The Porsche driver accused of filming and taunting a dying police officer after a horrific crash that killed four officers claims he was talking to himself.
Millionaire businessman Richard Pusey, 41, appeared via videolink on Thursday in a Melbourne court where he faces 15 charges.
‘Amazing. Absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and eat my sushi and now you have f**ked my f**king car,’ Pusey was allegedly heard to say as Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor lay dying.
Richard Pusey was arrested on April 23, one day after the fatal crash which killed four police officers
Pictured: Emergency services trying to remove a Porsche from the scene the day after a fatal crash on Eastern Highway in Kew
Top Melbourne barrister Dermot Dann, QC, who appears for Pusey, now claims his client’s comments were not directed at the dying mother of two.
Instead, Mr Dann claimed his client had been talking to himself and not taunting the officer.
In a day of drama, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard police had charged Pusey with an offence that has never been used in Australian history.
The charge of ‘outraging public decency’ was added to Pusey’s existing 12 charges in late June.
Mr Dann told the court today that his client would likely plead guilty to some charges if police would withdraw that offence.
Mr Dann said he could not find the charge ‘framed’ this way in hundreds of years of Australian legal history.
‘It can’t be made out legally. It can’t be made out factually,’ he said. ‘Even more fundamentally, any court dealing with that charge would have to be satisfied that if that charge ever existed in this country, it still exists in this country.’
Mr Dann said his legal team had not been able to find any reported cases of the charge in ‘hundreds of years of legal history’ in Australia.
Pusey remains behind bars after he was refused bail when charged with 12 offences relating to a crash on April 22 on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway.
A truck hit four officers who had stopped to drug test Pusey and impound his car after he was pulled over for allegedly speeding
Mr Dann, who also appeared in court via videolink, told Magistrate Donna Bakos that his client wished to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
‘We understand the prosecution rely on a series of English decisions and one of those decisions traces the history of this offence back 400 years,’ Mr Dann said.
The court heard previously the legal process could drag on for years if police pushed ahead with all of the charges currently hanging over Pusey’s head.
‘If this charge can be resolved then there is a very real prospect that the matter can be resolved,’ Mr Dann said.
At a hearing last month, Ms Bakos expressed her own concerns about the charge.
The mortgage broker (pictured in a court sketch) avoided being struck because he’d been urinating off to the side of the road
Pusey previous 12 charges include driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, destruction of evidence, perverting the course of justice, failing to remain at the scene after a drug test and failing to render assistance
Senior Constable Kevin King (pictured, far left), Constable Glen Humphris (second from left), Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor (second from right) and and Constable Josh Prestney (far right) all died in the crash
‘One of these charges I’ve never even seen before,’ the experienced magistrate said.
The court further heard that the only reason Pusey later gave an interview to police was because they had asked him to be a witness against the truck driver who ran down the officers.
The driver of the truck, Mohinder Singh, was charged with four counts of culpable driving and also remains behind bars.
Ms Bakos gave Pusey’s legal team until August 26 to present their submissions on why the charge ought be scrapped.
Top Melbourne barrister Dermot Dann, QC, claims police have charged Richard Pusey with an offence that may not even exist in Australia
Pusey has been behind bars since April when a truck crashed into four officers after they pulled him over for allegedly driving at 149km/h in his Porsche 911 with cannabis and ice in his system.
The mortgage broker avoided being struck because he’d been urinating off to the side of the road.
The three male officers were already dead when Pusey allegedly began filming.
Public funerals were held for all four officers after the tragedy, which marked the single greatest loss of police life in Victoria’s history.
Pusey’s previous 12 charges include driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, destruction of evidence, perverting the course of justice, failing to remain at the scene after a drug test and failing to render assistance.
At a previous hearing last month, Magistrate Jo Metcalf labelled Pusey’s alleged filming of the graphic crash scene as ‘highly intrusive and morally repugnant’ but noted it was not illegal.
He remans in protective custody at Melbourne Assessment Prison and did not apply for bail.