Brothers in court over Vic police bashing

Two men have faced court over the bashing of Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill.
Two men have faced court over the bashing of Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill.

Two brothers accused of bashing a high-ranking Victorian police officer in an unprovoked attack allegedly shaved their heads to avoid getting caught.

Jay Stephens, 20, and his 18-year-old sibling Isaiah faced Melbourne Magistrates court on Tuesday charged with an assault at Toorak three days earlier.

The brothers allegedly bashed Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill near St Kevin's College, leaving him with broken ribs and bleeding on the brain.

"It resulted in them shaving it (hair) off to change their appearance," Sergeant Matthew Rizun told the court.

Clippings were found on the floor of the Malvern East boarding house where the siblings were staying, he said.

Off-duty Mr O'Neill saw the pair at Heyington train station and followed them at a distance, fearing they would damage property, the court was told.

The assistant commissioner rounded the corner and was allegedly asked by the older brother "what are you looking at?" before the attack, Sgt Rizun said.

The attack was "completely unprovoked", with Jay Stephens allegedly launching the assault before his brother joined in from behind.

The younger brother applied for bail, but Sgt Rizun was concerned he was a flight risk because his mother lives in southwest WA.

The sergeant added the accused should not live with his Melbourne-based father because of his dad's "extreme hatred for police".

Before the assault the siblings had been kicked off a Glen Waverley-bound train because of anti-social behaviour, including swearing at passengers.

"Their behaviour suggests they were enticing something to occur," Sgt Rizun said.

"He (Jay) was almost looking for a fight."

In a police interview the 18-year-old placed himself at the scene and told officers he was "provoked" but refused to answer further questions.

Outside court the pair's father, Jared Pilgren, who also spells his surname Pihlgren, told reporters his sons hadn't known Mr O'Neill was a police officer.

He further believed his sons were targeted by officers.

Isaiah Stephens' bail application will continue on Friday after he undergoes a youth justice assessment.

Jay Stephens did not apply for bail and is due back in court in September.

Both brothers are charged with intentionally and recklessly causing serious injury.

Australian Associated Press