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in the Northern Territory Supreme Court to four counts of murder on June 4, 2019, and a slew of other related charges.
The 47-year-old's alleged victims were Hassan Baydoun, 33, Nigel Hellings, 75, Michael Sisois, 57, and Rob Courtney, 52.
Prosecutor Lloyd Babb SC says evidence would be heard that Hoffmann had taken methamphetamine and was armed with a pump-action shotgun when he walked into the Palms Motel in the Darwin CBD and committed the first of four murders.
It was there that Hoffmann is alleged to have fatally shot caretaker Mr Baydoun four times before threatening two other men as he searched for the former caretaker, Alex Deligiannis.
“Prior to the 4th of June, the accused had expressed a strong dislike for Alex Deligiannis,” Mr Babb said during his opening address.
“I expect the evidence will be that Mr Deligiannis had at some point had some sort of relationship with Ms Collins, the woman the accused believes to be his girlfriend.”
Earlier in the day, Hoffmann allegedly threatened to kill a woman at a property where Ms Collins lived in Darwin's outskirts as he searched for her.
After leaving the Palms Motel, Hoffman is accused of driving to an apartment complex, where he shot and killed Mr Hellings before continuing to the nearby Buff Club and fatally shooting Mr Sisois in the head.
Mr Babb said Hoffman had earlier texted Mr Sisois, saying “I will f**king wreck you Sisois. Bring her to me. I will f**k you up you f**kheads”.
Hoffman then drove to Darwin Recycling where he allegedly stabbed and slashed Mr Courtney 30 times with a Bowie knife, and shot him.
Police later apprehended him as he drove back to the CBD.
Hoffmann's defence lawyer Jon Tippet QC told the jury of 15 he would not dispute many of the facts, saying they should focus on Hoffmann's psychological state when he allegedly committed the offences.
“It's the state of mind of Mr Hoffmann at the time the events took place. It's the state of mind that underpins the crime. It's the state of mind that fundamentally makes a person guilty of a crime,” he said.
The trial continues on Wednesday.Internet Explorer Channel Network