Benjamin Hoffmann murder case hears about autopsies of Hassan Baydoun and Robert Courtney

Benjamin Hoffmann’s fourth and final alleged victim sustained 69 injuries across his body, including 36 “stab or cut” injuries in a “fight” that led to his death, a court has heard.

Sir. Hoffmann is accused of killing four men, Hassan Baydoun, Michael Sisois, Nigel Hellings and Robert Courtney, during an alleged shooting over Darwin on June 4, 2019.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Forensic pathologist Marianne Tiemensma told the jury that she performed autopsies on 33-year-old Mr Baydoun and 52-year-old Mr Courtney.

Dr. Tiemensma said Courtney had 69 injuries to his body, including several blunt force injuries and “pellet tracks” from shots to his right arm and right thigh.

Dr. Tiemensma said in her opinion that the disc and the stab wounds were the ones that led to Mr Courtney’s death.

She said Mr Courtney was a “big muscular man” who was “healthy and strong” before his death.

Dr. Tiemensma told the court she visited the Jolly Street recycling center, where Mr Courtney was allegedly murdered, saying it was “covered in blood”.

Defense attorneys Peter Maley and Jon Tippett QC walk away from the NT Supreme Court during the day.
Defense attorneys Peter Maley and Jon Tippett QC represent Mr Hoffmann.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

The court hears about Baydoun’s injuries

Dr. Tiemensma said Baydoun had four separate gunshot wounds: two to his right arm, a “large gunshot wound” to his chest and a fourth to his head.

She said the chest wound, from a shot fired from about 1 meter away, injured Baydoun’s sternum, heart, blood vessels, lungs and liver.

Dr. Tiemensma told the jury that she thought the shot “close” to Baydoun’s head was the fourth and final shot, probably about 10 to 15 cm away.

Dr. Tiemensma said she visited the Palms Motel room where Baydoun’s body was found and that the alleged murder victim would probably have been shot in the arms and chest while standing and then shot in the head after he fell into a seated position.

A white woman wearing black carries folders outside the court
Joannah Lee told the jury she was testing a range of items for DNA.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)

DNA connects Hoffmann with crime scenes

The jury also heard DNA from which Baydoun and Mr Courtney were allegedly murdered was “one hundred billion times” more likely to be Mr Hoffmann than anyone else.

Joannah Lee, director of NT Police’s forensic medicine department, told the jury that she was conducting DNA analysis of a “large selection of objects” that matched samples of DNA from the four alleged victims and to Mr. Hoffmann.

The court heard that Dr. Lee analyzed DNA from the Palms Motel (where prosecutors allege Hoffmann murdered Baydoun) and at a recycling center on Jolly Street (where prosecutors allege Hoffmann killed Courtney).

Dr. Lee said DNA from these two scenes was “at least 100 billion times more likely to have happened if it came from Benjamin Hoffmann than if it came from an unknown individual.”

The court heard police investigators recover 50 shotgun cartridge shells, both fired and non-fired, after the alleged shooting.

A middle-aged policewoman with brown hair carries folders leaving the court
Senior Constable Bindi Burnell told the jury she was investigating crime scenes linked to the alleged shooting.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)

Knife and gun were also tested for DNA

Dr. Lee said she also analyzed DNA from the knife and gun found in the white disc Mr Hoffmann had been driving at the time of his arrest.

The court heard that the knife found in the tray matched the DNA of both Mr Hoffmann and Mr Courtney.

Dr. Lee said traces of Mr Hoffmann and Mr Courtney’s DNA were found on the knife handle and blade.

Courtney’s blood was also found on the left hand of Mr Hoffmann, who was brushed after his arrest.

Dr. Lee said the Winchester shotgun produced positive results for both Mr Courtney and Mr Hoffmann’s DNA.

The trial is scheduled to run for nine weeks.

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