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Australia Benjamin Hoffmann 'embarrassed' after alleged shooting spree in Darwin, court told

13:40  28 october  2021
13:40  28 october  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Defence lawyers Peter Maley and Jon Tippett QC are representing Ben Hoffmann in the trial. (ABC News: Che Chorley ) © Provided by ABC NEWS Defence lawyers Peter Maley and Jon Tippett QC are representing Ben Hoffmann in the trial. (ABC News: Che Chorley )

Accused gunman Benjamin Hoffmann said he was "embarrassed" and had been "sticking up for [his] friends" following an alleged shooting spree that claimed the lives of four men, a court has been told.

The manager of Top End Mental Health Service's forensic mental health team, Kym Friese, told the jury that, in June 2019, she spoke to Mr Hoffmann several times after the alleged murders.

She told the court that, in one of the interviews, Mr Hoffmann had said: "I think I may have got the wrong people instead of the right people".

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Ms Friese testified that Mr Hoffmann also told her that "it was all a big f*** up".

"When questioned how he was feeling about his actions, he said that he was 'embarrassed'," Ms Friese said.

In the mental health team's notes, Ms Friese said, specialists had noted a "pattern" in Mr Hoffmann's behaviour.

"He was consistently able to recall, with clarity, incidents which resulted in harms to him and firmly asserted he was a victim, and a crime was a set-up," Ms Friese said.

"But each time we touch on those who had lost their lives [in the alleged shooting spree] he firmly asserted: 'I can't really recall, it all went blank, I only remember bits and pieces'."

The jury heard that consultant psychiatrist Anthony Miach, whose specialty is the treatment of psychosis, spoke with the alleged gunman seven times in the weeks following Mr Hoffmann's arrest.

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Dr Miach said Mr Hoffmann spent a lot of time trying to understand "why he did what he did".

The psychiatrist told the court he was worried that Mr Hoffmann would hurt himself because the accused had told him "he did not know how he could continue to live after what he had done".

Dr Miach and Ms Friese both said they saw no evidence that Mr Hoffmann was experiencing delusions, hallucinations or psychosis when they spoke to him.

Prosecutors allege Mr Hoffmann murdered four men on the afternoon of June 4, 2019.

Mr Hoffmann has pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges, including four counts of murder.

'No evidence' Hoffmann was hearing voices

Dr Parker told the jury that he interviewed Mr Hoffmann three times after his arrest.

When he spoke to Mr Hoffmann on July 23, two weeks after the alleged murders, Dr Parker said the accused gunman claimed to be hearing voices.

However, Dr Parker told the court, there was "no evidence" Mr Hoffman was experiencing auditory or visual hallucinations.

"Usually, if people are experiencing visual or auditory hallucinations, it is fairly obvious during the interview that they are responding to external criteria," he said.

Dr Parker also said he saw no indication that Mr Hoffmann was "in psychosis" on any of the three times they spoke.

He told the court psychotic phenomena doesn't just "stop and start".

"Psychosis is a bit like a brush fire: Once it occurs, it's very difficult to extinguish, and it usually goes on for a couple of days, so voices don't just come and go," he said.

Mr Hoffmann's trial is scheduled to run for nine weeks and is now in its sixth week.

Ben Hoffmann has pleaded guilty to killing four men in a Darwin shooting. What happens next? .
Why did Ben Hoffmann change his plea to guilty so late in the trial? What did the court hear in the first six weeks of the trial? And what are the next few steps?Hoffmann murdered three men — Hassan Baydoun, Michael Sisois, and Robert Courtney – between 5:40pm and 6:20pm in Darwin on June 4, 2019.

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This is interesting!