Porsche driver Richard Pusey only needs to serve a handful of days more in prison for filming four police officers as they lay dying following last year’s horror Eastern Freeway crash, after a judge ruled his 10 months in custody fulfilled the length of his sentence.
Pusey was on Wednesday jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to the rare charge of outraging public decency after filming the aftermath of the Eastern Freeway crash on April 22 last year, when the officers were hit and killed by a truck in Kew.
Richard Pusey (right) when arrested last year.Credit:Nine News
With 296 days already served, his sentence will be complete over coming days, possibly within a week.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney were hit and killed when a truck driven by Mohinder Singh, addled by drug use and fatigue, veered into the emergency lane at 5.36pm.
The officers had pulled Pusey over minutes earlier for speeding at 149km/h and were discussing impounding his Porsche when they were hit. Pusey, who had traces of ice and cannabis in his system, was urinating on the side of the road when Singh’s truck hit the officers and the stationary cars.
Pusey is seen on Leading Senior Constable Taylor’s body camera saying: “There you go.”
Family members of the four police officers who died in the Eastern Freeway crash attended court for Richard Pusey’s sentencing.Credit:Wayne Taylor
In the two videos Pusey recorded, which ran to three minutes and eight seconds, he zoomed in on the officers’ injuries and damaged cars. While filming a police car he says: “That is f—ing justice. Absolutely amazing, that is f—ing amazing.”
Then, when filming the truck, he says: “Look at that, man, you f—ing c—s. You c—s, I guess I’ll be getting a f—ing Uber home, huh.”
While filming an electronic device he says: “Look at that, oh look there, there’s your little computer.”
Filming another police car he says: “Look at that, that’s f—ing beautiful.“
Prosecutors accepted Pusey wasn’t taunting the officers, but he also refused requests by others to help the injured and to stop filming.
After he fled the scene he showed the footage to staff at his GP’s clinic and a chemist, and sent photographs to police officers he knew but didn’t publish it on social media.
The following day he told police he was ashamed of the videos and admitted he often said offensive things because “that’s how shit comes out of my head”.
Pusey later pleaded guilty to the charge of outraging public decency – which carries a penalty set by a judge’s discretion – as well as speeding, possessing a drug of dependence and reckless conduct endangering serious injury, related to him speeding on the freeway a month before the crash.
His lawyers have argued over the past month that the mortgage broker – who has spent 296 days in custody – had served enough time in prison, and reiterated that call on Tuesday after Corrections Victoria deemed him unsuitable for a community correction order, partly because of his notoriety.
Defence counsel Dermot Dann, QC, on Tuesday called for Pusey to be put on a good behaviour bond based on his time already served, his guilty plea, his mental health problems and extra-curial punishment through condemnation from the media and the public.
Judge Wraight last month said Pusey had been demonised to the point he was “probably the most hated man in Australia”.
Mr Dann had argued Pusey’s guilty plea should have attracted a sentencing discount as it prevented the case spending a long time before the court.
Had the charge gone before a jury there was a chance Pusey would be found not guilty, Mr Dann submitted, as the comments on the video were a “self-commentary” and spoken while in shock at having avoided being killed.
Judge Wraight acknowledged Pusey had complex mental health problems including antisocial and borderline personality disorders and recent diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and had been in prison when his brother died this year. Pusey retains the support of his wife and parents, the court heard.
Mohinder Singh was this month jailed for 22 years after pleading guilty to four charges of culpable driving causing death and other offences.
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