In the days that followed a man in love who allegedly murdered four people in a drug-fueled rampage across Darwin, he expressed no remorse and remained unsure if he had killed his target.
Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann also admitted that he may have killed innocent people as he tried to “punish” those he believed responsible for the rape of his former partner.
The 47-year-old pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder on June 4, 2019, claiming he was poisoned and was temporarily insane when the murders took place.
Mental health social worker Kym Maree Friese assessed Hoffmann with a psychiatric team for several weeks after his arrest.
In an interview on June 10, Hoffmann expressed concern that he could have killed the “wrong people”.
“I think maybe I had the wrong people instead of the right people,” Ms Friese said, quoting Hoffmann as she read her clinical notes.
“I asked her if you thought your actions would have been appropriate if you had the ‘right people’,” she told the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Thursday.
“No Miss, that would always make things wrong, but at least they would be the right people,” Hoffmann replied.
Ms Friese said Hoffman “did not report feelings of guilt, instead he focused on feelings of embarrassment.”
Nine days later, Hoffmann admitted to Ms Friese that he could have killed innocent people on June 4.
“My mind was completely blank, I was furious with what happened to me that night and what happened to my friend and what continues to happen,” Ms Friese said, citing Hoffmann at the June 19 meeting.
“I acted on a suspicion. Maybe I got the wrong address. There may have been some innocent people involved.
“Although I went to the right places, maybe they were innocent people.”
At the end of June, Hoffmann told Ms Friese that his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Collins, had been sexually assaulted and that he had acted to protect her.
“You know the police, mental health and other services didn’t help Kellie when she was raped. I had to help her and right the injustice of what was done to her,” he said. he said, according to clinical notes from the assessment.
“Where was the police, where was their support? I was prompted by inaction to punish those who did this to her, but no one will admit their part because they did not give me the help they did. I needed and look what happened. “
Hoffmann also told Ms Friese that he had “deteriorated into someone who was going to retaliate”.
“It was a big shit,” he said.
“I wonder if I deserved all of this? What was I supposed to do? I was defending my friend.
The court has already heard from Hoffmann, who has a history of illicit drug abuse, was high in methamphetamine during the shooting.
After the murders, he told police he believed he was poisoned on June 3 and that made him “mad” and temporarily mad.
Previously, psychiatrist Robert Parker said he examined Hoffmann in police custody shortly after his arrest and concluded that he did not suffer from a serious psychiatric illness.
During the interview, Professor Parker asked Hoffmann if he had hallucinated or if voices told him to perform actions, to which he replied “no”.
But in the weeks that followed, Hoffmann reported in two more assessments that he heard his mother’s voice and she was telling him to self-harm.
“Even though I look healthy, I feel like my mind is screwed up,” Hoffmann reportedly said, according to the notes taken during the exam.
Professor Parker concluded that Hoffmann did not suffer from psychosis and said there was also no evidence that he suffered from hallucinations.
However, he said Hoffmann appeared to be struggling to adjust to prison life while in pre-trial detention.
Professor Parker also found no evidence that Hoffmann was poisoned as he claimed.
The Crown said Hoffmann was looking for his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Collins, and a man she loved, Alex Deligiannis, when the shooting took place in four locations in less than an hour.
The trial also heard testimony that Hoffmann believed Mr Deligiannis had interfered with his relationship with Ms Collins and was the victim of men who sold drugs and tricked women into prostitution.
Hoffmann met Ms Collins in early 2019 in rehab, where the couple fell in love and planned a life together.
Hassan Baydoun, 33, Nigel Hellings, 75, Michael Sisois, 57 and Rob Courtney, 52, are the men killed.
Mr. Deligiannis had previously visited three of the places where the men died.
The trial continues on Tuesday.
Associated Australian Press