The two men accused of a vicious jailhouse attack on drug baron Tony Mokbel have been named as they prepare to face court on Friday over allegations of attempted murder.
Teira Bennett and Eldea Teuira, both 21, were understood to be celebrating a birthday inside Victoria’s maximum security Barwon Prison when they allegedly ambushed Mokbel as he returned to his cell about 3.45pm on Monday.
Mokbel, 53, was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with critical injuries. His condition has since improved and is listed as stable.
On Wednesday, the government confirmed his alleged attackers had been celebrating a 21st birthday, complete with a prison-baked pavlova and soft drink, when they set upon Mokbel.
Mr Bennett, whose friends called him Teddy Bear, turned 21 on the day of the alleged attack, with friends and family taking to social media to wish him well.
On Monday morning, his New Zealand-based aunt Alexandra Bennett wrote: “Happy birthday nephew.”
A friend, Maddy Robinson, wrote: “Happy birthday darlin, hope you’re have [sic] an awesome day! I wish all the best for you! And I’ll see you soon! Love you lots.”
Mokbel suffered multiple stab wounds to the upper body and was left bleeding from the mouth, head and chest.
A second man who tried to intervene was also stabbed and has since been returned to the maximum security jail after a short stint in a Geelong hospital.
Corrections Victoria said prison CCTV cameras showed two men allegedly wielding prison shivs to attack Mokbel before stomping on his head.
Mr Bennett and Mr Teuira have been charged with attempted murder, intentionally causing serious injury and causing serious injury intentionally in circumstances of gross violence.
The men are due to face court on Friday.
Mokbel is one of a number of criminals whose convictions are in doubt after it was revealed a gangland criminal barrister, known as Informer 3838 and Lawyer X, acted as a police informer and gave up information about her own clients.
He is nine years into a 22-year minimum sentence for serious serious drug crimes.