Disability pensioner denies he was aggressive to police before alleged assault in Preston

| 10.01,20. 07:28 PM |

Disability pensioner denies he was aggressive to police before alleged assault in Preston

(ABC News)

A disability pensioner denies he was aggressive towards police officers who turned up at his Melbourne home for a welfare check before they allegedly assaulted him.

Preston man John was lying on his lounge room floor when he saw police officers at his front door on his CCTV monitor.

John was withdrawing from opioid pain medication and the police officers were called for a welfare check after he failed to reply to messages from a counsellor.

Victoria Police officers John Edney, Brad McLeod and Florian Hilgart are charged with unlawful assault after allegedly bashing the pensioner outside his Preston property in September 2017.

John told the Heidelberg Magistrates' Court yesterday that the officers bashed, pepper-sprayed and hosed him down "like a dog" outside his suburban home.

Returning to court today, John said he had "never been aggressive towards police officers or the ambulance".

"I was in panic mode, and I wasn't happy and I was like 'I can't believe it has happened'," he said about his response to the officers.

When the officers arrived he opened his security door because he did not want them to break open the door, he said.

"I didn't even get a chance to comply with them, I felt a burning in my eyes, got dragged to the ground and I was treated like an animal," he told the court.

Footage previously aired in court showed the pensioner begging police officers to leave his property before the alleged assault.

"Leave me alone, please leave me alone," he said on the footage.

"F*****g leave," he told the six officers.

At one point he told the officers if they wanted him out they'd need to shoot him, but he told the court it was not a serious threat.

Constable Edney is accused of unlawfully assaulting the pensioner with an extendable baton and by stepping on his head.

His co-accused, Senior Constable McLeod, allegedly punched the victim in the stomach, sprayed him in the face with capsicum spray and encouraged another officer to spray a high-pressure hose at the pensioner.

The third officer, Senior Constable Hilgart is facing one count of unlawful assault after he sprayed John with a high-pressure hose.

The trio refused to take part in a record of interview, court documents show.

The hearing continues.


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