NT triple murderer Hoffmann sacks lawyers

·3-min read

A love-sick gunman who murdered three people in Darwin and killed another during a drug-fuelled shooting spree has sacked his lawyers before his sentencing.

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann says he's in a "crisis" after pleading guilty earlier in the month to murdering three men and the manslaughter of another on June 4, 2019.

The 47-year-old may now have to represent himself in court at hearings about expert psychological evidence before he's sentenced next year.

"I have discharged my lawyers ... We've been arguing very badly, or fighting," he told the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Thursday.

"I have no faith or confidence in the legal team I had and the trial is at a crucial time, where I need professional and expert assistance.

"I'm at a crisis situation".

Justice John Burns asked Hoffmann if he understood that his trial was over and he was awaiting sentencing, to which Hoffmann replied "yes".

Justice Burns then granted an application for Hoffmann's publicly funded legal team - comprising Jon Tippett QC, Peter Maley and Catherine Voumard - to withdraw from the case.

"It is clearly untenable for you to continue, in circumstances where the prisoner has withdrawn his instructions," he told Mr Tippett.

Justice Burns urged Hoffmann to apply to Legal Aid for more funding so he could contract the services of another lawyer.

He also warned him that his sentence wouldn't be delayed if he doesn't.

"This can't go on forever," he said.

"If the Legal Aid office refuses a grant of further legal aid then it may well be that you will be required to continue without being legally represented."

Hoffmann murdered the three men in less than an hour while he was hunting for the Alex Deligiannis, the man his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Collins, said she loved.

He also shot dead Nigel Hellings, 75.

Hassan Baydoun, 33 was shot four times with a double-barrel shotgun at the Palms Motel in central Darwin.

Mr Hellings was gunned down through the front door of his apartment block about 800m away.

Hoffmann's next victim was his mate, Michael Sisois, 57. He was shot in the head in the car park at the nearby Buff Club bar and restaurant.

Rob Courtney, 52, died at an industrial yard at Darwin Recycling, about 2.5km away.

He was found with 69 injuries, including 36 stabbing and slicing wounds, multiple blunt force injuries and a gunshot wound.

Mr Deligiannis had previously visited three of the locations regularly.

Hoffmann had a strained relationship with his legal team at trial and had previously threatened to severe ties.

He repeatedly told Justice Burns during the trial he was unhappy with them and they weren't listening to his instructions.

Mr Tippett considered withdrawing from the case mid-trial but later withdrew the application.

Hoffman also admitted and will be sentenced for 10 other serious charges, including threatening to kill and recklessly endangering life.

A date for his sentence is yet to be fixed. The matter will return to court for a pre-sentence hearing on January 11.

He is facing three mandatory life sentences with a potential non-parole period of at least 25 years.

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