Australian Richard Pusey has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for filming and gloating over four dying police officers after a fatal crash last year.
Judge Trevor Wraight described his actions as “heartless, cruel and disgraceful" during the sentencing hearing on Wednesday.
“A normal human reaction… would likely be to immediately telephone triple zero (the emergency services),” the judge said. “What you did, however, was film the scene with a running commentary.”
The 42-year-old, who was described as “Australia’s most hated man” by judges during a previous hearing, has already spent almost 300 days in jail. That time will count against the sentence he has been given, Judge Wraight said, meaning he has almost served the full 10 months already.
But he will still not walk free, as criminal proceedings continue against him over other charges, reported 9News.
Pusey pleaded guilty on the charge of outraging public decency, something that is rarely prosecuted in Australia and for which there is no maximum penalty set out in the constitution.
In April 2020, the mortgage broker was speeding in his Porsche on a Melbourne freeway when four police officers stopped him.
The officers were discussing whether to impound the car when a truck being driven by Mohinder Singh ran into the officers.
Pusey, who had gone to urinate, avoided the crash and started filming videos instead of helping the injured police officers.
The four officers – senior constables Lynette Taylor and Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney – died at the crash site.
He filmed two videos lasting longer than three minutes, including a running commentary as one of the officers lay wedged between the truck and the car, while others were already dead. He zoomed in on their faces and injuries as he continued to mock their deaths with slurs.
"There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing," he said according to the body-cam footage produced during proceedings.
“Oh he’s smashed. Look at that. Look at that. Lucky I went and had a piss,” he said. “Look at that man, you f***ing c***s. You c***s. I guess I’ll be getting a f***ing Uber home, huh,” he added.
During the sentencing, the judge said his actions “added to the shock and grief the families and wider community had to endure”.
The family members and colleagues of the late officers watched the sentencing.
Stuart Schulze, the husband of leading senior constable Taylor, was unhappy with the 10-month sentence handed down. "This sentence is totally inappropriate for this offending," Mr Schulze told ABC news.
The family of officer Prestney said the verdict will not change “that person”, referring to Pusey.
The judge said the outraged public had already “demonised” Pusey for his actions, referring to his house being spray-painted with the word “vermin”.
The lorry driver, Singh, was sentenced earlier this month to 22 years in jail for the officers’ deaths. It was found that Singh was high on drugs, suffering delusions and hallucinations, at the time of the crash.
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