Accused NT murderer talked about killing

·3-min read

A Darwin tradie says Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann repeatedly told him he was going to kill a man he believed was sex-trafficking his estranged lover.

The love-sick 47-year-old is accused of murdering four men during a rampage across Darwin as he searched for the woman on June 4, 2019.

"He said he was going to get Alex. He was going to shoot him, blow his head off, bash him with a baseball bat," Steven Barlee told the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Friday.

"Many times."

Prosecutor Lloyd Babb SC has previously said Hoffmann was searching for a woman he believed was his girlfriend named Kelly Collins and a man named Alex Deligiannis on June 4.

"Alex was either sleeping with his girlfriend or pimping his girlfriend out," Mr Barlee said.

Hoffmann, a former labourer at a roofing firm, also told his workmates that he had a gun in the days before the shootings.

"He said 'I'm going to get Alex' and he made noises with his mouth that sounded like a gun and made the hand gesture and went 'pow-pow'," Mr Barlee said.

"We didn't believe him. He was quite agitated. Very erratic," he said.

"It was a little surreal, we didn't expect him to go and do it."

Foreman Anthony Clark told the court Hoffmann "came across as very dodgy and very sketchy" the day before the shootings.

"Like there was a lot on his mind. His general demeanour, it wasn't quite right," he said.

"He was very paranoid."

The court heard Hoffmann was worried about people being after him in the weeks before the shootings and told colleagues would-be intruders were prowling about the property where he lived.

Defence lawyer Jon Tippett QC questioned witnesses about Hoffmann's deteriorating mental health in the lead-up to the shootings.

The owner of the roofing company, Agapitos Agapitos, agreed his behaviour became increasingly unusual.

Senior Constable Wayne Miller told the court Hoffmann called police to report noises on the roof at the property but the court heard it was most likely just the metal structure creaking in the tropical heat.

The third man to be shot dead on June 4, Michael Sisois also worked at the firm with Hoffmann.

The pair were described by witnesses as "best friends" but Hoffmann told police after the shooting that Mr Sisois tried to poison him on June 2.

The Crown says the 57-year-old died instantly when Hoffmann shot him in the head with a shotgun at close range in the car park at The Buff Club.

A day earlier, Hoffmann allegedly sent Mr Sisois a text demanding that he bring a woman to him.

"I will f***ing wreck you, Sisois. Bring her to me. I'll f*** you up," the message read.

Hoffmann also told police he had been trying to help Ms Collins beat drug addiction before the killings.

He described her as an "ex-working girl" who suffered a "rapid decline" after she was preyed upon by drug dealers who manipulated her back into prostitution.

Mr Agapitos told the court on Friday he warned Hoffmann off Ms Collins "because she was a junkie".

"He told me that Kelly was getting used. He told me sometimes they raped her ... Alex was pimping her," he said.

Mr Agapitos said Hoffmann became upset when he discussed the matter.

"He said he wanted to get a baseball bat and go and smash (Alex's) head in," he said.

"I didn't want him near her because she was always angry and she wanted to beat him up.

"I told him 'you'll end up in jail' ... It's Alex's girlfriend anyway."

The Crown says Hoffman also shot and killed Hassan Baydoun, 33, at the Palms Motel and Nigel Hellings, 75, at an apartment complex.

Rob Courtney, 52, was stabbed more than 30 times and shot dead at Darwin Recycling.

The trial continues Monday.

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