Accused murderer's taunt to third victim

Aaron BunchAAP
A woman has recounted a gun blowing open her flat's front door and she thought she was about to die.
Camera IconA woman has recounted a gun blowing open her flat's front door and she thought she was about to die. Credit: AAP

As Sharon Ninham pulled into the car park at Darwin's Buff Club she planned on a quiet night playing cards with friends.

Instead, she came face to face with an alleged murderer seconds before he killed his third victim in less than an hour.

In total, Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann is accused of murdering four men at four locations on the afternoon of June 4, 2019.

Ms Ninham says she watched as the 47-year-old put a 30cm long knife to Michael Sisois's neck and say: "I told you not to f*** with me c***".

"He wasn't yelling, he wasn't screaming, it was like he was in control of the situation," she told the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Monday.

"He just said those words and looked straight at me.

"I put my car into reverse and reversed out of the driveaway as fast as I could," she said as tears welled in her eyes.

A CCTV video played for the jury shows a man in hi-vis punch Mr Sisois to the ground moments before Ms Ninham pulls up in her white hatchback.

He then crouches down over him with the knife before calmly walking back to his white Toyota Hilux ute and retrieving a shotgun.

The video shows Mr Sisois attempting to move as the same man aims the weapon at him and fires from about two metres away.

The Crown says Mr Sisois died instantly from a single shot to the head.

Senior Constable Merwan Kazem was with the first NT police officers to arrive at the Buff Club after Hoffmann left.

"We decided to go in with guns drawn and walk through," he said.

"As we got closer (to the shooting location) I noticed it looked like coloured blankets all bunched up but as we got closer I noticed the deceased was there."

The court has heard that Hoffmann was on a drug-fuelled search for a man named Alex Deligiannis that day.

He was also looking for a woman named Kelly Collins, who he believed was his girlfriend.

Minutes before Mr Sisois was shot, that quest took Hoffman to a nearby apartment complex.

In unit two Catherine Milera heard several loud bangs outside her front door before catching a glimpse of a man in high-vis through a window.

Seconds later, a shotgun blast blew the locks off her front door and she thought she was about to die.

"As soon as that door burst in my worst fears were confirmed," she said fighting back tears.

"He looked like a tradie ... but with a shotgun.

"I was lying on the ground thinking I was going to die."

Ms Milera said Hoffmann walked in and started searching her home.

"He appeared to be on a mission. He knew what he was looking for," she said.

"I sank to the ground in the corner. I couldn't get my mobile to do anything, my hands were shaking.

Ms Milera kept her head down and tried to avoid making eye contact as Hoffmann allegedly asked where a man named Alex was.

"I realised I needed to stop looking at him as possibly my only way of surviving was to not be a witness," she said in a police interview recording played for the jury.

"I was shaking. I said something like 'I don't know who Alex is, my name is Catherine, there is no Alex here'."

Hoffman allegedly checked all the rooms in her apartment before saying sorry and walking out.

But he left another body behind in unit one after shooting dead Ms Milera's neighbour, Nigel Hellings, 75.

Hassan Baydoun, 33, and Rob Courtney, 52, were the other men who died.

Hoffmann has pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and 10 other serious charges, including threatening to kill and recklessly endangering life.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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