ACT News

Hoddle Street shooter Julian Knight claims compensation as a victim of crime

Victorian mass killer Julian Knight could broaden his lawsuit against the Commonwealth over injuries he allegedly suffered during bastardisation at Duntroon.

Knight has also launched action against the ACT government for compensation as a victim of crime.

Julian Knight in 1986 at age 18.
Julian Knight in 1986 at age 18.  

He was a staff cadet at the Royal Military College in Canberra in the months before he went on a 45-minute shooting rampage in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill in August 1987.

He shot dead seven people and injured 19.

He was sentenced to life, with a minimum of 27 years, after pleading guilty to seven counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder.

The mass shooting occured while Knight was on bail from the ACT Magistrates Court for stabbing a fellow staff cadet after a fight at the Private Bin nightclub in May 1987. He told police he had fought with the senior staff cadet after he (Knight) ignored an order to stay in the barracks for the night.

A photo from the scene of the shootings in Hoddle Street, Clifton Hill, in 1987.
A photo from the scene of the shootings in Hoddle Street, Clifton Hill, in 1987. 

He then knifed the man behind the ear.

Court documents, filed by Knight in the Supreme Court, said the mass murderer suffered personal injury as a result of employer negligence. He claims the Commonwealth was responsible through a breach of its duty of care, vicarious liability, and negligence.

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Knight claims he was assaulted by other cadets on three occasions during instances of bastardisation while at Duntroon, including the nightclub incident.

He alleges he had been punched in the stomach twice in his company barracks during an exercise in February 1987.

A month later, he claims a number of other senior cadets assaulted him outside the company barracks.

In the third incident at the Civic nightspot, he said he suffered bruising, a broken nose and damaged ligaments in his left wrist after the fight with three senior staff cadets.

Both lawsuits appeared in the ACT Supreme Court for mention before Master David Mossop on Friday.

Knight told the court he intended to broaden rather than narrow his claim.

Master Mossop ordered Knight to clarify his pleadings. He also ordered a timetable for the production of documents to be relied upon in the case.

In the ACT matter, Knight originally filed papers for a criminal injury claim in the ACT Magistrates Court. But the application was refiled in the ACT Supreme Court in June.

ACT government solicitor Julia Noble told the court on Friday the Magistrates Court had jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Knight opposed the move.

Both matters were listed to reappear in September.