A Porsche driver who allegedly told a dying policewoman “you f***ed my f***ing car” while filming a crash scene has walked free from a remand prison after securing bail under strict conditions while awaiting trial.
Richard Pusey, 42, spent almost six months on remand on a string of charges including reckless conduct endangering life and outraging public decency.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney were killed in the horror crash on a Melbourne freeway in April, involving a truck driven by another man.
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“All I wanted to do was go home and have some sushi and now you f***ed my f***ing car,” Pusey allegedly said at the crash scene.
While walking free on Friday evening, he expressed his condolences to the mourning family members of the four police officers.
“Four people died and that’s very horrible. It’s tragic and I feel for the families of the deceased,” he told 7News.
When asked if he had anything else to say to the grieving families, Pusey said: “I hope they’re coping”.
In granting bail hours earlier, Melbourne Magistrates Court magistrate Donna Bakos cited reasons including the onerous conditions in prison and an “inordinate” delay of up to three years for Pusey’s trial because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said Mr Pusey also had stable accommodation at his home, family support and a “thorough” mental health treatment plan.
Pusey’s lawyer Dermott Dann QC also argued any time spent on remand while waiting for trial could exceed a possible sentence if found guilty of some of the serious charges.
“The charges are serious. That said, a period of up to three years before trial is extremely long,” Ms Bakos said in handing down her decision.
Police had argued Pusey should not be granted bail and told the court he was a risk to the public because of his driving and the fear he could intimidate witnesses.
“He’s a manipulative and controlling man. When he clashes with people, he resorts to all sorts of tactics,” Detective Senior Constable Aaron Price told the court earlier this week.
Constable Price said he was concerned Pusey would not abide by the condition that he not drive because he “picks and chooses” what laws to follow.
“The accused does have a tendency to enjoy driving fast in … flashy cars,” he said.
The detective told the court Pusey had previously intimidated, harassed and threatened others.
He allegedly threatened to kill someone over a disputed water bill but no charges were laid, the court was told.
However, the magistrate found it was speculation to suggest he could intimidate witnesses.
“I accept the informant has genuine concerns about the behaviour of the applicant, but the suggestion that the applicant will try to find out about witnesses is at the best speculative,” Ms Bakos said.
The magistrate said she believed “very strict and rigorous bail conditions can mitigate the risks so they are not unacceptable”.
The businessman has to report to police three times a week, adhere to a curfew, undergo psychiatric treatment, surrender his passport and cannot contact witnesses.
He has also been barred from using electronic communications and social media to publish anything about or discuss the circumstances in the lead-up to the alleged offending, with certain exceptions.
It comes after a ruling earlier this week that found Pusey could face trial for the “rare” charge of outraging public decency.
His lawyers previously argued the charge did not exist in Australia, but Ms Bakos disagreed.
“Could a jury decide that the accused’s conduct was at the highest end of what is disgusting, repugnant, repulsive or offensive? In my view a jury could,” Ms Bakos wrote.
Pusey will face court again next month.