The incident involving the 42-year-old happened last year on April 22. Two police officers stopped Pusey when he was reportedly driving his Porsche at 149kph on the Eastern Freeway. Two more officers joined them at the scene. Then a truck veered into the emergency lane, fatally injuring all four cops, but leaving Pusey unhurt.
The man’s reaction to what happened made him one of the most reviled people in Australia. He took out his phone, and instead of calling for help, started filming the scene, zooming in on the victims and giving a running commentary, calling what became the biggest single loss of police lives in Victoria’s history “f**king justice.”
In late March, the man pleaded guilty to four charges – outraging public decency, drug possession, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, and speeding. On Wednesday, Victoria’s County Court sentenced him to 10 months in prison on the first of them – which stems from his conduct during the crash. His other charges will be resolved at a later point in time, which means that even though his jail term will expire within days, Pusey is likely to remain in custody.
The court decision left many people unsatisfied. The husband of one of the officers called the sentence “totally inappropriate” given the “outrageous” nature of Pusey’s behavior. Wayne Gatt from the Police Association of Victoria called the defendant a “soulless coward” who lives while “four upstanding heroes died,” and said that “judgement for people like this, it doesn’t happen in court.”
Judge Trevor Wraight, who earlier referred to Pusey as “probably the most hated man in Australia,” didn’t pull any punches during sentencing either. He said that what the defendant did was “cruel and disgraceful,” but recognized his guilty plea and apologies to the families of the cops as evidence of genuine remorse. He also stressed that contrary to what some people believe, Pusey was not responsible for the tragic deaths.
Earlier in April, the driver of the truck who caused the fatal crash was sentenced to 22 years. He pleaded guilty to eight counts of various crimes. The court was told that when the incident happened, he was driving under the influence of drugs, while suffering from sleep deprivation, which caused him to experience psychotic delusions. The manager of the shipping firm, who allegedly pressured the driver into working in a delirious state, is currently challenging the manslaughter charges.
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