Cop claims victim agreed to hose spray

·1-min read

A Victorian police officer has told a court he thought a handcuffed pensioner had consented to being sprayed with a hose during a welfare check.

Senior Constables Florian Hilgart and Brad McLeod are appealing their guilty verdicts for assaulting the man by punching, pepper-spraying and then turning a hose on him at his Preston home in 2017.

Hilgart told Victoria's County Court on Tuesday he would have stopped spraying the man, known as John, with the hose if he'd said "no" or "stop".

"I thought at the time he was consenting because he didn't look away," he said, adding it wasn't his intention to humiliate John.

With the benefit of hindsight, Hilgart said he should have made more of an effort to communicate but otherwise wouldn't have done anything differently.

Prosecutor Diana Manova labelled the use of the hose punitive and unnecessary.

During the assault, McLeod pepper-sprayed John and punched him in the stomach.

"Did you like that? Did you like that? Smells good, doesn't it?" he said.

He then directed Hilgart to turn the hose on John and filmed the scene.

McLeod apologised in court for his words, and added they weren't said with malice.

A third officer, Constable John Edney, was also found guilty of assaulting the pensioner.

He is not appealing. None of the officers had a conviction recorded against them.

John previously said he wanted help and despite yelling and swearing at police, posed no threat to them.

A magistrate last year found while the man was initially aggressive and volatile towards the officers, their use of force was unjustified.

The appeal is due to continue on Wednesday.