“We heard a big bang and then I received a call from one of the guests in the hotel asking me to come down. I went down to the back door and there was a big hole in the back door,” she told the court.
“I walked towards it and looked through the hole. I seen a car. It was a dark car. Then I heard some more banging sounds.
“I seen someone run into the car and the car had taken off. They were running from the back door. It was dark, it happened so fast, there was just a lot of screaming happening at the same time.”
The force of the gunshots from a sawn-off shot gun allegedly left glass smashed across the rear of the hostel, the court heard.
When asked whether she knew who had assaulted her eldest daughter earlier in the night or who Brittany was dating at the time, Ms McGuire said she didn’t and she stayed out of her daughter’s business.
She said she didn’t agree with some of the “choices” her daughter made but loved her “completely”.
On the night of the attack she said her daughter arrived back at the hostel about 6pm.
“She was quite upset, really shaken, she was in a bad state. She was covering her nose and she said her nose had been broken, her face was swollen and her hair was everywhere,” Ms McGuire said.
“I took her up to … a family doctor. He put her nose back into place.”
Prosecutor Temple Saville pressed Ms McGuire for answers over a mystery bunch of flowers and a card reportedly sent to her at the hostel the day after the shooting.
Ms McGuire said she remembered the flowers being sent but could not remember what they looked like and never read who they were from.
Text messages containing an apology from a man later believed to be known as “Morty” were also allegedly received in the days that followed, the hearing heard.
Court documents released to The Age show Mr El-Hassan is facing nine separate charges relating to an alleged crime spree including the incident at St Kilda.
They include using a firearm as a prohibited person and trespass with a sawn-off shotgun on September 1.
He is also charged with ramming a police car and assaulting two officers in late August.
At the beginning of Thursday’s hearing Ms McGuire asked that her lawyer in a separate civil matter not be able to watch the proceedings, labelling the hearing “embarrassing”.
Ms McGuire and her daughter are currently embroiled in a legal dispute with two builders over the construction of the backpacker hostel in St Kilda.
The Age previously revealed a Melbourne builder has launched legal action against Brittany McGuire over claims she refused to pay more than $600,000 for the construction of a backpacker hostel in St Kilda.
However, her mother, who famously travelled to Greece with underworld figure Tony Mokbel as he tried to flee Australia, is the operator of the budget accommodation business.
The hostel project was originally rejected by Port Phillip Council, which cited noise, rowdy behaviour and property damage by backpackers “returning from nearby licensed premises” in its objection to the plan.
But the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal made a contentious decision to overrule the council.
Mr El-Hassan’s criminal proceedings are due to return to court next week.
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Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.