Disabled pensioner tells court VicPol trio bashed him ‘like a dog’

A Melbourne disability pensioner claims three police officers punched, pepper sprayed and wetted him with a high-pressure hose like a “dog”.

Victoria Police officers John Edney, Brad McLeod and Florian Hilgart are facing unlawful assault charges.

The trio allegedly bashed, pepper sprayed and hosed down disability pensioner John Goutzoulas outside his Preston home in September 2017 after they were called for a welfare check.

“He was wetting me with the hose, like you would a dog,” Mr Goutzoulas told the Heidelberg Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Before he was hosed down he was dragged out of his front door, pepper sprayed, pushed down and beaten.

“I didn’t expect it, the next minute I was on the ground.”

“They were all on top of me … I was pretty much assaulted,” he said.

During and after the attack he was in a “lot of pain” and he told the magistrate he had undergone two surgeries on his spine. He also previously had cancer treatment.

CCTV footage aired in court showed Mr Goutzoulas begging the officers to leave him alone because he was going through withdrawal symptoms.

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

While he was on the ground one of the officers yelled: “Get your f**king hands behind your f**king back.”

When the pensioner was on the ground an officer is also seen repeatedly hitting his legs.

Paramedics were called to the house and Mr Goutzoulas was taken to Epping hospital. But the “humiliation” continued after the alleged assault, he said.

“The humiliation of walking through the hospital in just a gown and my underwear … I was almost naked,” he said.

He was forced to leave hospital in nothing but a gown and was barefoot as he waited for a taxi, he said.

The contested hearing will continue on Friday.


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