One brother ‘looking for a fight’ before attack on Melbourne cop, court hears


June 18, 2019 19:09:40

A Melbourne court has heard the older of two brothers charged with attacking an off-duty police officer on Saturday “was looking for a fight”.

Key points:

  • The court heard the off-duty officer followed the men to the grounds of St Kevin’s College and was confronted by them
  • Acting Detective Sergeant Rizun told the court the pair were aggressive and attempting to engage in a fight
  • One of the brothers, Isaiah Stephens, applied for bail and disputed claims he was ill on the train

Jay Stephens, 20, and his brother Isaiah Stephens, 18, each face multiple charges — including intentionally causing serious injury — for allegedly attacking Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Neill at 5:30pm on Saturday.

The court heard the men were drunk and were travelling on the train from Southern Cross Station when they were ejected at Heyington Station for vomiting and other antisocial behaviour.

The court was told Assistant Commissioner O’Neill was on the train platform and followed the young men onto the grounds of St Kevin’s College in Toorak where he was confronted by them.

“Their behaviour was definitely aggressive and threatening,” Acting Detective Sergeant Matthew Rizun told the court.

He singled out Jay Stephens for “looking for a fight” with Assistant Commissioner O’Neill, saying the older brother was close to the officer’s face “attempting to engage in a fight”.

Assistant Commissioner O’Neill spent two days in hospital being treated for broken ribs and facial injuries.

The court heard both men had cut their hair after the alleged incident, which was found at a Malvern East boarding house where they live.

Jay Stephens did not apply for bail, but Isaiah Stephens did.

His lawyer, Greg Thomas, told the court Isaiah Stephens had no criminal history and disputes witness claims that he was ill on the train.

Magistrate Duncan Reynolds will rule on the bail application on Friday.

Outside the court, the men’s father, Jared Pilgren, exchanged words with police.

“I think he [McNeill] followed them for the wrong reasons,” Mr Pilgren told reporters outside court.

“Apparently they didn’t know he was a police officer.”

The court heard Mr Pilgren had been uncooperative and has an “extreme hatred for police”.









First posted

June 18, 2019 17:16:54

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