A judge says he’s astounded and disturbed by a Corrections Victoria report finding Porsche driver Richard Pusey is too high profile and unpopular to serve his sentence in the community.
Pusey was assessed for a community correction order ahead of his sentence on charges including outraging public decency following Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway crash that killed four police officers.
County Court Judge Trevor Wraight said on Tuesday he was “just astounded by the attitude of Corrections” and labelled the report finding Pusey unsuitable as “quite disturbing”.
“It’s really an attitude that because of the media attention that he’s received that somehow he’s going to be a problem for them,” the judge said.
He added the report seemed to be “motivated by not wanting to deal with this man because he’s unpopular”.
“The attitude of corrections is [he’s] beyond rehabilitation,” Judge Wraight said, noting it was still within his power to place Pusey on such an order regardless.
“You would hope that they are not treating him any differently to any other offender, but it seems they are.”
Corrections Victoria’s Jennifer Grass confirmed to the court that Pusey was considered unsuitable for a community order “for a number of reasons”.
The 42-year-old was pulled over for speeding at 149km/h in his Porsche along the Eastern Freeway on April 22, 2020.
A truck driven by Mohinder Singh, who was sleep-deprived and on drugs, ploughed into the emergency lane.
Earlier in April, Singh was jailed for a maximum of 22 years for causing the deaths of Senior Constables Lynette Taylor and Kevin King, and Constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
Pusey, who avoided injury because he was urinating off the side of the freeway, did not help the dead and dying officers.
Instead, he made two videos and zoomed in on the officers’ faces and injuries.
“Oh he’s smashed. Look at that. Look at that. Lucky I went and had a piss,” Pusey said to himself while zooming in on Constable Humphris wedged between the truck and Porsche.
Pusey also walked towards the truck and said: “You c—s, I guess I’ll be getting a f—ing Uber home, huh”.
Zooming in on a damaged unmarked police car, Pusey said “that is f—ing justice, absolutely amazing”.
It’s accepted Pusey, who has a severe personality disorder, was not taunting the officers and made the comments to himself.
He pleaded guilty to outraging public decency, speeding and another charge of reckless conduct endangering serious injury by speeding.
He also admitted possessing MDMA, which he returned a positive test for, alongside cannabis, when police pulled him over.
Judge Wraight said his earlier comments that Pusey was “probably the most hated man in Australia” were taken out of context.
The judge said he was referring to the effects of Pusey’s treatment by the media.
Pusey’s barrister, Dermot Dann QC, said the ongoing coverage of the case had been unusually intense, disproportionate and amounted to a hefty punishment in itself.
Mr Dann asked for Pusey, who has already spent nearly 300 days in custody, to be placed on an adjourned undertaking.
He is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.