The police officer appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday on three charges over the Thornbury incident: intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault. IBAC officers say the alleged use of the baton as a weapon aggravated the offending.
Senior Constable Hilgart is on bail for both incidents and is due to face a hearing in November that will determine whether he stands trial on the charges of assaulting the boy. The boy is understood to have been 16 at the time of the incident.
Senior Constable Hilgart and the other officers charged over the Preston incident, Brad McLeod and John Patrick Edney, are to face a contested hearing before a magistrate, although a date for that hearing hasn’t been set.
The three officers were part of a contingent of six who went to John’s home to conduct a welfare check after the pensioner’s psychologist rang triple zero.
A CCTV security camera captured John opening his front door to plead with police to leave, having initially refused to open the door. When he pushed aside a policeman’s hand he was grabbed, dragged outside and forced to the ground.
IBAC investigators allege Senior Constable McLeod punched John in the stomach, sprayed him with capsicum spray and encouraged his colleague to use the hose.
Constable Edney is accused of hitting the disability pensioner with an extendable baton and stepping on his head.
The three officers are yet to formally enter a plea but their lawyers have said they would fight the charges.
Senior Constable Hilgart is yet to enter a plea on the Thornbury charges.
Victoria Police has confirmed the three officers are suspended with pay.