‘Australia’s most hated man’ who filmed and taunted dying police officers who had just been hit by a truck after pulling him over is jailed for ten months for outraging public decency
- Richard Pusey was pulled over by Melbourne police for speeding in April 2020
- Pusey’s parked Porsche and the four police officers were struck by a truck
- Pusey then filmed the officers while they lay dying and taunted them claiming ‘this is justice’
- The mortgage broker, 42, was sentenced in Melbourne in the County Court
A Porsche driver who became known as ‘Australia’s most hated man’ for filming and taunting four police officers as they lay dying after they were hit by a truck has today been jailed for ten months for outraging public decency.
Richard Pusey, a 42-year-old mortgage broker, was speeding at 93mph in April last year when he was pulled over by Melbourne police on the city’s eastern Freeway.
Minutes later, Pusey’s parked Porsche and the four police officers – Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney – were struck by a truck driven by father-of-two Mohinder Singh, 48.
Pusey, who avoided the crash after he jumped the fence to urinate in some bushes, did not help the officers as they lay dying.
Instead, he filmed the scene including close-up shots of the dead or dying officers and taunted them, claiming ‘this is f**king justice’, in what a judge has described as a ‘heartless, cruel and disgraceful’ act.
Richard Pusey who became known as ‘Australia’s most hated man’ for filming four police officers as they lay dying after they were hit by a truck has today been jailed for ten months for outraging public decency
Pusey was pulled over for speeding at 149km/h in his black 2016 Porsche 911 on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway, before a truck crashed into the scene killing all four cops
Judge Trevor Wraight sentenced Pusey to 10 months in prison today at County Court of Victoria, backdated to when he was taken into custody 296 days ago which means he could be free in days.
Officers Taylor, King, Humpris and Prestney had pulled Pusey over for speeding on April 22 last year and were considering impounding his black 2016 Porsche 911 when a truck driven by Singh crashed into them.
Instead of helping the officers, Pusey filmed them while providing profanity-laden commentary which included ‘he’s smashed,’ ‘justice,’ ‘absolutely amazing’ and beautiful.’
‘I think everyone got cleaned up,’ Pusey said in the video. ‘I guess I’ll be getting an Uber home, huh.’
Judge Wraight described Pusey’s conduct as ‘callous and reprehensible’.
‘Your conduct … was heartless, cruel and disgraceful,’ the judge said.
Senior Constable Kevin King (pictured, far left), Constable Glen Humphris (second from left), Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor (second from right) and and Constable Josh Prestney (far right) all died in the crash
Wraight told Pusey that ongoing media coverage of the case showed that the ‘public has demonized you.’
The judge said while Pusey’s personality disorder might go some way to explain his behavior, it was a serious case of conduct that outraged public decency.
Stuart Schulze, whose wife Lynette Taylor was one of the officers killed, described the sentence as ‘too lenient’ and ‘totally inappropriate.’
The distraught husband fronted the media outside the County Court of Victoria following Pusey’s sentence on Wednesday.
‘Everytime a media outlet references this offending it is always in reference to the filming of dying police,’ he said.
‘There was only one, and she was my wife. And everytime that commentary is made it tears at my heart and soul. And the pain is almost unbearable.’
Partner of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Stuart Schultz (fifth from left) leaves the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday
Parents of Josh Prestney, Andrew and Belinda Prestney leave the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday
Pusey, who remains behind bars for now on a pending assault charge, is expected to make a bid for freedom on bail after already having served 296 days behind bars.
The family of dead officer Josh Prestney stood solemnly next to Mr Schultz as he broke down into tears.
‘I find it to be outraging public decency that a more appropriate sentence was not imposed by this court and it has now set such a bar that this type of offending is almost impossible to reach that level,’ Mr Schultz said.
Pusey was not even in court to hear his sentence.
The 42-year old appeared in the County Court of Victoria via videolink on Wednesday over his now infamous role in the horrific crash on April 22 last year.
He was sentenced to 10 months in jail, a two-year good behaviour bond, fined $1000 and had his licence suspended for two years.
Pusey had been rejected by Corrections Victoria for a community based order, leaving Judge Wraight with few options.
The mortgage broker (pictured in a court sketch) avoided being struck because he’d been urinating off to the side of the road
Pusey pleaded guilty last month in the Victoria state County Court to numerous charges including the rarely prosecuted charge of ‘outraging decency’ over his commentary in the crash scene videos shot from his phone.
It was the first time the charge had been prosecuted in the state since 1963.
The most serious charge he admitted was reckless conduct endangering persons, which carries a potential maximum of five years in prison
He had also pleaded guilty to speeding offences and possessing the illicit drug ecstasy, which he tested positive to using along with cannabis in roadside saliva testing after he was pulled over.
In sentencing, Judge Wraight accepted Pusey’s guilty plea had brought the case to a prompt conclusion.
The judge told Pusey he was not responsible for the crash that killed the officers, but described his behaviour after it as ‘bizarre’, ‘extremely insensitive’ and ‘heartless’.
‘Your focus was entirely on yourself,’ he said. ‘You seemed to take pleasure in the destruction of the police vehicles … Your conduct was heartless cruel and disgraceful.’
Judge Wraight said he accepted Pusey did not directly taunt the officers or upload the footage, such as another witness did but was not charged by police.
Pusey’s barrister Dermot Dann QC (right) had argued his client ought be regarded as a victim of crime
The court heard Pusey would have certainly been killed himself had he not gone to urinate and Judge Wraight accepted he must have been in some sort of shock himself at the time of filming.
Pusey had already spent 10 months behind bars while his case filtered through the justice system.
Judge Wraight said Pusey had been ‘demonised’ by the media and the general public during that time, which had played a part in his ultimate sentence.
‘I accept there is evidence of genuine remorse,’ he said.
Wayne Gatt, secretary of the Victoria Police Association, the police union, described Pusey as a ‘worthless individual.’
‘Each and every one of us will face our mortality one day. When his day comes, I hope that he faces the same coldness and the same callousness with which he provided my members when they faced theirs,’ Gatt told reporters, referring to the police union members killed.
Richard Pusey was arrested on April 23, one day after the fatal crash which killed four police officers
While his sentence is almost completed, he is likely to remain in custody for unrelated charges.
The court again heard a graphic recounting of the content of the Pusey’s two videos, adding up to three minutes and eight seconds.
Pusey numerous times said variants of ‘absolutely amazing’ and ‘look at that’ when ‘slowly and purposefully’ surveying the scene and zooming in on the dead officers’ injuries.
At one point he said ‘this is f**king justice’ in the general direction of the road as other motorists went past.
The court heard Pusey first retrieved his two mobile phones and a lunch bag containing drugs from the wreck of his car.
Partner of Senior Constable Kevin King, Sharron Mackenzie arrives at the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday
He then turned to Senior Constable Taylor, who was sprawled on top of the Porsche with her legs crushed by the truck and her hand through the sunroof, moaning and near death.
‘There you go,’ he said to her as his camera zoomed in on her face and injuries.
Pusey then wandered around the scene, filming and photographing it along with the horrific injuries suffered by the four officers.
‘Bang, bang, bang, they got thrown all the way over there,’ he said. ‘I think everyone got cleaned up – there’s four people, look at that.’
Soon after he showed a close up of injuries to one of the male officers and said: ‘Oh he’s smashed, look at that. Lucky I went and had a piss.’
Around him, motorists who pulled over upon seeing the crash scene were trying to help the four officers, including a doctor.
This did not stop Pusey’s distasteful comments, as he complained about being pulled over at 149km/h and his beloved car being wrecked.
‘Look at that, man, you f**king c**ts, guess I’ll be getting an Uber home,’ he said.
Police officers lined the streets during the repatriation ceremony of Constable Glen Humphris at Hovell Tree Park in Albury on May 2
Bystanders berated him for filming instead of helping the officers, including one who could be seen in the footage pointing at him and saying ‘mate, um, don’t’.
Another man asked for help pulling a blanket over the body of a dead officer, but Pusey refused saying ‘they’re dead’.
The court on earlier occasions heard Pusey was allegedly heard to say as Leading Senior Constable Taylor lay dying: ‘All I wanted to do was go home and eat my sushi and now you have f**ked my f**king car’.
Pusey eventually got a lift from a passing motorist. He sent messages to friends throughout the evening in which he bragged about driving at 300km/h.
The next day he went to his GP, where he showed the videos to the receptionist and two staff at the chemist next door. He then sent the videos to three friends.
Later when interviewed by police he admitted he was ashamed of the videos and what he said during them.
He insisted his comments were not derogatory but acknowledged they seemed that way because the language was ‘horrible’.
Partner of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Stuart Schultz (centre) arrives to the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne last month
‘That’s just how s**t comes out of my head, I’m highly offensive, I struggle every day to keep my mouth shut,’ he said, likening it to Tourette syndrome.
His barrister, Dermot Dann, QC, had attributed Pusey’s behaviour in the moments after the crash to his position as a victim of crime.
‘That’s the starting point in respect to his conduct. That’s the position he was in. That’s his state. Those are his circumstances when this offence is actually committed,’ Mr Dann said a day earlier.
‘It’s a very unusual – indeed exceptional – position for an accused person to be in in terms of his pleading guilty to a charge that takes place in the immediate aftermath of him – as a victim – which really we’d normally regard him as, of a very serious piece of criminal behaviour.’
Mr Dann had attempted to paint ‘a worrying picture of a man afflicted with serious mental illnesses’.
He told the court the serial offender had borderline personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder, and an anti-authority complex.
‘Amongst all the hatred and condemnation, there is a part for sympathy and mercy,’ he said.
He repeatedly tried to get the help since the crash, only to be turned away by some hospitals, the barrister added.
Mr Dann said the ‘severe personality disorders’ dated back to when Pusey was bullied about his name in school.
He claimed the last time ‘outraging decency’ had been used was back in 1640 and had nothing to do with what his client had faced.
‘It’s not the filming that is said to justify the charge, but it’s the comments … the comments are essentially comments to himself,’ Mr Dann said.
As police were discussing impounding his sports car by the side of the road, a truck driven by drugged-up Mohinder Singh crashed into them
Pusey is expected to make an application for bail in the Supreme Court of Victoria over an assault charge.
That charge relates to an allegation Pusey forced his wife to watch as he placed a noose around his own neck in the lead-up to Christmas last year.
Read the full sentence here.
Two weeks ago, Mohinder Singh, the truck driver who killed the four officers, was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
He had been drug-effected and sleep-deprived when he struck the officers and pleaded guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death, three charges of drug trafficking and one of possessing illicit drugs.
Source: Read Full Article