Australia: 'Heartless' driver jailed for filming dying police officers hit by truck in traffic stop

Credit: AP

A speeding driver in Australia has been jailed for filming four dead and dying police officers who had just been hit by a truck.

Richard Pusey's actions were described by the judge as "heartless, cruel and disgraceful".

The 42-year-old mortgage broker was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to a rarely-prosecuted charge of outraging public decency over his commentary in crash scene videos shot with his phone.

It was the first time the charge had been prosecuted in the state since 1963.

Police had pulled Pusey over for driving his Porsche at 149 kilometres (93 miles) per hour on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway in April last year.

Officers were considering impounding the sports car - because Pusey had far exceeded the 100kph (62mph) speed limit - when a truck crashed into the group in an emergency stop lane.

Pusey, who avoided injury because he had been urinating behind roadside bushes at the time, did not help but instead filmed the scene.

The officers, Pusey's Porsche and two police cars were all hit.

His profanity-laden commentary while filming included “he’s smashed,” “justice,” “absolutely amazing” and “beautiful.”

“I think everyone got cleaned up,” Pusey said. “I guess I’ll be getting a ... Uber home, huh.”

When one of five bystanders who came to the aid of the stricken officers asked Pusey to help, he replied: “They’re dead,” and continued filming.

Judge Trevor Wraight described Pusey’s conduct as “callous and reprehensible”.

“Your conduct ... was heartless, cruel and disgraceful,” the judge told the Victoria state County Court.

The judge said while Pusey’s personality disorder might go some way to explain his behaviour, it was a serious case of conduct that outraged public decency.

Pusey was sentenced to 10 months in prison, backdated to when he was taken into custody 296 days ago, a term relatives of those killed branded "too lenient".

Stuart Schulze, whose wife Lynette Taylor was one of the officers, said the sentence was “totally inappropriate”.

Stuart Schulze (right) whose wife Lynette Taylor was one of the officers killed. Credit: AP

Wayne Gatt, secretary of the Victoria Police Association, the police union, described Pusey as a “worthless individual”.

“Each and every one of us will face our mortality one day. When his day comes, I hope that he faces the same coldness and the same callousness with which he provided my members when they faced theirs,” Gatt told reporters, referring to the police union members killed.

Pusey had also pleaded guilty to speeding offences and possessing the drug ecstasy, which he tested positive to using along with cannabis in roadside saliva testing after he was pulled over.

While his sentence is almost completed, he is likely to remain in custody for unrelated charges.

Two weeks ago, Mohinder Singh, the truck driver who killed the four officers, was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

He had been drug-effected and sleep-deprived when he struck the officers and pleaded guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death, three charges of drug trafficking and one of possessing illicit drugs.