Darwin’s shooter Benjamin Hoffmann claims ‘crisis situation’, can’t find new lawyers

Murderer Ben Hoffmann told the NT Supreme Court he had not been able to find a new lawyer since his lawyer was sacked in November last year.

“Nobody wants anything to do with me… nobody cares,” Hoffmann said this morning.

“I am in a crisis situation.

“I’m having a terrible time, Your Honor. “

Hoffmann told Judge John Burns that he wanted a lawyer to both review his entire murder trial and represent him as part of his sentencing submissions.

Specifically, he told the court he wanted a grant, or an extension of a grant, to educate interstate lawyers so they could reconsider his trial.

In November, Hoffmann admitted to the murders of Hassan Baydoun, Michael Sisois and Robert Courtney during a shootout on June 4, 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to the demoted charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of Nigel Hellings as well as four less serious counts, including reckless endangerment of life and threat of death.

Hoffmann said he wanted to “go over every shred of evidence” previously raised in the murder trial with his yet-unsuccessful interstate lawyer, “for a thorough and perfect second opinion” on the events that unfolded. are unrolled.

He said he then wanted Northern Territory Legal Aid to help him get legal representation for sentencing submissions.

Hoffmann fired lawyers Jon Tippett QC and Peter Maley in November last year.(ABC News: Che Chorley )

Hoffmann says he might want to quash his guilty plea

Hoffmann also claimed he was “pressured and bullied” into changing his not guilty plea to guilty during the seventh week of his nine-week trial, and reported that he was now considering to reverse his guilty plea.

Benjamin Hoffmann sits at the back of a police cage in a police car after his arrest.
Hoffmann has been in detention since his arrest in June 2019.(Provided)

Judge Burns told Hoffmann he could, potentially, seek leave to withdraw his guilty plea, but would have to provide evidence to back up his claims.

“You don’t have the right to change your plea, you can ask for leave to withdraw your guilty pleas, but in order to do that you have to produce appropriate evidence, not just statements made by you standing there in the witness box. “

Judge Burns said if this was a path Hoffmann wanted to pursue, he would have to waive any legal privileges that existed between himself and his former lawyers, Jon Tippett QC and Peter Maley.

The judge warned Hoffmann if this happened, Mr. Tippett and Mr. Maley would then be able to testify on the advice they gave him and the circumstances around him altering his plea.

The case will return to the NT Supreme Court for a mention on February 11.

Until then, NT Legal Aid will send Hoffmann’s application, and the letters he wrote from prison, to a review committee that will determine if there will be further legal aid and the appointment of a new one. representation.

No date has been set for the sentencing hearing.

    A close up of two white men with dark facial hair
Crown Attorney Lloyd Babb SC, right, appeared today via video link.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

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