'Search for girlfriend' before NT killings

A man accused of murdering four people in Darwin was allegedly high on drugs and searching for a woman he believed was his girlfriend and her former boyfriend before he pulled the trigger.

© Michael Franchi/AAP PHOTOS Benjamin Hoffmann was allegedly high on drugs when he shot the Palms Motel caretaker in Darwin.

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann has pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in the Northern Territory Supreme Court to murdering Hassan Baydoun, 33, Nigel Hellings, 75, Michael Sisois, 57, and Rob Courtney, 52 on June 4, 2019.

The 47-year-old was allegedly high on methamphetamine and 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 allegedly fatally shot caretaker Mr Baydoun four times before threatening two other men as he searched for Alexandros Deligiannis, prosecutor Lloyd Babb SC told the jury of 15 they would be told by witnesses during the nine-week trial.

Mr Deligiannis had previously been involved with Kellie Collins, a woman Hoffmann believed was his girlfriend, Mr Babb said.

Earlier in the day, he allegedly threatened to kill a woman at a property where Ms Collins lived in Darwin outskirts as he searched for her.

After leaving the Palms Motel, Hoffman is accused of driving to the Garden Hills apartment complex, about 2km away, where he shot and killed Mr Hellings.

Minutes later he drove to the nearby Buff Club, where he allegedly shot a former friend, Mr Sisois, in the head, killing him instantly.

Hoffman then drove about 2.5km to Darwin Recycling where he allegedly stabbed and slashed Mr Courtney 30 times with a Bowie knife and shot him.

“The knife was thrust very deeply into Mr Courtney’s body,” Mr Babb said.

“Blood smears were evident on the walls and floors.”

Hoffmann then drove to the Peter McAulay Centre police complex in Darwin’s outskirts.

He unsuccessfully tried to force his way in the door before driving back towards the CBD, where police apprehended him.

Hoffmann has also pleaded not guilty to 10 other serious charges, including threatening to kill and recklessly endangering life. 

He is represented by high-profile Darwin barrister Jon Tippet QC as well as solicitor Peter Maley.

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