TWO teenagers accused of attacking a 64-year-old retired police officer in an incident that left him with a broken hip are contesting the charges.
The Wodonga Magistrates Court this week heard the different versions of what Alex McKenzie and Kyle Brett Harvey allegedly did at the Wodonga Plaza are “poles apart”.
Magistrate Ian Watkins said one version detailed a cowardly attack on a retired man.
The court heard one statement alleged Harvey grabbed the former officer and swung him to the floor before falling on top of him, leaving him with a broken femur and in immediate pain.
The court heard the 64-year-old was kicked by the pair.
It was also alleged he was punched in the head while on the ground.
The defence version was that they all fell on top of each other, leading to the man’s injuries.
The incident occurred about midday on February 22.
The victim’s wife allegedly saw McKenzie take a pair of boxer shorts from a surf shop and stuff them down his pants.
The incident unfolded when she confronted him about the theft.
The two 18-year-olds and a third person – who was later cleared by police of being involved – were arrested at the nearby Aldi after the incident.
The victim spent more than a week in hospital and was facing months of recovery from the break.
He had had a prior hip replacement.
The incident was not caught on CCTV and lawyer Sally Wilson said “no two (witnesses) give the same version of events”.
By one account, the 64-year-old victim fell over, another stated that he was picked up and thrown to the floor.
Police have tried to chase up a doctor for a statement about the ex-policeman's injuries on three occasions, but have been unable to get one.
The pair had sought a sentencing indication from Mr Watkins for a guilty plea.
The magistrate said because the versions put forward were so different, he was unable to provide one.
The case will head to a contested hearing which is expected to run for two days.
The prosecution will call four civilian witnesses, two police officers, and possibly a doctor to give evidence in the matter.
The case will return to court on December 5.
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