Accused NT murderer dumped before killings

·3-min read

A love-sick man on trial for murdering four people during a drug-fuelled shooting spree across Darwin was dumped by his girlfriend before the rampage.

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann has pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder in less than an hour at four locations on the afternoon of June 4, 2019.

Two weeks earlier, Kelly Collins, a woman he met in drug rehab and later fell in love with, sent the 47-year-old a text message saying she was in love with another man.

"Hoffy, I love Alex," Ms Collins wrote on May 20, the Northern Territory Supreme Court heard on Monday.

Hoffmann initially responded with a series of humorous texts to Ms Collins' news.

But in the days after, his demeanour changed and he repeatedly told workmates he was going to "blow (Alex's) head off" and that he had a gun.

He also believed organised crime figures were after him and that would-be intruders were prowling about the property where he lived.

In the months before, Ms Collins and Hoffmann had enjoyed spending time together during rehab and after they'd both left the program.

This included exercising together, barbecues and sleepovers.

The couple was also planning to move in together, selecting furniture and working on their resumes.

"I love you," Ms Collins wrote in a message to Hoffmann about a month before the shootings.

"I love you too," he replied.

The night before the shootings, Hoffman and Ms Collins were together again, along with one of the men shot dead less than 24 hours later, Michael Sisois, 57.

She told the court Hoffman smoked "quite a bit, as in three pipes" of crystal methamphetamine in about an hour then left before returning later in the evening.

"He tried to coerce me to go with him," she said.

"I ran to (my neighbour). I said 'We have to ring the police'."

Ms Collins said Hoffmann also texted her saying he believed Mr Sisois had "spiked" the drugs he smoked.

By 1am, Hoffmann had gone to the emergency department at the Royal Darwin Hospital, where he told a nurse Stephanie Grainger he'd been poisoned.

"He wasn't engaging that well. He didn't have good eye contact. He just seemed distracted," she said.

"He was paranoid".

Hoffmann left the hospital before returning about 4.30am. He was later discharged when test results showed nothing concerning.

He told nurse Brianna McLarty he felt groggy and had been "hanging out with dodgy people".

The Crown says that later the same day, Hoffmann picked up a shotgun and used it to murder four men while searching for Ms Collins and Alex Deligiannis.

Hassan Baydoun, 33, died at the Palms Motel and Nigel Hellings, 75, was fatally shot at an apartment complex.

Michael Sisois, 57, died from a gunshot to the head in the car park at The Buff Club and Rob Courtney, 52, was stabbed more than 30 times and shot dead at Darwin Recycling.

Hoffmann told police after he was arrested that he believed he'd been poisoned or fed a "spiked" ice pipe the night before the killings.

He also said it caused him to be "out of his mind" and temporarily insane on June 4.

He described Ms Collins as an "ex-working girl" that he'd been trying to help beat drug addiction.

But men, including Mr Deligiannis, had plied her with drugs and lured her back into prostitution.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting