National News

Accused Darwin shooter to plead not guilty

The man accused of a mass shooting in Darwin in which four men were killed and a woman injured on one night in June will plead not guilty.

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, 45, appeared via video link in Darwin Local Court on Wednesday when his lawyer Peter Maley said he would be fighting the charges including four counts of murder.

Hoffmann was arrested on the night of the killings on June 4 and the defence is expected to involve a claim of mental impairment over alleged psychiatric illness issues.

Hoffmann was keen to have the matter "ventilated and transmitted" in the Northern Territory Supreme Court Court as soon as possible, Mr Maley said in court on Wednesday.

"He is pleading not guilty," Mr Maley told the court.

However there were massive volumes of material crucial to the case to work through, he said.

That included hundreds of hours of police bodycam video from the night, CCTV footage, outstanding forensic material, statements from police to be signed off on and Hoffmann's medical records still to be obtained, prosecutor Matt Nathan told the court.

Judge John Neil said it was important that police officers' statements be finalised before memories were "strained".

"These are matters where everyone is aware of what's alleged," Judge Neil said.

He said it was going to be "a huge matter" in terms of the volumes of material to work through before it even went to trial.

It was Hoffmann's first public appearance since he faced court once on the Friday after the shootings occurred on Tuesday, June 4 and has been in custody for the 104 days since.

On that occasion he said "I do need help. I have asked for help".

"I am very sorry about what happened. I want to speak to Peter Maley as soon as possible."

He said little this time from Darwin prison other than saying "thank you your honour".

He has been charged with numerous offences including four counts of murder, two of recklessly endangering serious harm and one of criminal damage.

The four deaths occurred within about 30 minutes in a rampage that shocked the city and a nation where such mass killings with guns are rare.

The victims included taxi driver Hassan Baydoun, 33, Nigel Hellings, 75, Michael Sisois, 57, and 52-year-old Rob Courtney.

He is yet to formally plead guilty or not guilty and will return to court on December 11.

© AAP 2019