Another chapter has been added to Sydney’s Lindt cafe siege case where a recording in which a cafe staff is heard making demands on behalf of gunman Man Haron Monis has been presented.
During his captivity, cafe worker and hostage Jarrod Morton-Hoffman was asked to call on to triple-0 and connect to emergency operators to make demands on behalf of the gunman, the Sydney Lindt cafe siege inquest heard on Tuesday. The 20-year-old cafe staff confessed that he was quite scared making the call but he held the responsibility of so many lives at that moment. “If I screwed up someone would have died,” he added.
At the inquiry, Hoffman mentioned the tricks he used to convey his secret messages to authorities while conducting the calls. He said he always tried to emphasise on certain words so that the authorities could understand without the gunman realising his secret attempts for rescue. “I was trying to answer the questions without him knowing,” the victim said as quoted by news.com.au. “(I’d say) ‘no one is hurt’ and emphasis the ‘one’ (when the operator asked how many gunmen were in the building).”
During the whole incident, Hoffman was the one who helped the gunman control his anger while assisting other hostages to escape at the same time. The inquest already planned to hear the accounts of the 18 hostages of December 15, 2014 which is also known as the 17-hour Sydney siege. Last week, the inquiry heard how two hostages escaped without being noticed by the gunman. In the last hearing, the escape plan of Jieun Bae and Elly Chen was explained, where the two tried to unlock the bolts of the door before five in the afternoon and successfully reached the police.
According to the hearing, Monis asked Hoffman to check online media reports where he got to know about the escape of five people from the captive cafe. However, the cafe worker somehow convinced the gunman that the reports were untrue. According to the ABC, assisting counsel Sophie Callan told the inquest that the escape of hostages did not trouble the gunman as he did not even notice they have escaped.