Two Victoria Police officers were found guilty of unlawful assault for punching and hosing down a disabled pensioner have had their appeals thrown out in court.
Senior constables Brad McLeod and Florian Hilgart were found guilty last year of a collective four charges of unlawful assault against a Greek Australian disability pensioner with a hose, using capsicum spray and punching the pensioner outside his Preston home in September 2017.
The police members were conducting a welfare check on the 36-year-old man.
Magistrate Cathy Lamble said last year the officers had breached trust in their role during the brief sentencing hearing “They committed crimes that they are trusted by the community to detect and control,” she said.
The officers challenged the magistrate’s findings in the County Court on Wednesday, but judge Claire Quin ruled they had shown disproportionate and unnecessary force, dismissing their appeals.
Senior constable McLeod has been ordered to pay $3500 to the court fund and senior constable Hilgart must pay $1000.
The disability pensioner known as John, whose full name has been suppressed, was at his home and withdrawing from drugs on 19 September, 2017, when the police arrived for a welfare check at 5.50pm after his treating psychologist called emergency services to help him. He had been vomiting blood while going “cold-turkey” in his withdrawal from opioid addiction after pain medication prescribed for back surgery.
The officers had been called in to ensure that ambulance officers could safely assess his physical and mental state, however CCTV footage showed mistreatment rather than assistance.