License article

Car chase and bashing over stolen tools

Two strangers used tools to bash a man after a car chase in Melbourne's western suburbs before one of them spoke to a television news crew about the incident, according to court documents.

Jesse Farrugia, 23, and Bill Kounelis, 41, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges including intentionally causing serious injury over the beating of a man in Caroline Springs on July 18 last year that left the victim with serious facial injuries.

Farrugia used a shovel and Kounelis a hammer to beat the man, who had allegedly stolen tools from a ute parked outside Farrugia's home, according to documents tendered to Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Police allege the victim was stealing tools about 7am when Farrugia confronted him and then gave chase in his utility when the man drove away in his own utility.

A woman's car was hit and other drivers had to take evasive action as the utilities drove along Caroline Springs Boulevard, before Farrugia rammed his vehicle into the man's, which forced both off the road, the documents say.


The papers say Kounelis was driving past when he saw the utility and stopped, and was told by Farrugia what had happened. The pair then chased the man to Milburn Circuit, where he was beaten.

In statements tendered to court, witnesses told police they heard the man "screaming in pain" as he was bashed, and overheard one man shout threats to the victim.

"Each time I turned around it seemed the two guys were taking it in turns assaulting him," one witness told police.

"They were really hurting him, he wasn't fighting back and just laid there. At one point I thought he had been knocked out because he was not moving."

The victim, who was 25 at the time, underwent major facial surgery to repair a fractured eye socket, fractured cheekbone and broken nose, a police summary said. He also suffered cuts and grazes over his body.

Court documents say the men dragged their victim back to the crash scene after they beat him, and found police and paramedics waiting. Police seized a shovel, hammer and length of chain from the scene, the papers say.

Farrugia was later interviewed on camera by a Channel Seven reporter, and the interview was broadcast.

A police officer said in his statement he told Farrugia not to speak to the media until he had spoken to investigators.

The reporter said in his statement he later gave to police footage of the interviews he conducted that morning.

Farrugia later gave a no-comment interview to police, the court papers say, while Kounelis told police he had stopped to help, but that "one thing led to another".

Magistrate Thomas Hassard bailed Farrugia to appear before the County Court on May 13. Kounelis was remanded in custody to appear before the County Court on the same day.

The victim told police he had no recollection of what led to the assault. He is scheduled to appear in court later this month.