ACT News

Hoddle Street killer denied bid to cross-examine Australian Army brigadier general

Julian Knight arrives at the Supreme Court in 2004.
Julian Knight arrives at the Supreme Court in 2004. Photo: John Woudsra

Hoddle Street mass killer's has been denied the chance to cross-examine an Australian Army brigadier general.

Julian Knight, 46, is suing the Commonwealth over alleged assaults he suffered while he was a staff cadet at Duntroon in 1987.

Only months later he went on a 45-minute shooting rampage in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill that left seven dead and 19 injured.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to life in jail.

Knight is currently behind bars in Victoria's Port Phillip Prison.

Knight's lawsuit claims he was assaulted by other cadets on three occasions during instances of bastardisation while at Duntroon.

He says he suffered personal injury as a result of employer negligence and that the Commonwealth is responsible through a breach of its duty of care, vicarious liability, and negligence.

The mass murderer has broadened his lawsuit to include individuals he alleges assaulted him.

He was last month given the addresses of two former Duntroon cadets he wishes to sue.

But he has also sought to be given the names of other men he claims took part in the bastardisation.

Knight, via videolink, appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Friday afternoon in an attempt to have the court order Brigadier General Roger John Henderson – who he says could help identify his attackers in one incident - to submit to cross-examination.

The court heard Brigadier General Henderson had been a second class staff cadet of Knight's company in early 1987.

The brigadier general has previously said he did not know the alleged attackers' identities or even remember the events.

But Knight argued the claim had not been credible and sought to have the senior officer brought to court for questioning.

Knight offered to help the brigadier general "search the desert of his mind for an oasis of memory".

But Master David Mossop said it was not in the interests of justice to question the officer and dismissed the application.

Knight indicated he would make no further preliminary applications, which would clear the way for the case to be heard in the new year.

Meanwhile, Knight's application for compensation as a victim of crime will be heard in the ACT Magistrates Court next year.

Knight originally filed papers for the matter in the lower court, but the application was then refiled in the ACT Supreme Court in June.

The ACT government solicitor then sought to have the criminal injury claim sent back to the Magistrates Court, a move opposed by Knight.

Master Mossop, in a decision published on Friday, found the higher court had no jurisdiction to determine the compensation bid.