A 14-YEAR-OLD brutally bludgeoned to death was remembered as a gentle boy, who was inseparable from his stepfather.
Timothy O'Brien's teachers and neighbours revealed their shock at the death of the young autistic boy, the Herald Sun reports.
Timmy was struck in the head with a blunt weapon early Saturday morning outside a Carlyle St property at Scarsdale, southwest of Ballarat.
Teachers and classmates at the Ballarat Specialist School where Timmy studied left tributes online in memory of the gentle boy.
Lynne Koene said: "Being a teacher is an amazing and rewarding job . . . a traumatic part occurs when you hear of a student being senselessly murdered.
"RIP to a sweet and gentle young man with an amazing smile."
A Ballarat man Darren Wilson, 35, and a Wendouree man Joel Henderson, 39, were each charged with one count of murder.
Both will face Ballarat Magistrates Court today.
Timmy and his stepfather Peter Williams, 45, had allegedly gone to the aid of two teenage women after they received threatening phone calls.
The Scarsdale community has been shaken by the attack and the loss of the teenager, who was often seen riding his scooter around the block.
Local residents said that while it was strange to take a 14-year-old to such a volatile situation, the pair never left each other's side.
Neighbour Carina Hunter said the family were distressed and were screaming hysterically on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Williams was left utterly inconsolable in his backyard.
"They were totally inseparable. They went absolutely everywhere together," Ms Hunter said.
"They were best mates. We always thought they were father and son. Timmy even called him Dad."
Another neighbour said Timmy acted like he was 10 years old and was a passive and polite boy.
"He was the tiniest, skinniest little boy you have ever seen," the neighbour said.
It is believed a woman in her late teens had only been renting the property, where the attack occurred, for about a month.
Neighbours said they had noticed an increase in unusual traffic at the residence with cars coming and going at all hours.
Forensic crews combed for fingerprints at the Scarsdale property where the incident occurred, while a police tow truck removed a white Commodore van believed to belong to Mr Williams.
A witness said they saw Mr Williams run to the car shortly after 4am on Saturday.
Read more at the Herald Sun.