An Australian man who filmed four dead and dying police officers who had been hit by a truck on a freeway instead of helping them was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Wednesday for what a judge described as a “heartless, cruel and disgraceful” act.
The driver, who is identified as “Richard Pusey” is a 42 years old and works as a mortgage broker. He pleaded guilty in a court in the state of Victoria to a rarely prosecuted charge of outraging public decency over his commentary in crash-scene videos he shot with his phone. It was the first time the charge had been prosecuted in the state since 1963.
The most serious charge against Richard Pusey, was reckless conduct endangering persons, which could carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. But the judge, Trevor Wraight, sentenced Mr. Pusey to 10 months in prison, backdated to when he was arrested 296 days ago. While Mr. Pusey’s sentence is almost completed, he is likely to remain in custody for unrelated matters.
Richard Pusey was pulled over by the police in April 2020 for driving a Porsche at 93 miles per hour on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway.[The speed limit was 62 m.p.h.] The officers were considering impounding his car. But tragedy struck when a truck crashed into the officers, the Porsche and two police cars in an emergency stopping lane.
Mr. Pusey avoided injury because he had been urinating behind roadside bushes at the time. Richard did not help the officers but instead pulled out his phone and filmed the scene, officials said. Richard Pusey’s profanity-laden commentary in the video included “he’s smashed,” “justice,” “absolutely amazing” and “beautiful.”
And when a bystander who came to the aid of the stricken police officers asked Mr. Richard Pusey to help, he replied, “They’re dead,” and continued filming.
Judge Wraight told Mr. Pusey in court, that his conduct was “heartless, cruel and disgraceful.”
Judge Wraight also noted that Mr. Pusey had a personality disorder, which might go some way to explaining his behavior, but he said the case outraged public decency.
Richard Pusey also pleaded guilty to speeding offenses and possession of ecstasy; he tested positive for that drug and cannabis after he was pulled over. Mr. Pusey was also fined 1,000 Australian dollars ($773) and barred from driving for two years.
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The Driver Who Struck The Officers
Two weeks ago, the driver of the truck that struck the four officers, Mohinder Singh was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Mohinder Singh, had pleaded guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death, three charges of drug trafficking and one count of possessing illicit drugs.
Officials said he had been impaired by drugs and sleep-deprived when his vehicle hit the officers.
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