Victoria's police chief is urging prosecutors to appeal the sentence of a Warrnambool man who last year bludgeoned a police officer and tasered another.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said he was "disappointed" with the penalty handed to Warrnambool's Steven Cleary, 50, who was jailed for three years on Friday.
"I have asked for a submission to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions requesting an appeal based on an inadequate sentence," he said in a statement.
His call came after Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said he worried about the message the sentence sent to the policing community.
Cleary pleaded guilty in Warrnambool County Court this week to assault-related offences after he viciously assaulted Senior Constable Rowan Baldam and Constable Will Ringin near the city's golf course on October 19 last year.
You can view the police body-worn camera footage of the incident here.
Mr Gatt said the incident was one of the most serious and premeditated assaults he'd seen in his time in policing.
"For them to be struck to the head with a baseball bat repeatedly, the word shocking just doesn't accurately describe the degree of that assault," he said outside the court.
Mr Gatt said the two officers were "potentially moments away from death".
He said he understood Judge Anne Hassan had a very difficult decision and he had no direct criticism of her.
But he said the system made it difficult for courts to apply appropriate sentences.
"We worry about the precedent this sets," Mr Gatt said.
"If mental health continues to be this supposed free kick, it's disproportionate we think."
Mr Gatt said the officers showed incredible restraint and their professionalism was unquestioned.
"Everything they did and said you could see was motivated by an innate desire to try and reduce the amount of force on the offender," he said.
"What we saw from the offender is a maximum amount of force that he could possibly apply to these officers. You have to look at this sentence and think how? How can that be right?"
Victoria Police western region division two Superintendent Martin Hardy said the police body-worn camera footage was the most horrific he'd seen in 35 years of policing.
"(It was) a pre-meditated attack on police... and the boys handled themselves in an exemplary manner," he said.
"These two young police officers showed enormous courage in the face of, as the judge described, a horrific and intolerable, violent attack."
Superintendent Hardy said no one should be assaulted at work and it was lucky he wasn't talking about a fatal outcome.
He said the victims and their families were being wrapped up in welfare support.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.