ACT News

Hoddle Street killer says he doesn't hold grudge against alleged Duntroon abusers

Julian Knight arrives at court in 2004.
Julian Knight arrives at court in 2004. Photo: John Woudsra

The Hoddle Street killer, Julian Knight, says he holds no grudge against the former Duntroon members he is trying to track down to sue for alleged abuse during his days as a military cadet.

"These individuals might not be on my Christmas card list Your Honour, but I bear no grudge against them," he told Supreme Court Master David Mossop on Monday.

Knight appeared in the ACT Supreme Court via videolink from Port Phillip Prison, where he is serving life for the notorious Hoddle Street massacre in 1987.

He went on a shooting spree in Clifton Hill, Melbourne, killing seven and injuring 19, before being chased down and arrested by police. 

Knight has used the ACT's courts to sue the Commonwealth over a series of assaults he alleges occurred while he was an army cadet at Duntroon in Canberra before the massacre.

He is seeking the addresses of individuals he alleges were responsible, so he can add them as defendants to the proceedings. 

But the Commonwealth, represented by Robert Crowe, SC, has opposed the release of such information to Knight.

Mr Crowe told Master Mossop the circumstances of the case were "quite unusual", and the court should use its discretion to block Knight's bid. 

"The plaintiff, due respect to him, is a convicted murderer," he said.

"He has a reason to hold a very real grudge against these individuals."

But Knight responded by pointing out he was in custody, and bore the individuals no ill will.

"My attitude would be very much dependent on their attitudes to the events in question," he said.

Mr Crowe said the joinder of three of the defendants to the proceedings might be of little practical value any way, if Knight successfully argued the Commonwealth was vicariously liable for their actions.

Another two individuals, Mr Crowe said, were accused of assaults that took place away from Duntroon at a Canberra nightclub, and not during the course of their employment.

He said the court should have concern about giving their addresses to Knight, and urged Master Mossop not to make orders for their release.

Knight said the two defendants involved in the nightclub incident were disciplining him for leaving the campus in breach of orders that he confine himself to barracks.

Master Mossop reserved his decision and will hand it down on Wednesday morning. 

Knight's case against the Commonwealth alleges he suffered personal injury as a result of employer negligence. 

He said he was assaulted on three occasions during incidents of bastardisation, including at a fight at the Private Bin nightclub in May 1987, months before his shooting rampage.

He stabbed a superior after that nightclub fight, and the ACT Magistrates Court had given him bail prior to the time of the Hoddle Street killings. 

Knight pleaded to seven counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder.