Accused cop bashers say injuries ‘not serious’
A pair of alleged thugs-in-arms will stand trial at the County Court accused of the savage beating of an off-duty senior policeman after failing to convince a court their victim's injuries were not serious.
Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill was left with bleeding on the brain, broken ribs and bruising to his lungs after Jay, 20, and Isaiah, 19, Stephens allegedly bashed him at St Kevin's College in South Yarra on June 15.
Mr O'Neill was off-duty and in plain clothes when he followed the brothers from Heyington train station after witnessing the young men acting drunk and aggressively on the platform shortly after 5pm.
Earlier, the men were reported terrorising a Malvern East tennis club with players forced to lock the court gates to keep the aggressive brothers out, the court heard.
The top transport safety cop allegedly found Jay urinating on a tree near the school quadrangle.
The then-18-year-old turned and yelled at Mr O'Neill "you're f----d" before running over and hitting him with a flurry of punches to the face and head, the court heard.
Moments later, his younger brother Isaiah allegedly joined in punching Mr O'Neill in back and body before the pair fled.
The veteran officer later told police he feared if the brothers had forced him to the ground, he would be in grave danger.
O'Neill was rushed to hospital with bleeding on his brain and in his chest cavity.
Almost six months on, he still suffers significant pain and was hospitalised recently with extreme dizziness and vertigo as a result of his brain injury.
He said the assault has had a "profound impact" on his life and caused him to become hyper-vigilant and wary of everyone.
But in the Magistrates' Court Tuesday, lawyers for the two accused brothers attempted to argue the injuries suffered should not be deemed "serious".
The alleged punks had attempted to apply for summary jurisdiction - which would mean their case would remain in the Magistrates' Court where penalties are lower.
Magistrate Peter Reardon rejected their application and committed the men to stand trial in the County Court on four charges including intentionally and recklessly causing serious injury.
During proceedings Isaiah, who is on bail, sat slouched in his chair while Jay, who remains behind bars, raised his eyebrows as details of the pair's alleged assault were read to the court.
The accused brothers yelled "I love you, man" to each other as Jay was lead back to the cells at the end of the day.
Both men will return to court Wednesday.