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A mortgage broker who filmed four police officers as they lay dying at the scene of a crash last year was described by a judge as “probably the most hated man in Australia.”
Judge Trevor Wraight said Wednesday that the public outrage over the actions of Richard Pusey was understandable. The judge made the comments at a pre-sentencing hearing after Pusey, 42, pleaded guilty last month to drug and other offences. Pusey is scheduled to be sentenced April 28 and faces up to five years in prison, according to an Associated Press report.
Pusey, owner of Switch Now Home Loans in Melbourne, was pulled over last year for speeding at 149 kilometres per hour in his Porsche. During the traffic stop, all four officers at the scene – senior constables Lynette Taylor and Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney – were struck by a passing truck that had swerved out of its lane. All four died at the scene.
As other witnesses moved to help the officers, Pusey took out his phone and took video of them as they lay dying. He filmed for more than three minutes, using profanities to describe the officers and blaming them for ruining his Porsche. He fled the scene and was later arrested at his home.
Pusey pleaded guilty to speeding and reckless conduct, as well as the rate charge of outraging public decency. He also admitted to possessing ecstasy after testing positive for both ecstasy and marijuana.
Pusey’s defence lawyer, Dermot Dann, said the broker had asked him to apologize to the officers’ families, the AP reported.
“He’s ashamed, and was ashamed, of the recording and what is said on the recording,” Dann said.
He said that Pusey has a severe personality disorder that includes anti-authority traits. Dann also said that Pusey had spent nearly nine months in custody and asked for his release on a community correction order, which would allow him to serve his sentence outside of jail, the AP reported.
But prosecutor Robyn Harper objected, saying Pusey’s actions were callous and deliberate, and robbed the officers of dignity as they lay dying.
Read more: Broker who filmed, taunted dying cops pleads guilty
The judge agreed to have Pusey assessed for the community correction order before sentencing, the AP reported.
While Pusey’s actions during the traffic stop earned condemnation across Australia, it isn’t the first time his name has arisen in connection with reprehensible behaviour. In 2016, he was featured on the television programme A Current Affair, in which he was accused of ripping off tradesmen and even abusing their families over business disputes, according to news.com.au.
At one point, the programme filmed Pusey screaming profanities at a tradesman’s wife, who had just returned from the hospital after undergoing cancer treatment.
“Get some more f***ing cancer, you stupid f***ing b***,” he told the woman.
Pusey is also facing charges over allegations that he threatened to kill a woman and put a noose around her neck in December, according to a report by The Age.
Ryan Smith is currently an executive editor at Key Media, where he started as a journalist in 2013. He has since he worked his way up to managing editor and is now an executive editor. He edits content for several B2B publications across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also writes feature content for trade publications for the insurance and mortgage industries.
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