News ‘Unbearable pain’: Families of slain officers react after Richard Pusey sentencing

‘Unbearable pain’: Families of slain officers react after Richard Pusey sentencing

Richard Pusey was sentenced to 10 months for filming the officers. Photo: AAP Photo: AAP
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Richard Pusey could walk from jail within days despite a 10-month sentence for his “heartless, cruel and disgraceful” filming of dead and dying police officers after a Melbourne crash.

The widower of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, one of the four officers killed, said his pain was “almost unbearable” and Pusey’s sentence too lenient.

Pusey had been pulled over for speeding at 149km/h in his Porsche on the Eastern Freeway, when a truck driver crashed into the emergency lane on April 22, 2020.

Senior Constable Kevin King, and Constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney, also died in the crash. Pusey avoided injury because he was urinating off the side of the freeway.

Senior Constable Lynette Taylor’s husband said his pain is “almost unbearable”. Photo: AAP

Instead of helping, he retrieved his phones and slowly walked around and filmed the scene, zooming in on the dead and dying officers and their injuries.

“That is f—ing justice, absolutely amazing,” Pusey said, focusing on a damaged unmarked police car.

He walked towards the truck, driven by a sleep-deprived and drug-addled Mohinder Singh, and said: “You c—s, I guess I’ll be getting a f—ing Uber home, huh”.

Pusey, 42, was jailed in Victoria’s County Court on Wednesday for 10 months after pleading guilty to offences including outraging public decency.

His sentence includes the 296 days he’s already spent in custody, which means he could walk free within days if he’s granted bail on unrelated matters.

Outside court, Senior Constable Taylor’s husband Stuart Schulze said it “tears my heart and soul” to see and hear references to his wife’s final moments as filmed by Pusey.

“The pain is almost unbearable,” he said.

Mr Schulze also said the sentence imposed by Judge Trevor Wraight was too lenient

“I find it to be outraging public decency that a more appropriate sentence was not imposed by this court,” he said.

Judge Wraight labelled Pusey’s conduct at the scene as “heartless, cruel and disgraceful” among other descriptors.

“A normal human reaction of a person coming upon a scene like this, would likely be to immediately telephone triple zero, or simply to run to the side of the deceased or seriously injured,” the judge said.

“What you did, however, was film the scene with a running commentary which, on one view, may be described simply as bizarre behaviour in the circumstances. It can also be described as extremely insensitive and heartless.

“Your focus was entirely on yourself. You were upset that your car had been destroyed and seemed to take pleasure in seeing the destruction of the police vehicles.”

Police Association of Victoria boss Wayne Gatt described Pusey as a “worthless individual”. Photo: AAP

Pusey has a severe personality disorder, which played into his actions, as did the shock of narrowly avoiding death himself.

He admitted outraging public decency on the basis of his comments in filming the scene. He later told police he was ashamed.

“That’s how s— comes out of my head, I’m highly offensive,” Pusey said during his police interview.

Prosecutors accepted Pusey was talking to himself in the videos and did not taunt the officers.

“Oh he’s smashed. Look at that. Look at that. Lucky I went and had a piss,” he said while zooming in on Constable Humphris wedged between the truck and Porsche.

Pusey also admitted speeding offences and possessing MDMA, which he tested positive to, alongside cannabis, when pulled over before the crash.

On top of his jail sentence, he was handed an adjourned undertaking and a $1000 fine. His licence was also cancelled for two years.

After the sentence, Police Association of Victoria boss Wayne Gatt described Pusey as a “worthless individual that lacks any human traits”.

“Each and every one of us will face our mortality one day. And when his day comes, I hope that he faces the same coldness and the same callousness with which he provided my members,” Mr Gatt said.

The Office of Public Prosecutions said its standard practice was to review all sentences and Pusey’s would be looked at in due course.

Singh was earlier this month jailed for a maximum of 22 years for causing the deaths of the four officers.